If I Had a Million (1932)

88 or 95 mins | Comedy-drama | November 1932

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HISTORY

Early scripts in the Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library provided the above writing credits, however, not all writers were credited with stories. Whitney Bolton's story for the "Grandma" episode was originally called "Jenifer Walker." According to an Oct 1932 script, Cary Grant was originally cast as "O'Brien" in "The Three Marines" episode. A news item in FD noted that Norman McLeod was slated to direct Roland Young and Alison Skipworth in a sequence called "Good Company," an "original story which Nina Wilcox Putnam [was] writing especially for the Paramount character actress." It has not been determined if "Good Company" is the original title for the "Road Hogs" sequence, which featured Skipworth and W. C. Fields in the released film, or if the Putnam story was used for another sequence.
       Three sequences originally intended for the film never made it to the final print. "The Pheeneys" was to star Cary Grant and Miriam Hopkins, and "The Man Who Drops Dead," by Oliver H. P. Garrett, was to be directed by Thornton Freeland and star Clive Brook. Available contemporary information does not reveal if these sequences were filmed or dropped during the pre-production phase of the project. An additional sequence, "The Randall Marshalls" was also abandoned, probably after filming commenced. However, contemporary sources and Paramount scripts for that episode provide the following credits: Tiffany Thayer and Walter DeLeon, adpt ; Louis D. Lighton, assoc prod ; Lothar Mendes, dir ; William Scully, asst dir ; Harry Schwartz, unit mgr ; David Abel, photog ; and Sylvia Sidney ( Mrs. Marshall ) and Fredric March ( Mr. Marshall ... More Less

Early scripts in the Paramount script files at the AMPAS Library provided the above writing credits, however, not all writers were credited with stories. Whitney Bolton's story for the "Grandma" episode was originally called "Jenifer Walker." According to an Oct 1932 script, Cary Grant was originally cast as "O'Brien" in "The Three Marines" episode. A news item in FD noted that Norman McLeod was slated to direct Roland Young and Alison Skipworth in a sequence called "Good Company," an "original story which Nina Wilcox Putnam [was] writing especially for the Paramount character actress." It has not been determined if "Good Company" is the original title for the "Road Hogs" sequence, which featured Skipworth and W. C. Fields in the released film, or if the Putnam story was used for another sequence.
       Three sequences originally intended for the film never made it to the final print. "The Pheeneys" was to star Cary Grant and Miriam Hopkins, and "The Man Who Drops Dead," by Oliver H. P. Garrett, was to be directed by Thornton Freeland and star Clive Brook. Available contemporary information does not reveal if these sequences were filmed or dropped during the pre-production phase of the project. An additional sequence, "The Randall Marshalls" was also abandoned, probably after filming commenced. However, contemporary sources and Paramount scripts for that episode provide the following credits: Tiffany Thayer and Walter DeLeon, adpt ; Louis D. Lighton, assoc prod ; Lothar Mendes, dir ; William Scully, asst dir ; Harry Schwartz, unit mgr ; David Abel, photog ; and Sylvia Sidney ( Mrs. Marshall ) and Fredric March ( Mr. Marshall ). A news item in HR reported that the sequence was dropped due to March's reluctance to film retakes without salary. The same news item reported that March's co-star in the episode was Carole Lombard.
       According to correspondence in the MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS library, scripts for each sequence were sent to the AMPP for approval and only minor changes were suggested; however, on 4 Nov 1932 after the final print was previewed by the AMPP, director Colonel Jason S. Joy wrote to Paramount producer Harold Hurley and registered New York censor Dr. James Wingate's disapproval of the prostitute sequence, known as "Violet," and noted that Wingate felt that the sequence should never have been shot as they had originally suggested. By 14 Nov 1932, as noted in a letter from Hurley to Joy, Paramount had made further eliminations in that scene and deleted "the first shot where Bennett runs into the girl soliciting on the street, the couple coming down the stairs where the man in pantomime tips his hat to the dame, the line 'The stairs are killing me,' and a few other bits of action." A scene commonly deleted by local censor boards was the one in which "Violet" gets into bed in the hotel room, then throws back the covers, removes her stockings and pulls the covers back over herself. Another scene deleted by many local censors was the execution of "John Wallace," especially the shots of the guards preparing him for execution and opening the door of the execution chamber. Sounds of sobs and screams were also eliminated. In England, the "razzberry" sound made by "Phineas V. Lambert" was changed to a "whistle."
       Pre-release news items in FD indicate that Richard Arlen, Tempe Piggott and Margaret Fealy were cast in the film. Contemporary sources indicate that the "Three Marines" sequence was filmed in Ocean Park, CA, and the "Road Hogs" sequence was filmed on location in Hollywood, on North Bronson Avenue, Franklin Avenue, Hillhurst Avenue, Vine Street and La Brea Avenue. Although modern sources credit Edward Sutherland with direction of the "Grandma" episode, Stephen Roberts is credited with its direction in contemporary sources, and no contemporary information corroborates Sutherland's participation in this episode or in any other in the film. Modern sources further credit Norman McLeod with direction of the "Road Hogs" sequence and H. Bruce Humberstone with direction of "The Forger" episode, however, contemporary information, as reflected above, conflicts with these credits. Modern sources include the following additional cast members: Edwin Stanley ( Mr. Galloway ); James Burtis ( Jailer ); Frank Hagney ( Mike ); Charles McMurphy ( Mike ); Russ Powell ( Bartender ); Morgan Wallace ( Mike ); Eddie Baker ( Desk clerk ); Larry Steers, Herbert Moulton ( Glidden's associates ); Marc Lawrence ( Hood ); James Bush ( Teller ); Fred Holmes ( China store clerk ); Syd Saylor ( Driver ); Lester Dorr ( Pedestrian ); Clair Bracy and Vangie Beilby ( Idylwood residents ). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Sep 32
p. 2.
Film Daily
3 Oct 32
p. 6.
Film Daily
4 Oct 32
p. 7.
Film Daily
5 Oct 32
p. 12.
Film Daily
12 Oct 32
p. 15.
Film Daily
18 Oct 32
p. 6.
Film Daily
20 Oct 32
p. 8.
Film Daily
3 Dec 32
p. 4.
HF
21 Jan 33
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 32
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Nov 32
p. 35.
New York Times
3 Dec 32
p. 21.
Photoplay
1 Jan 33
p. 122.
Variety
6 Dec 32
p. 14.
Variety
18 Dec 35
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
The Directors: ["The Clerk"]
[Prologue and Epilogue]
["Violet" and "Grandma"]
["China Shop" and "Road Hogs"]
["Death Cell"]
["The Three Marines"]
["The Forger"]
Asst dir "Violet," "Grandma" and "The Three Marine
Asst dir "Death Cell"
Asst dir "China Shop"
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
The Writers: [Adpt "The Three Marines"]
[Adpt "The Three Marines"]
[Story "The Forger"]
[Adpt "Prologue" and "Grandma"]
[Adpt "Prologue" and "Grandma"]
[Story "Grandma"]
[Story "The Three Marines"]
[Adpt "The Three Marines" and "China Shop"; Story
[Story "China Shop"]
[Story "China Shop" and "Prologue"]
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog "China Shop"
Photog "Road Hogs"
2nd cam "Road Hogs"
Photog "Death Cell" and "The Three Marines"
2nd cam "Death Cell"
Photog "The Clerk"
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Props
Casting dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Windfall by Robert D. Andrews (New York, 1931).
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1932
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 16 November 1932
Production Date:
9 September--12 September 1932 {q}Road Hogs{q}
14 September--15 September 1932 {q}Violet{q}
mid September 1932 {q}Death Cell{q}
late-September 1932 {q}The Forger{q}
{q}30 September--5 October 1932 {q}Grandma{q}
4 October--10 October 1932 {q}China Shop{q}
14 October--17 October 1932 {q}The Three Marchines{q}
14
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount- Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 November 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3423
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
88 or 95
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Prologue : Cantankerous tycoon John Glidden, whose relatives and employees expect him to die shortly, stubbornly refuses to give his fortune to the squabbling, greedy bunch, and determines to give it instead to people who might appreciate it. He then decides to give a million dollars a piece to various people chosen at random from the phone book.
       China Shop : The first recipient of Glidden's money is henpecked Henry Peabody, who has spent years handing over his wages to his nagging wife. Because his salary has consistently been docked for breaking china, Henry gleefully takes the opportunity to smash the entire inventory of the shop.
       Violet : Prostitute Violet Smith receives her money in a bar, then rents an expensive hotel room and enjoys the luxury of sleeping in a luxurious bed--without having to keep her stockings on.
       The Forger : Forger Edward Jackson, frantically fleeing the police, finds that he cannot cash his check. He tries every means possible to borrow on the check or sell it for smaller and smaller amounts of money. Finally, starved and exhausted, he gives it away in exchange for a ten-cent bed.
       Road Hogs : Emily La Rue and her companion Rollo, ex-vaudevillians, are over-joyed at their newly acquired fortune. When they purchase a car, however, it is almost immediately forced off the road by a "road hog." Their money enables them to take their revenge on the road hogs of the world by buying a fleet of cars and joyfully running ill-mannered drivers off the road.
       Death Cell : Death-row prisoner John Wallace ... +


Prologue : Cantankerous tycoon John Glidden, whose relatives and employees expect him to die shortly, stubbornly refuses to give his fortune to the squabbling, greedy bunch, and determines to give it instead to people who might appreciate it. He then decides to give a million dollars a piece to various people chosen at random from the phone book.
       China Shop : The first recipient of Glidden's money is henpecked Henry Peabody, who has spent years handing over his wages to his nagging wife. Because his salary has consistently been docked for breaking china, Henry gleefully takes the opportunity to smash the entire inventory of the shop.
       Violet : Prostitute Violet Smith receives her money in a bar, then rents an expensive hotel room and enjoys the luxury of sleeping in a luxurious bed--without having to keep her stockings on.
       The Forger : Forger Edward Jackson, frantically fleeing the police, finds that he cannot cash his check. He tries every means possible to borrow on the check or sell it for smaller and smaller amounts of money. Finally, starved and exhausted, he gives it away in exchange for a ten-cent bed.
       Road Hogs : Emily La Rue and her companion Rollo, ex-vaudevillians, are over-joyed at their newly acquired fortune. When they purchase a car, however, it is almost immediately forced off the road by a "road hog." Their money enables them to take their revenge on the road hogs of the world by buying a fleet of cars and joyfully running ill-mannered drivers off the road.
       Death Cell : Death-row prisoner John Wallace is distressed to find that his new money will not save him, but he is comforted to know that his wife Mary will be financially secure after his death.
       The Clerk : Office employee Phineas V. Lambert receives his money and calmly leaves his desk, walks to the office of the company president, and unceremoniously gives him "the razzberries."
       The Three Marines : Marine Corps private Steven Gallagher and his friends Mulligan and O'Brien believe that his check is an April Fool's Day hoax. Because they want to take waitress Marie to a carnival and have no money to finance the date, they sign the check over for ten dollars cash to Marie's boss, the owner of the local lunch wagon.
       Grandma : The last recipient, feisty Mary Walker, is one of the many unhappy old women who live at a rest home run by a heartless matron. The women are not only lonely, but feel useless because they are prohibited from doing anything other than sitting idly in their rocking chairs, talking and knitting. With the money, Mrs. Walker buys the home and gratifies the wishes of its inhabitants by letting them do all of the chores and making the matron and her employees simply sit and rock. Impressed with Mary's spunk, Glidden is apparently cured of his terminal illness and decides to spend his time at the home with Mrs. Walker, and happily plans for a romantic hayride with her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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