Kid Millions

Kid Millions

Director: Willy Pogany, Roy Del Ruth

Cast: Eddie Cantor, Stanley Fields

     
 
Brooklyn tugboat worker Eddie (Eddie Cantor), bullied and cowed by his tough-guy stepfather and stepbrothers (a la Harold Lloyd's The Kid Brother), inherits $77 million from his uncle, an Egyptologist. Con artist Dot (Ethel Merman) wants to get her lunchhooks on the money, and to this end offers herself as Eddie's adopted mother (never mind that she's nearly 20

Overview

Brooklyn tugboat worker Eddie (Eddie Cantor), bullied and cowed by his tough-guy stepfather and stepbrothers (a la Harold Lloyd's The Kid Brother), inherits $77 million from his uncle, an Egyptologist. Con artist Dot (Ethel Merman) wants to get her lunchhooks on the money, and to this end offers herself as Eddie's adopted mother (never mind that she's nearly 20 years younger), intending to have her thuggish brother Louie (Warren Hymer) bump off our hero at the first opportunity. The nonsensical plotline ends up with Eddie, Dot, Louie, pompous Southern colonel Larrabee (Berton Churchill), and nominal romantic leads Jerry (George Murphy in his film debut) and Jane (Ann Sothern) trapped in the palace of Arab potentate Mulhulla (Paul Harvey). The better-than-average comic banter includes some funny bits between Cantor and Eve Sully, of the comedy team of "Block and Sully" (her husband-partner Jesse Block is also in the picture, but just barely). Spotted among the featured players in Kid Millions are such "Our Gang" members as Stymie Beard, Scotty Beckett and Tommy Bond, and there's a specialty by the Nicholas Brothers during Cantor's obligatory "blackface" number; and yes, that's Lucille Ball as a blonde Goldwyn Girl in the harem sequence. PS: According to Ethel Merman, the film's elaborate Technicolor ice-cream factory finale, in which Eddie allows dozens of tenement kids to gorge themselves on his tasty confections, posed censorship problems: while producer Sam Goldwyn was allowed to show the little boys with comically extended stomachs, he was not permitted to do so with the little girls, for fear that the audience might think the female moppets were pregnant!

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Stage and radio comic Eddie Cantor found a welcome home on the silver screen in the 1930s, but his films haven't proven as timeless as the best of other comic talents like the Marx Brothers or W.C. Fields. Still, his films tend to offer more than a fair share of delights and Kid Millions is a lot of fun, even if it's dated and titanically inconsequential. The script is sheer folderol, a coat rack on which to hang a number of jokes (some unbearably corny), vaudeville routines, physical schticks, and musical numbers. The script is so unimportant that the conflict involving juvenile George Murphy and ingénue (!) Ann Sothern is simply dropped without resolution and a minstrel show and the yummy Technicolor ending are shoehorned in with neither rhyme nor reason. Fortunately, Cantor and company provide enough entertainment to make up for the inferior material. Cantor is not to everyone's taste, especially when he dons blackface (as he habitually does), but his spirited milquetoast persona served him well and he has an undeniably engaging presence and an unerring delivery. He's joined by a cast that's almost all aces: In addition to Sothern and Murphy, Ethel Merman is on hand to sock across some songs, Eve Sully to knock off some jokes, and some very young Nicholas Brothers to provide fancy footwork. Seymour Felix's choreography tries very hard to emulate Busby Berkeley; it doesn't come close, but it's more than adequate and the bizarre finale is definitely a treat. Put together with spit and glue, Kid Millions is not great filmmaking, but -- blackface aside -- it's quite entertaining.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/09/2013
UPC:
0883316737132
Original Release:
1934
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
33,511

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eddie Cantor Eddie Wilson, Jr.
Stanley Fields Oscar
Ann Sothern Joan Larrabee
Ethel Merman Dot Clark
Otto Hoffman Khoot
Paul Harvey Sheik Mulhulla
George Murphy Jerry Lane
Eve Sully Fanya
Doris Davenport Toots
Warren Hymer Louie the Lug
Jesse Block Ben Ali
Berton Churchill Col. Larrabee
Art Mix Actor
Ed Mortimer Ship's Officer
Clarence Muse Col. Witherspoon
Leonard Kibrick Leonard
Henry Kolker Attorney
Jack Kennedy Pop
Theodore Lorch Native Fakir
Ivan Linow Actor
Bob Kortman Actor
Caryl Lincoln Actor
Mary Lange Actor
Edgar Kennedy Herman
Jacqueline Taylor Actor
Guy Usher William Slade
Billy Seay Actor
Gwen Seager Actor
Leo Willis Actor
Malcolm Waite Actor
Zack Williams Actor
Fred Warren Actor
Nicholas Brothers Specialty Number
Barbara Pepper Actor
Wanda Perry Actor
Edward Peil Assistant Bartender
Constantine Romanoff Actor
Mickey Rentschler Actor
Lon Poff Recorder
George Regas Actor
Bob Reeves Trumpeteer
Helen Wood 1934 Goldwyn Girl
Mary Jane Carey Actor
Louise Carver Native Woman
Everett Brown Slave
Harry C. Bradley Bartender
Steve Clemente Actor
John Collum Actor
Lynne Carver Actor
Mary Lou Dix Actor
Eddie Arden Busboy
William Arnold Steward
Wally Albright Children on Tug
Tommy Bond Tommy
Irene Bentley Actor
Lucille Ball A 1934 Goidwyn Girl
Matthew "Stymie" Beard Stymie
Bonnie Bannon Actor
John Kelly Adolph
Sam Hayes Eddie's Announcer
Carmencita Johnson Actor
Silver Harr Actor
Jane Hamilton Actor
Bobby Jordan Tourist
Noble Johnson Attendant
Tor Johnson Torturer
Robert Ellis Desert Rider
Harry Ernest Page Boy
Helen Ferguson Actor
Lalo Encinas Actor
Charlie Hall Native
Harrison Greene Spielers
Budd Fine Actor
Gail Goodson Actor
Larry Fisher Warrior

Technical Credits
Willy Pogany Director
Roy Del Ruth Director
Richard Day Art Director
Seymour Felix Choreography
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
Stuart Heisler Editor
Nunnally Johnson Screenwriter
Ray June Cinematographer
Omar Kiam Costumes/Costume Designer
Alfred Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Nat Perrin Screenwriter
Ray Rennahan Cinematographer
Arthur Sheekman Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Kid Millions
1. Chapter 1 [1:08]
2. Chapter 2 [4:27]
3. Chapter 3 [2:52]
4. Chapter 4 [11:14]
5. Chapter 5 [6:09]
6. Chapter 6 [5:11]
7. Chapter 7 [7:04]
8. Chapter 8 [11:08]
9. Chapter 9 [13:50]
10. Chapter 10 [3:09]
11. Chapter 11 [3:53]
12. Chapter 12 [10:36]
13. Chapter 13 [2:17]
14. Chapter 14 [6:58]

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