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16 user 7 critic

One in a Million (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Music, Romance | 1 January 1937 (USA)
American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.

Director:

Sidney Lanfield

Writers:

Leonard Praskins (story), Mark Kelly (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sonja Henie ... Greta Muller
Adolphe Menjou ... Tad Spencer
Don Ameche ... Bob Harris
Ned Sparks ... Danny Simpson
Jean Hersholt ... Heinrich Muller
The Ritz Brothers ... The Ritz Brothers
Arline Judge ... Billie Spencer
Borrah Minevitch Borrah Minevitch ... Adolphe
Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals ... Harmonica Ensemble (as Borrah Minevitch and His Rascals)
Dixie Dunbar ... Goldie
Leah Ray ... Girl in Band
Shirley Deane ... Girl in Band
Albert Conti ... Hotel Manager
Julius Tannen ... Chapelle
June Gale ... Girl in Band
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Storyline

American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tourbillon blanc See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amerian film debut of Sonja Henie. See more »


Soundtracks

Chloe
(1927)
Music by Neil Moret
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung in part by The Ritz Brothers during their first comedy routine
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting as Henie's debut, nothing else
13 January 2006 | by vandino1See all my reviews

This first Sonja Henie film was a surprise hit in 1936 and launched her onto a successful film career. Not bad considering how rare it was for those coming from successful sports careers to sustain such a thing (Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe possibly the only others---Esther Williams' sports background was negligible). This film's release coincided with her third straight gold medal performance at the Winter Olympics (she was champ in 1928 and 1932). (As a side note, it should be remembered that not only were the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Nazi Germany, so were that year's Winter Olympics. Granted this has nothing to do with Ms. Henie, but reviewers are bringing up the subject, so this note may quell any potential confusion over the Olympics issue.) As for "One in a Million" it is a light concoction that features Don Ameche in only his third film role and the Ritz Brothers in only their second feature film. So, lots of early work here. The results: miserable to okay. Ameche already shows his easy charm, here playing a reporter tracking an anarchist bomber story to Switzerland where he meets up with hotel proprietor Hersholt and his "gifted amateur" ice skating daughter Henie. The anarchist story fizzles but Ameche moves on to romance with Henie and her shot at the Olympics. Menjou is the brassy (maybe too much so) wheeler-dealer showman who gets Henie to perform in his show and nearly costs her the amateur standing that she needs in order to qualify for the Olympics. Along for the knockabout ride is the inimitable Ned Sparks, as Ameche's photographer partner, doing what he does best: providing that Buster Keaton-lookalike face and steely foghorn monotone delivery. Also, as part of Menjou's show, we get the Ritz Brothers who provide some strenuously awful comedy (Harry Ritz mugging so ferociously he looks as if he's herniating himself). Henie acquits herself adequately. Strangely enough, she was Norway's golden girl athlete, yet the film makes her Swiss for no apparent reason. Couldn't she be a Norwegian hotel proprietor's daughter? The other interesting aspect is her skating. We see the Olympic caliber work of a 1930's era skater, which is far simpler and less dazzling than what we've grown accustom to. Her "show-stopping" number at the end would be a warm-up for today's super-skaters. So, as a time capsule involving Henie this film is worth watching, but otherwise it's mostly light-headed knockabout nonsense not worth your time.


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