Million Dollar Legs (1939)

59 or 64-65 mins | Comedy | 14 July 1939

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HISTORY

This film's working title was Campus Dormitory. Exteriors for the film were shot in San Pedro and at the Olympic rowing course in Long Beach, CA. FD and copyright records list Stuart Gilmore as the film editor, while Arthur Schmidt is credited on the screen. According to HR, actor John Hartley replaced William Henry, who was busy with another film. According to a HR news item on 13 Apr 1939, ten days into principal shooting, director Nick Grinde was "forced out" with a serious throat infection and Paramount editor Edward Dmytryk "took over." Dmytryk's account in his autobiography of his participation in the film conflicts with this news item. According to Dmytryk, Paramount executive Harold Hurley hired "a director" [Grinde] for a two-picture deal; after the first film proved disappointing, Hurley asked Dmytryk to act as co-director with no authority on Million Dollar Legs. Dmytryk states that Grinde "struggled on" for a week before the "ax fell." Dmytryk further states that, as no other director was willing to take on the project without a few days' production hiatus for familiarization, which a "B" picture made prohibitive, he took over as director. Grinde is listed as director in the HR production charts found for this film. Grinde actually made two pictures for Paramount prior to his work on Million Dollar Legs: King of Chinatown and Sudden Money (see related entries). Although Dmytryk directed an independent western called The Hawk in 1935 (see below), HR touts Million Dollar Legs as his directorial debut. ...

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This film's working title was Campus Dormitory. Exteriors for the film were shot in San Pedro and at the Olympic rowing course in Long Beach, CA. FD and copyright records list Stuart Gilmore as the film editor, while Arthur Schmidt is credited on the screen. According to HR, actor John Hartley replaced William Henry, who was busy with another film. According to a HR news item on 13 Apr 1939, ten days into principal shooting, director Nick Grinde was "forced out" with a serious throat infection and Paramount editor Edward Dmytryk "took over." Dmytryk's account in his autobiography of his participation in the film conflicts with this news item. According to Dmytryk, Paramount executive Harold Hurley hired "a director" [Grinde] for a two-picture deal; after the first film proved disappointing, Hurley asked Dmytryk to act as co-director with no authority on Million Dollar Legs. Dmytryk states that Grinde "struggled on" for a week before the "ax fell." Dmytryk further states that, as no other director was willing to take on the project without a few days' production hiatus for familiarization, which a "B" picture made prohibitive, he took over as director. Grinde is listed as director in the HR production charts found for this film. Grinde actually made two pictures for Paramount prior to his work on Million Dollar Legs: King of Chinatown and Sudden Money (see related entries). Although Dmytryk directed an independent western called The Hawk in 1935 (see below), HR touts Million Dollar Legs as his directorial debut. The HR review for Million Dollar Legs states, "The film practices a mild deceit in title, unless it is so justified by one longshot of Betty Grable's sightly underpinnings."

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Jul 1939
p. 3
Film Daily
14 Sep 1939
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1939
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1939
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1939
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1939
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 1939
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 1939
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 1939
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 1939
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1939
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
8 Jul 1939
p. 38
Variety
12 Jul 1939
p. 12
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Fill-in
Joseph Lefert
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Int dec
SOUND
Sd rec
Phil G. Wisdom
Sd mixer
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Campus Dormitory
Release Date:
14 July 1939
Production Date:
30 Mar--late Apr 1939
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
14 July 1939
LP8973
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59 or 64-65
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5341
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When the Middleton College basketball team wins the championship, oilman Gregory Melton, Sr., the university's major benefactor, awards each of the players a gold basketball, but gives his son, Greg, Jr., one imbedded with pearls. Tired of getting special treatment because of his father's money, Greg begins to lose confidence in his athletic and leadership talents. Meanwhile, Freddie Fry, campus entrepreneur, schemes to start a crew team when his girl friend, Suzie Quinn, complains he doesn't have a varsity letter. Freddie asks Greg's girl friend Carol Parker, a reporter for the Daily M , to convince Greg to set an example by joining crew, and the team starts training. Coach Baxter appoints Freddie as cockswain, and he begins jogging with a young jockey. The Middleton boathouse is in shambles, and during their first match, their boat springs a leak and they lose. When Greg hears that Freddie schemed with Carol to get him on the team, he thinks they only want him for his money. Freddie proves him wrong when he uses student money to win a horse race at twenty-to-one odds and buys a new boat. Melton, Sr., meanwhile, gives Middleton a new basketball stadium to get the students' minds off crew. Freddie stages a bonfire and rally, which Greg refuses to attend, but Freddie then convinces Greg that Carol in innocent, and they are reconciled. Dean Wixby, acting on Melton's behalf, punishes Freddie for betting and forbids him to act as cockswain in the approaching big race. Hoping to force his way into the race, Freddie feeds his replacement, Egghead Jackson, four tamales, and because of his stomach ache, Jackson is unable ...

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When the Middleton College basketball team wins the championship, oilman Gregory Melton, Sr., the university's major benefactor, awards each of the players a gold basketball, but gives his son, Greg, Jr., one imbedded with pearls. Tired of getting special treatment because of his father's money, Greg begins to lose confidence in his athletic and leadership talents. Meanwhile, Freddie Fry, campus entrepreneur, schemes to start a crew team when his girl friend, Suzie Quinn, complains he doesn't have a varsity letter. Freddie asks Greg's girl friend Carol Parker, a reporter for the Daily M , to convince Greg to set an example by joining crew, and the team starts training. Coach Baxter appoints Freddie as cockswain, and he begins jogging with a young jockey. The Middleton boathouse is in shambles, and during their first match, their boat springs a leak and they lose. When Greg hears that Freddie schemed with Carol to get him on the team, he thinks they only want him for his money. Freddie proves him wrong when he uses student money to win a horse race at twenty-to-one odds and buys a new boat. Melton, Sr., meanwhile, gives Middleton a new basketball stadium to get the students' minds off crew. Freddie stages a bonfire and rally, which Greg refuses to attend, but Freddie then convinces Greg that Carol in innocent, and they are reconciled. Dean Wixby, acting on Melton's behalf, punishes Freddie for betting and forbids him to act as cockswain in the approaching big race. Hoping to force his way into the race, Freddie feeds his replacement, Egghead Jackson, four tamales, and because of his stomach ache, Jackson is unable to lead the men. Always thinking on his feet, Freddie jumps into the Daily M 's car and shouts commands to the team via the loudspeaker, leading them to victory. Melton gets so excited by the race, he renounces his objections to crew, and Freddie finally wins his varsity letter.

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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
College, Sports


Subject

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

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