Professor Stock and his wife Mizzi are always bickering. Mizzi tries to seduce Dr. Franz Braun, the new husband of her good friend Charlotte. Dr. Braun's colleague, Dr. Mueller, who has had... See full summary »
Tycoon John Glidden, dying though still vigorous, is so dissatisfied with his relatives and associates that, rather than will his money to any of them, he decides to give it away in million-dollar amounts to strangers picked from the city directory. He picks a meek china salesman; a prostitute; a forger; two ex-vaudevilleans who hate road hogs; a condemned man; a mild-mannered clerk; a boisterous marine; and an oppressed inmate of an old ladies' home.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Production dates for each segment are as follows: "Road Hogs" 9 September 1932-12 September 1932; "Violet" 14 September 1932-15 September 1932; "Death Cell" mid-September 1932; "The Forger" late September 1932; "Grandma" 30 September 1932-5 October 1932; "China Shop" 4 October 1932-10 October 1932; "The Three Marines" 14 October 1932-17 October 1932; and "Prologue" 14 October 1932-25 October 1932. See more »
The La Rues purchase 9 vehicles from the used car lot and drive out in one car followed by 8 other vehicles. At the end of the day when they are down to one car, they only pay off 6 drivers. See more »
I want to give somebody a chance at happiness. I don't care who - I just want somebody to have something worthwhile out of what I spent my life to accumulate.
See more »
Some local censors deleted objectionable scenes in the "Violet" and "Death Cell" segments. In "Violet," when she throws off the covers and removes her stockings, and in "Death Cell," the preparation for execution and the opening of the door to the execution chamber. See more »
A grumpy old tycoon postpones dying a while longer so that he can give his fortune away to strangers, a million dollars at a time.
IF I HAD A MILLION is an almost legendary example of a rarely used cinematic form, the episodic film. Really a series of common-theme shorts strung together, produced by a conglomeration of writers & directors and using a large array of actors, the episodic film is an easy recipe for disaster if done wrong. Episodes compete or even clash, while the brevity of the individual sections can give the audience scant time to empathize with the characters, resulting in boredom.
Here, however, spotlighting the brilliant spectrum of talent available to Paramount Studios, everything jells quite nicely. Some episodes are more famous than others - that is inevitable. But the entire picture as a whole has cohesion & sparkle, something to grab & hold the viewer's attention. Mixing comedy, drama, and some surprisingly effective pathos, the plot of IF I HAD A MILLION - while today a mite creaky, acknowledging its age - should keep most contemporary audiences well satisfied.
Director Ernst Lubitsch & writer Joseph L. Mankiewicz are representative of the exceptional talent behind the camera. On film the following stars perform, all excellent:
Prologue - Richard Bennett as the millionaire.
Episode 1 - Timid, henpecked Charlie Ruggles & Mary Boland as his domineering wife.
Episode 2 - Wynne Gibson (uncredited) as a world-weary prostitute.
Episode 3 - George Raft as a criminal forger.
Episode 4 - Allison Skipworth & W. C. Fields as ex-vaudevillians with a special aversion to road hogs.
Episode 5 - Gene Raymond (uncredited) as a prisoner on Death Row.
Episode 6 - Charles Laughton as a lowly clerk in a huge office.
Episode 7 - Gary Cooper, Jack Oakie & Roscoe Karns as carousing Marines.
Episode 8 - May Robson as a feisty old lady in a very restrictive rest home.
Fields, Laughton & Ruggles - playing variations on the worm that turns - have come in for a lion's share of the praise down through the years, but all the performers do a very fine job, with Gene Raymond & May Robson especially poignant.
Movie mavens will enjoy spotting many familiar faces among the uncredited character actors: Grant Mitchell, Clarence Muse, Frances Dee, Berton Churchill in Episode 5; Joyce Compton & Lucien Littlefield in Episode 7; Dewey Robinson, Margaret Siddon, Gail Patrick in Episode 8; and Samuel S. Hinds as one of the millionaire's lawyers.
Episode 2 presents some pre-Production Code situations and Episode 5 is relentlessly downbeat. These sequences were often excised for television showings in decades past.
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