Brewster's Millions (1935 film)

Last updated

Brewster's Millions
"Brewster's Millions" (1935).jpg
Swedish poster
Directed by Thornton Freeland
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Arthur Wimperis
Donovan Pedelty (scenario)
Clifford Grey
Wolfgang Wilhelm
Douglas Furber
Based onnovel by George Barr McCutcheon
play by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley
Starring Jack Buchanan
Lili Damita
Music by Ray Noble
Douglas Furber (lyrics)
Geraldo
Harry Perritt
Marr Mackie (uncredited)
Cinematography Barney McGill
Henry Harris (uncredited)
Edited by David Lean (uncredited)
Merrill G. White (uncredited)
Production
company
Herbert Wilcox Productions (for) British & Dominions Film Corporation
Distributed by United Artists (UK)
Release date
January 1935 (UK)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Brewster's Millions is a 1935 British musical comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jack Buchanan, Lili Damita and Nancy O'Neil. [1] It is based on the 1902 novel and subsequent 1906 play, with the action relocated from the United States to Britain.

Contents

Plot

Jack Brewster, a pauper living in London and the heir to a fortune from his wealthy father, falls in love with Cynthia, a boarder in his boarding house "home." When Jack inherits his fortune, which includes £500,000 and the house, he falls prey to chorus girl Rosalie. His uncle then dies, leaving Jack six million pounds, on the condition that he become penniless in the next six months. At his house warming for his first inheritance, Jack learns of the second bequest, which require him not only to lose all his money, but to have no female entanglements and tell no one of its conditions. Jack goes on a wild spending spree, which includes producing a musical stage show starring Rosalie. He then takes the entire cast of the show on a yacht to Monte Carlo, in the hope of losing his money through gambling. Jack has nothing but good luck, however, as the show is a hit and he even wins at the gambling tables. Jack goes so far as to buy some seemingly worthless stock, which only turns out to be worth another fortune. Jack undergoes various indignities, such as being chased by kidnappers through a fiesta, which ends with him winding up as the rear end of a paper mache dragon. Throughout his spending spree, Cynthia becomes more detached and Rosalie more attached. As his "zero hour" approaches, Jack trades away his entire fortune, leaving him with nothing more than the suit he wears, despite the well-meaning attempts of friends to give him money. Finally meeting all the conditions of his uncle's will, Jack attains the £6,000,000, as well as the love of Cynthia.

Cast

Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "take an inventive young man who is required to spend a quarter of a million dollars in six months, and you possess the germ of a successful farce. If this sounds a trifle uncertain, it is because the new British screen edition of "Brewster's Millions" leaves you with just that rueful impression. Instead of telling the story in the swift and eventful terms of screen comedy, the present gentlemen have used it simply as the libretto for a big, eye-filling musical photoplay in the combustible Hollywood style. There are songs, dances, girls and more girls, and a great fiesta scene featuring a mass dance called la caranga, which seems to be a compound of all the recent variations on the rumba. Although the English ladies of the ensemble are lovely, the tunes quite acceptable and Mr. Jack Buchanan an able and versatile performer, the film never comes off as musical comedy. Those song-and-dance interludes during which Mr. Buchanan abandons his money-spending campaign are useful chiefly to remind the audience that "Brewster's Millions" is still a sufficiently sturdy comedy to stand on its own feet. When the piece is being played straight, it is always bright and amusing in a slightly desperate British style...Mr. Buchanan is an engagingly frantic Brewster and he is assisted pleasantly enough by Lili Damita as the malicious chorus girl who wants to snare him and by Nancy O'Neil as his conservative sweetheart. But "Brewster's Millions" is more hilarious in theory than in practice in this British rendition"; [2] while TV Guide noted, "the witty, energetic Buchanan has a field day with this craftily scripted comedy. The over-produced musical numbers and the elaborate Italian fiesta scenes are delights, as is every scene of this classic example of British wit." [3]

Related Research Articles

<i>Lili</i>

Lili is a 1953 American film released by MGM. It stars Leslie Caron as a touchingly naïve French girl whose emotional relationship with a carnival puppeteer is conducted through the medium of four puppets. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, and was also entered in the 1953 Cannes Film Festival. It was later adapted for the stage under the title Carnival! (1961).

<i>School of Rock</i> 2003 film directed by Richard Linklater

School of Rock is a 2003 musical comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, produced by Scott Rudin, and written by Mike White. The film stars Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, Sarah Silverman, and Miranda Cosgrove. Black plays struggling rock guitarist Dewey Finn, who is kicked out of his band and subsequently disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After witnessing the musical talent of his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent.

Jack Buchanan Scottish actor, singer, director and producer

Walter John "Jack" Buchanan was a tall (1.88m) Scottish theatre and film actor, singer, dancer, producer and director. He was known for three decades as the embodiment of the debonair man-about-town in the tradition of George Grossmith Jr., and was described by The Times as "the last of the knuts." He is best known in America for his role in the classic Hollywood musical The Band Wagon in 1953.

<i>Brewsters Millions</i> 1902 book

Brewster's Millions is a comedic novel written by George Barr McCutcheon in 1902, originally under the pseudonym of Richard Greaves. It was adapted into a play in 1906, which opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway, and the novel or play has been adapted into films thirteen times, four of which were produced in India. The plot concerns a young man whose eccentric grandfather leaves him a fortune in a will, with the qualification that he must spend $1 million in the first year or lose the remainder of his inheritance.

Allan Aynesworth

Edward Henry Abbot-Anderson, known professionally as Allan Aynesworth, was an English actor and producer. His career spanned more than six decades, from 1887 to 1949, and included the role of Algernon Moncrieff in the 1895 premiere of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

<i>Carnival!</i>

Carnival! is a musical, originally produced by David Merrick on Broadway in 1961, with the book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The musical is based on the 1953 film Lili, which again was based on the short story and treatment titled "The Seven Souls of Clement O'Reilly" by Paul Gallico. The show's title originally used an exclamation point; it was eventually dropped during the show's run, as director Gower Champion felt it gave the wrong impression, saying, "It's not a blockbuster. It's a gentle show."

<i>Oliver!</i> (film) 1968 film by Carol Reed

Oliver! is a 1968 British musical drama film directed by Carol Reed, written by Vernon Harris, and based on the 1960 stage musical of the same name. Both the film and play are based on Charles Dickens's 1838 novel Oliver Twist. The film includes such musical numbers as "Food, Glorious Food", "Consider Yourself", "As Long as He Needs Me", "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two", and "Where Is Love?". Filmed at Shepperton Film Studio in Surrey, it was a Romulus Films production and was distributed internationally by Columbia Pictures.

<i>Brewsters Millions</i> (1985 film) 1985 film

Brewster's Millions is a 1985 American comedy film directed by Walter Hill. The film stars Richard Pryor and John Candy. The screenplay by Herschel Weingrod and Timothy Harris was based on the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon. It is the seventh film based on the story.

Nancy ONeil

Nancy O'Neil was an Australian-born British actress.

<i>Rosalie Goes Shopping</i>

Rosalie Goes Shopping is a 1989 English-language German film directed by Percy Adlon and starring Marianne Sägebrecht, Brad Davis, and Judge Reinhold.

<i>Something Always Happens</i>

Something Always Happens is a 1934 British romantic comedy film directed by Michael Powell and starring Ian Hunter and Nancy O'Neil. It was made as a Quota quickie.

<i>Brewsters Millions</i> (1921 film) 1921 film

Brewster's Millions is a lost 1921 American comedy film starring Fatty Arbuckle. It is an adaptation of the 1902 novel written by George Barr McCutcheon as well as the 1906 Broadway smash hit play of the same name starring Edward Abeles.

<i>Id Rather Be Rich</i>

I'd Rather Be Rich is a 1964 romantic comedy film with musical aspects directed by Jack Smight, produced by Ross Hunter and starring Sandra Dee. The film focuses on a dying man who wishes to meet his granddaughter's fiancé, but he is unavailable, so the woman persuades another man to substitute for him. Then the grandfather recovers.

<i>Brewsters Millions</i> (1945 film)

Brewster's Millions is a 1945 American comedy film, one of a number of film adaptations of the 1902 novel of the same name by George Barr McCutcheon and the subsequent smash-hit play adaptation by Byron Ongley and Winchell Smith. In the novel, Brewster is a stockbroker; in this version, he is portrayed as a returning soldier.

Thornton Freeland was an American film director who directed 26 British and American films in a career that lasted from 1924 to 1949.

<i>Three on a Spree</i>

Three on a Spree is a 1961 British comedy film directed by Sidney J. Furie and starring Jack Watling, Carole Lesley and John Slater. It is based on the 1902 novel Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon, which became the hit 1906 play written by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley, which had been previously filmed by Edward Small in 1945.

<i>The Dancing Mistress</i> musical

The Dancing Mistress is a musical comedy with music by Lionel Monckton, book by James T. Tanner and lyrics by Adrian Ross and Percy Greenbank. It depicts the fortunes of a school dancing mistress who is dismissed and finds fortune and happiness in Switzerland. The piece ran in the West End of London in 1912 and 1913, and toured the British provinces in 1914.

<i>Give Me a Sailor</i> 1938 film by Elliott Nugent

Give Me a Sailor is a 1938 comedy film directed by Elliott Nugent. It stars Martha Raye and Bob Hope.

<i>Miss Brewsters Millions</i> 1926 film by Clarence G. Badger

Miss Brewster's Millions is a 1926 American silent comedy film produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Clarence G. Badger directed and the ever-popular Bebe Daniels starred. It was based on the 1902 novel by George Barr McCutcheon and a 1906 play adaptation of the same name by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley, which had been filmed before in 1921 with Roscoe Arbuckle.

This is a summary of 1935 in music in the United Kingdom.

References

  1. Brewster's Millions at the British Film Institute 's Film and TV Database
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=990DE1DB1F3CE23ABC4053DFB266838E629EDE
  3. "Brewster's Millions". TVGuide.com.