Brewster's Millions (1945)

78-79 mins | Comedy | 7 April 1945

Full page view
HISTORY

Grant Whytock's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant to producer and supervising film editor." The picture includes a brief animated sequence. According to HR news items, radio star Garry Moore was to make his screen debut in this picture, and Jimmy Durante, who appeared with Moore on his radio show, was to play a role as well. Moore was replaced by Mischa Auer in early Sep 1944. HR news items list Sherry Hall as a cast member, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. In Apr 1945, MPH reported that the Memphis Board of Motion Picture Censors, headed by Lloyd T. Binford, had banned showings of the film on grounds that it was "inimical to the public welfare" because the servant character played by African-American actor Eddie "Rochester" Anderson had "too familiar a way about him." The Board complained that the picture presented "too much social equality and racial mixture" for Southern audiences, and expressed fear that the film would "encourage" racial problems. Lou Forbes received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) category.
       George Barr McCutcheon's novel and Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley's play have been the source for four other films, all titled Brewster's Millions . In 1914, Jesse L. Lasky released the first silent version, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar C. Apfel, and starring Winifred Kingston and Edward Abeles (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.0477). A 1921 Paramount version was directed by Joseph Henabery and starred Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Betty Ross Clark (see ... More Less

Grant Whytock's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant to producer and supervising film editor." The picture includes a brief animated sequence. According to HR news items, radio star Garry Moore was to make his screen debut in this picture, and Jimmy Durante, who appeared with Moore on his radio show, was to play a role as well. Moore was replaced by Mischa Auer in early Sep 1944. HR news items list Sherry Hall as a cast member, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. In Apr 1945, MPH reported that the Memphis Board of Motion Picture Censors, headed by Lloyd T. Binford, had banned showings of the film on grounds that it was "inimical to the public welfare" because the servant character played by African-American actor Eddie "Rochester" Anderson had "too familiar a way about him." The Board complained that the picture presented "too much social equality and racial mixture" for Southern audiences, and expressed fear that the film would "encourage" racial problems. Lou Forbes received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) category.
       George Barr McCutcheon's novel and Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley's play have been the source for four other films, all titled Brewster's Millions . In 1914, Jesse L. Lasky released the first silent version, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar C. Apfel, and starring Winifred Kingston and Edward Abeles (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.0477). A 1921 Paramount version was directed by Joseph Henabery and starred Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Betty Ross Clark (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.0592). A British version, starring Jack Buchanan and Lili Damita, directed by Thornton Freeland, was released by United Artists in 1935 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.5294). In 1985, Walter Hill directed Richard Pryor and John Candy in Universal's version of the story. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Mar 1945.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Mar 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 44
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Mar 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 45
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Apr 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Oct 44
p. 2142.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Mar 45
p. 2361.
New York Times
27 Apr 45
p. 23.
Variety
14 Mar 45
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Asst to prod
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Transparency projection shots
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon (New York, 1902) and the play of the same name by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley (New York, 31 Dec 1906).
SONGS
"We're in the Money," words and music by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 April 1945
Production Date:
7 August--mid September 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Edward Small Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 April 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13220
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78-79
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10416
SYNOPSIS

Soon after his discharge from the Army, New Yorker Montague "Monty" L. Brewster learns that his long-forgotten uncle, who made a fortune in Bolivian tin, has died and left him eight million dollars. The unemployed Monty, who is engaged to secretary Peggy Gray, is ecstatic over his good fortune, but learns from his uncle's executor, Swearengen Jones, that the will stipulates that he must spend one million dollars by noon on his thirtieth birthday in order to receive the balance of seven million. Even though his thirtieth birthday is only two months away and he knows that the one million dollars cannot be spent frivolously or given away, Monty is confident he can get the job done. When Jones informs him that he cannot marry during the sixty days and must swear a vow of secrecy regarding the will's terms, however, Monty begins to worry. Monty and Peggy had planned to marry immediately, and Peggy is confused by Monty's sudden request for a postponement. Peggy and Monty's two best Army buddies, Noppy Harrison and Hacky Smith, are also baffled by Monty's sudden wild, unwise spending, but agree to work at his new business, Brewster & Co. Within a week, Monty has spent $300,000 making seemingly bad investments, bankrolling a lavish party hosted by heiress Barbara Drew and paying his employees outrageously high salaries. His initial "successes" soon turn to disaster, however, when his bad investments start paying off and he learns that he has won a $25,000 radio contest. Monty is also in danger of losing Peggy, who is jealous of Barbara and angry over his spendthrift ways. Desperate, Monty decides to put ... +


Soon after his discharge from the Army, New Yorker Montague "Monty" L. Brewster learns that his long-forgotten uncle, who made a fortune in Bolivian tin, has died and left him eight million dollars. The unemployed Monty, who is engaged to secretary Peggy Gray, is ecstatic over his good fortune, but learns from his uncle's executor, Swearengen Jones, that the will stipulates that he must spend one million dollars by noon on his thirtieth birthday in order to receive the balance of seven million. Even though his thirtieth birthday is only two months away and he knows that the one million dollars cannot be spent frivolously or given away, Monty is confident he can get the job done. When Jones informs him that he cannot marry during the sixty days and must swear a vow of secrecy regarding the will's terms, however, Monty begins to worry. Monty and Peggy had planned to marry immediately, and Peggy is confused by Monty's sudden request for a postponement. Peggy and Monty's two best Army buddies, Noppy Harrison and Hacky Smith, are also baffled by Monty's sudden wild, unwise spending, but agree to work at his new business, Brewster & Co. Within a week, Monty has spent $300,000 making seemingly bad investments, bankrolling a lavish party hosted by heiress Barbara Drew and paying his employees outrageously high salaries. His initial "successes" soon turn to disaster, however, when his bad investments start paying off and he learns that he has won a $25,000 radio contest. Monty is also in danger of losing Peggy, who is jealous of Barbara and angry over his spendthrift ways. Desperate, Monty decides to put $95,000 into a Broadway production, starring chorus girl Trixie Summers, and buys her a $30,000 fur coat as an investment. As hoped, the play is a flop, but Nopper and Hacky, taking matters into their own hands, close the show and lease the theater. When confronted by the show's angry performers, Monty decides to mount the production on board the expensive Drew family yacht and conduct a goodwill tour of East Coast naval bases. Monty then postpones his wedding yet again. Believing that Monty is interested in both Barbara and Trixie, Peggy returns his engagement ring and announces she is not going on the tour. On advice from her mother, however, Peggy changes her mind and joins Monty at the last minute. Peggy's suspicions are soon rekindled, however, when she spies her engagement ring, which Monty has learned is a potential asset, on Trixie's finger. After Peggy declares her intention to disembark in Florida, Monty orders the ship's captain to sail directly to the Caribbean. Nopper and Hacky, however, thwart Monty's scheme by convincing the captain to head back to New York. To make matters worse, the cast of the show announces that they are donating their services for the war effort. Monty's fortune appears lost until the yacht hits a floating mine, and Monty arranges for the Navy to tow the disabled boat for $400,000. Back in New York, on his thirtieth birthday, Monty, having finally spent the entire one million dollars, awaits Jones with his receipts. Moments before Jones is due to arrive, however, Nopper, Hacky, Trixie, Barbara and the Grays's servant Jackson insist on giving money to the now-broke Monty. Monty is $40,012 richer by the time Jones shows up, but as the clock starts to strike twelve, Monty gets the idea to pay Jones his executor's fee of $40,000. Still holding twelve dollars, Monty then pays off Jones's cab driver as the last chime sounds. All ends happily as Monty is awarded his seven million dollars, and he and Peggy reunite. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.