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Monty Brewster is a penniless, former U.S. Army soldier back from World War II Europe who learns that he has inherited $8 million from a distant relative. But there's a catch: he must spend $1 million of that money in less than two months before his 30th birthday in order to inherit the rest. But since he cannot tell anyone about him spending the money as part of the agreement, everyone thinks that Brewster has flipped when he practically knocks himself out on a spending spree to get rid of the $1 million in time. Written by
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 31, 1947 with Dennis O'Keefe reprising his film role. See more »
When a phone rings on Brewster's desk, he picks up the wrong phone. His friend answers the ringing phone and passes it to Brewster and then places Brewster's hand set on the ringing phone's cradle, which would have ended the phone call. Brewster finishes his call and puts the handset on the other cradle. Then that phone rings and he has another conversation which is also impossible. See more »
Hook these folks up to a generator and there's enough high energy to light up a city. It's the nutty premise, of course, that carries the movie. Brewster (O'Keefe) must squander a million in order to inherit seven. Trouble is that he can't seem to squander it fast enough the money comes back faster than it goes out. What a predicament, as the audience wonders what they would do in his place.
It's the wacky idea of giving money a negative value that's so engaging. It's like the economic counterpart to disbelief in religion, and we see that in the astonished reactions to Brewster's unorthodox behavior. After all, in a monetary economy money amounts to something of a secular god. So, simply getting rid of it heedlessly looks not only like an act of disbelief, but also of rank insanity. The comedic set-ups flow from this central idea, as time grows short and Brewster grows increasingly frantic.
Too bad O'Keefe has been largely forgotten. Though not front-rank, he's quite good at working himself into a humorous lather. Those two uninhibited farces Getting Gertie's Garter (1945) and Up in Mabel's Room (1944) are also lots of fun thanks to both O'Keefe and director Dwan who has a real feel for the material. Hard to think of better wartime escape than this trio of films. Then there's the lovely, star-crossed Helen Walker whose "upside- down" eyes look like no other actress of the period. No wonder Brewster thinks she's worth a million.
The movie's been made a number of times, but never better than here. The fact that all three Dwan comedies were produced by the independent Ed Small Productions likely accounts for their relative obscurity. Too bad because each stands as a talent showcase for its lead star and comedy director, and is still a lot of fun. Especially the one here since last time I checked, we're still in a money economy and Brewster still looks amusingly loony.
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