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Automaker James Alden is told to retire by his doctors and does so in deference to his wife Laura and daughter 'Babs.' He is not only bored after six months, but is told by a life insurance salesman that retired men are bad risks. So James secretly responds to an ad in the newspaper about a garage being for sale, but he (using the alias Charlie Miller) buys only half of the garage, since the other half was already sold to Bill Merrick, who becomes his partner. The ex-owner, Peterson, was dishonest in not revealing he was opening a new gas station near the new highway a mile down the road where most of the traffic will be. Not willing to be slickered by anybody, Charlie and Bill buy and elegantly rebuild a decrepit building across the street from Peterson's new station and compete handily with the charlatan. James uses a pretense to get away every day, but wonders how long he can keep up his double life.Written by
Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
If you see "The Millionaire" come on TV, check it out. Record it if you can't watch it 'live'. This is a wonderful and funny movie. In brief, the owner of an automobile manufacturing company - apparently patterned on Henry Ford - is told by his doctor that he must retire or the stress may kill him. He turns over his company to underlings and soon we see him out west in California, sitting in a chair at a lawn party, blanket over his legs, and a young woman asks him if he wants a piece of buttered toast. Telling her he's not allowed - his plain 'wafer' is waiting for him - he tells her he can only have it on his birthday next April. "You'll call again in the Spring..." he suggests.
There is a wonderful appearance by a very young Jimmy Cagney as an insurance salesman who refuses to sell him life insurance after learning that he is retired. Cagney tells him that once men retire to the sidelines they just fall apart. He suggests that the older man buy a business and run it 'as a toy' to give himself something to do.
The old guy does just that - he and a younger man buy a service station but it turns out they've been swindled. The old guy sets about evening the score.
You can't help but like the main character, and his dry wit is such a difference from the punch-you-in-the-stomach "humor" of today's comedy, much of which depends on precocious kids and sexual innuendo and poddy-mouth comments. No sir, this old film has some genuine humor, if you are mature and intelligent enough to appreciate it.
I snagged this film and burned it to a DVD, and am glad I did. It's a great old movie - if you can see it, I promise you'll enjoy it.
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