Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ A Millionaire for Christy (1951)

A Millionaire for Christy (1951) stars Fred MacMurray as Peter Ulysses Lockwood, a popular radio advertising spokesperson. He's about to get married to June (Kay Buckley) in an arrangement more about convenience than about love. Little does Peter know that he's about to come into an inheritance of $2 million!

Nice sock garters Fred

Christy Sloane (Eleanor Parker) has been sent by her law firm to find Peter to hand deliver his notice about the $2 million. Christy is the opposite of Peter's bride June. She's a poor working girl who just had her new fur coat repossessed. Christy dreams of a luxurious life but can't seem to manage it in her current situation. Her coworker Patsy (the lovely Una Merkel) convinces Christy to try to snag the newly minted millionaire Peter so she can get somewhere in life.

Only Una Merkel could rock a frown, a secretary blouse and cat-eye glasses and make it look adorable.

Christy is tempted and tries to lure Peter in. What follows is an up-and-down and around-and-around roller coaster ride. Christy keeps trying to tell Peter he's rich and Peter keeps trying to get to his wedding. But there are lots of obstacles along the way. Including Dr. Roland Cook (Richard Carlson), Peter's good friend and his competition for June's affections.

This Hollywood comedy, directed by George Marshall, tries too hard to be funny and most of the time it fell flat. In fact, I was bored watching it and had to restart it several times before I could finish it. Fred MacMurray is both lovable and annoying as the confused and befuddled Peter. But Eleanor Parker was just plain annoying. I really didn't have any sympathy for her character. They try to get your empathy with the early scene with her getting her fur coat repossessed right off her back (at her place of employment no less) but after that I really couldn't care less about her. And I wanted to see more Una Merkel.

My favorite part of the film was when Peter and Christy get stranded in fog late at night and their car is stuck in a stretch of beach. A group of Mexican men help tow their car and give them a place to sleep for the night. Peter and Christy don't speak Spanish and the Mexicans don't speak English (although one of them tries and fails repeatedly). Peter and Christy end up getting drunk off of Tequila shots (body, salt, tequila, lime and all!) and let loose for one night. For the entire movie they are both uptight bundles of nerves and this is the only part in which you see them relax for a bit.

A Millionaire for Christy (1951) is available on DVD via Warner Archive (Warner Home Video).

Also, check out Laura's review of the film over at her blog Laura's Miscellaneous Musings.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Movies selected are rented from Classicflix, watched on TCM or purchased from Warner Archive, Classicflix or TCM. This series is not sponsored by Warner Archive.


  1. I agree with you on this one...I was hoping I'd like it more. I looked back at what I wrote at the time I saw it, and I'd called it "mildly diverting." It had some good moments, such as the sequence you mention in the boxcar doing tequila shots, but it needed a better script.

    Always enjoy reading your Warner Archive Wednesday reviews! You do a great job on the screen shots, too. That's something I've not yet attempted. You caught some good expressions!

    Best wishes,

    1. Laura - Thanks for mentioning your review. I went ahead and linked it above and re-read it. We pretty have the same observations regarding the film. I'd also like to know where they filmed the different scenes, especially that diner in which Fred MacMurray's character locks up Eleanor Parker in an indoor phone booth!

      If you ever need help with screen shots, let me know. I can suggest a good program and give you some tips. Just email me.

  2. Thank you very much for the link! That diner really had me intrigued!

    Reading your review also made me realize I need to update my post with the Warner Archive DVD link! I try to stay on top of that as films I've seen are released by the Archive, but I don't always remember to do it.

    Thanks very much for the kind offer, I will probably be emailing you regarding that program in the future! :)

    Best wishes,

  3. @arttm that old feeling ep is on itunes go buy it here:

  4. this one is one of the few Eleanor Parker films i havent seen yet but i burned it off TCM a while back so its here waiting for me. your review doesnt give me much hope for it tho. i'm not much of a Fred MacMurray fan either...oh well, i'll get to it someday i guess O_o


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