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The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Norman Tokar

Writers:

Kyle Crichton (play), Cordelia Drexel Biddle (book) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred MacMurray ... Father
Greer Garson ... Mother
Gladys Cooper ... Aunt Mary
Geraldine Page ... Mrs. Duke
Tommy Steele ... John Lawless
Hermione Baddeley ... Mrs. Worth
John Davidson ... Angie
Lesley Ann Warren ... Cordy
Paul Petersen ... Tony
Eddie Hodges ... Livingston
Joyce Bulifant ... Rosemary
Sean McClory ... Police Sgt.
Jim McMullan ... Lt. Powell
William Wellman Jr. ... Lt. Grayson
Aron Kincaid ... Walter Blakely
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So BIG...So LIVELY...ONE-in-a-million! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1967 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A legboldogabb milliomos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill Anderson and E. Cardon Walker, who became COO of Walt Disney Productions when Disney died, fought bitterly over the extent of the cuts and almost stopped talking because of it. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the camera appears to look East on Walnut Street, past Rittenhouse Square, with the tower of Philadelphia City Hall in the distance. Cars are shown on a drive in the square. No such drive ever existed. City Hall is on Market Street and the tower would have been outside the frame of this shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Lawless: [singing] 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!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original uncut roadshow version was actually trade-screened at 164 minutes. This version has been shown on the Disney Channel, and has only now been released to video and to DVD. This version, five minutes longer than the 1967 premiere version, adds a scene with Mr. and Mrs. Biddle after the children have left, and the song "It Won't Be Long Till Christmas." See more »

Connections

Featured in The Walt Disney Comedy and Magic Revue (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Detroit
(uncredited)
Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by John Davidson and Lesley Ann Warren
See more »

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User Reviews

Too bad Uncle Walt couldn't have gone out with a real bang...
7 May 2000 | by Tommy-92See all my reviews

A combination of desires- to top "Mary Poppins" and to capitilize on the then-current trend of big-budget, three-hour musical films playing to roadshow audiences- caused Walt Disney to make this film, the last he personally oversaw. He hired several of the same people to work on it that had worked on "Poppins", including the songwriting team of the Sherman brothers, the chereography team of Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, and supporting cast member Hermoine Baddely in much the same role of the acerbic maid. In addition, he spent freely on costumes and production and hired an impressive cast, including Fred Macmurry, Greer Garson, Tommy Steele, Gladys Cooper, Geraldine Page, and in their film debuts, Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson.

The result was a pleasent, somewhat entertaining but all-around silly and, for the most part, instantly forgettable confection. Yes, it's fine for the whole family, but it will be hard for the kiddies (and even the adults) to stay awake as the rather simple story is stretched to nearly three hours, with a series of plotlines connected by merely a shimmer all going on at once. Macmurry is at his least inspired, making the title character into a bumbling, blustering idiot; it's pretty hard not to cheer whenever someone shows him up, verbally or physically. The songs are nice enough, but only one or two really stick in the memory, and half of them are totally irrelevant. (I saw the restored roadshow edition; there are a variety of other editions that cut out several of the songs) Still, Tommy Steele is likable as the forever perky Irish butler (He gets a very hummable song to sing called "Fortuosity") and the chereography certainly is lively. The songs, for all the irrelevance of many of them, really move the picture along, as it slows down considerably whenever the screenplay takes over.

It's too bad Disney's last film couldn't have been better, but oh, well. That's life.


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