Today is the anniversary of the release date of the Eddie Cantor comedy Kid Millions (1934), directed by Roy Del Ruth.
This is not Cantor’s best movie, mostly because of the script, which was written by those fairly dreadful writers who wrote the Marx Brothers’ later movies: Arthur Sheekman, Nat Perrin and Nunnally Johnson. The plot: Eddie inherits a fortune, which he needs to go to Egypt to collect. Two others scheme for the money: Ethel Merman, who claims to be his mother even though she’s younger than he is; and a southern colonel (Burton Churchill). A great cast helps divert us from the thinness of the plot, including (in addition to Merman) Block and Sully, Ann Sothern and the Nicholas Brothers. The third act is all in Alexandria, and very much calls to mind the atmosphere of Roman Scandals—a scary shiek plans to kill Eddie. The songs are great, and there’s an amazing color sequence at the end (the first ever 3 strip technicolor), when Eddie uses his fortune to start a giant factory that produces free ice cream for children. And as always, don’t forget the Goldwyn Girls!