Million Dollar Legs (1931)

EDWARD F. CLINE

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA, 1932. . Story by , Screenplay by , . Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by , . Costume Design by .

is once again the incorrigible master of the underplayed bon mot as the President of Klopstokia, a nation whose main import, export and population is “Goats and Nuts”.  plays an American salesman who falls in love with the President’s daughter, the beautiful Angela (). The nation’s coffers are running low and the President needs to improve the economy, but he’s so angry about his daughter’s suitor that he lifts a giant safe like it’s nothing and throws it across the room; this gives Oakie the perfect idea to solve the money problem: send a team of athletes, the President included, to the upcoming Los Angeles Olympics (which really were coming up when this movie was released).

Meanwhile, the lovers uncover a plot to overthrow the President by a cabal of traitors who have employed the shameless tactics of “Mata Machree, The Woman No Man Can Resist” (). Co-scripted by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, this pre-code comedy is pure anarchy, going in for every possible gag without feeling the need to tie it all up with a moral lesson or a sweet reassurance of the power of love. All bets are off and the jokes fly fast and mean, never stopping through its brief sixty-one minute running time until the hilarious end.

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