A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the ...
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The Bower Family Band petitions the Democratic National Committee to sing a Grover Cleveland rally song at the 1888 convention, but decide instead to move to the Dakota territory on the ... See full summary »
Lesley Ann Warren
Lem Siddons is part of a traveling band who has a dream of becoming a lawyer. Deciding to settle down, he finds a job as a stockboy in the general store of a small town. Trying to fit in, ... See full summary »
Frederick Bolton has to solve two problems. First, his boss has instructed him to come up with a reasonable campaign to promote a new product, a stomach pill named "Aspercel" - by tomorrow.... See full summary »
Fran Garrison's all in a tizzy because her prize Dachshund, Danke, is having pups, and she has hopes of one of the pups becoming a champion. But at the vet's, her husband Mark is talked ... See full summary »
An eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren are embroiled in the plights of some forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe. While helping them, the millionaire is ... See full summary »
A young man who works in the mailroom at a TV network wants to move up the corporate ladder but finds himself stymied by his selfish boss. By chance he discovers that his neighbor's ... See full summary »
On the Carolina coast, Godolphin College's new track coach lodges at Blackbeard's Inn, run by the Daughters of the Buccaneers who claim to be descendants of the notorious pirate and who risk losing their hotel to the local mobster.
A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the unusual antics of her father--especially since the nice young men around town all fear him. Wouldn't you fear a father-in-law that keeps alligators for pets and teaches boxing at his daily Bible classes? Cordelia decides to run off to boarding school and promptly finds the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, his family doesn't approve of Biddle's outrageous antics, either. A Disney musical punctuated by snappy songs and an energetic debut by Tommy Steele. This is reportedly one of the last live- action films Walt Disney personally oversaw. Written by
Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>
Running at 172 minutes, the uncut "Roadshow" version is the longest film ever to carry the Disney name (excluding Touchstone, Hollywood, and Miramax releases). See more »
The Biddle Mansion at 2104 Walnut Street is shown as being directly across Walnut Street(the North side of Walnut Street) from Rittenhouse Square. In fact, Rittenhouse Square is between 18th and just beyond 19th Street on the South side of Walnut Street. 2104 is two blocks West and also on the South side of Walnut Street. This block is now occupied by a high-ride apartment building. See more »
Well now, ain't this an elegant neighborhood, all the residents dressed so fine! One day off the boat am I, with a job that's nearly mine! 'Tis a job with an elegant millionaire, and his elegant family! Today I move from immigrant - to high society!
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"The Happiest Millionaire" is a lively musical adaptation of the hit 1957 Broadway play that starred Walter Pidgeon as Anthony Drexel Biddle. The play was written by Kyle Crichton, who adapted it from a biographical book he co-wrote with Biddle's daughter Cordelia, "My Philadelphia Father."
As adapted to the screen by AJ Carothers (who would go on to create the TV sitcom "Nanny and the Professor"), "Millionaire" tells the story of eccentric millionaire Biddle and his family in 1916 Philadelphia.
The movie actually isn't really about Biddle at all, instead it focuses on his daughter Cordelia [Lesley Ann Warren in her big screen debut] and her impending romance with Angier Duke [John Davidson in his big screen debut].
The two youngsters fall in love much to the dismay of Angier's mother [Geraldine Page]. The clash between Philadelphia "old money" [the Biddles] and New York's nouveau riche [the Dukes] comes into play, but ultimately love conquers all in the final reel.
Thrown in for good measure is Tommy Steele as "John Lawless", an Irish immigrant whose landed a job as the Biddles' new butler. He's the film's "narrator" of sorts and oversees the proceedings as they unfold.
The score is provided by Disney veterans Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman [of "Mary Poppins" fame], and while this score does not exactly reach the caliber of their work in "Poppins" it's not entirely bad either. There are some "gems": "Fortuosity", "Let's Have A Drink On It", "Valentine Candy" and "Are We Dancing" among them.
The choreography by Marc Beaux and Dee Dee Wood ["Poppins" and "The Sound of Music"] is brought to life by both Tommy Steele and Lesley Ann Warren.
Screen legend Greer Garson is Cordelia Drexel Biddle, Sr. and generally plays it straight opposite MacMurray's eccentric-slightly goofy portrayal. Also in the cast Gladys Cooper ["My Fair Lady"] as Aunt Mary, Paul Petersen ["The Donna Reed Show"] as Anthony, Jr., Eddie Hodges as Livingston and Hermoine Baddeley ["Mary Poppins"] as the Biddle's maid.
At an original 164 minute running time, "Millionaire" may seem to some a bit excessive in length, and while this may be true it is still in my opinion a very entertaining movie which for some reason or another Disney has ignored [save for an occasional 3 am screening on "The Disney Channel"]. It took Anchor Bay Entertainment to save this gem from relative obscurity when in 1998 they licensed the film from the Disney studios and released it on VHS and DVD in both a general release and road show edition. Disney finally got wise and finally dusted off the film's soundtrack and released the long out-of-print score in August 2002.
I recommend this film for it's music, it's light-heartedness and a compelling motion picture debut by the multi-talented Lesley Ann Warren.
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