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The Millionaire (1931)

Passed | | Drama, Comedy | 1 May 1931 (USA)
A millionaire automaker retires upon the advice of his doctor, but becomes so bored he buys half interest in a gas station and works it on the sly.

Director:

John G. Adolfi

Writers:

Earl Derr Biggers (based on "Idle Hands"), Booth Tarkington (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Arliss ... James Alden
Florence Arliss ... Mrs. Laura Alden
David Manners ... Bill Merrick
Evalyn Knapp ... Barbara Alden
James Cagney ... Schofield
Bramwell Fletcher ... Carter Andrews
Noah Beery ... Peterson
Ivan F. Simpson ... Davis (as Ivan Simpson)
J.C. Nugent J.C. Nugent ... Dr. Harvey
Sam Hardy ... McCoy
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Dan Lewis
Charley Grapewin ... Ed Powers (as Charles Grapewin)
Charles E. Evans Charles E. Evans ... The Gardener
Tully Marshall ... Briggs
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Storyline

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 <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A new Arliss...playing a comedy drama so human, so true to life, you feel you know the man..which is why Mr. Arliss is America's First Actor (Print Ad- Elmira Star-Gazette, ((Elmira, NY)) 8 May 1931)

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fars millioner See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Brunswick Radios Used Exclusively)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Filmed in the last half of 1930, released in the first half of 1931. See more »

Connections

Version of The Ruling Passion (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Scottish traditional Music
Played in background when Alden retires
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. George Arliss Will Personally Check The Air In Your Tires
5 February 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

Health problems force an elderly auto tycoon into retirement. Refusing to stay idle, he buys half ownership into a service station & gleefully begins to work there, incognito. The old man is now able to help his young partner in matters of business & romance. But what will happen if he's discovered to be, in reality, THE MILLIONAIRE?

George Arliss was a wonderful actor, now sadly neglected. The merest glance, the smallest movement of his hands, the raised eyebrow or vocal inflection, these all spoke volumes. Here, he has a fine outlet for his artistry. The film moves right along, without any dull moments, fueled by the fun of watching Arliss act.

He is given good support by David Manners (a fine leading man of the 1930's) as his partner; Noah Beery as a beefy business rival; and real-life wife Florence Arliss. James Cagney, not quite yet a star, breezes in for a few moments as an insurance agent who gives Arliss some good advice. Effortlessly, he steals the scene from Arliss (the old man seems amused), a very rare event, indeed.


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