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The Million Dollar Duck

The Million Dollar Duck(1971)

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Although several contemporary sources, including the film's pressbook, give the picture's title as $1,000,000 Duck, it is spelled out as The Million Dollar Duck in the onscreen credits. The opening titles feature animation of a duck carrying eggs onto the screen, under the names of the cast and crew. At the end of the opening credits, the duck puts the eggs upright so that they resemble zeros, then inserts a dollar sign, a 1 and two commas to create $1,000,000. According to news items, the title of Ted Key's original, unpublished screen story was "Mr. Webfoot Waddle." Key was the creator of the popular comic strip "Hazel."
       Although Hollywood Reporter production charts include Richard Simmons and Eric Scott in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. Modern sources include Howard Culver, Jerry Fujikawa and Bruno VeSota in the cast. The Box Office review claimed that The Million Dollar Duck was a remake of the 1951 United Artists release Mr. Drake's Duck (see below), but the pictures, while similar in a few plot points, are otherwise unrelated.
       The picture marked the feature film debuts of Broadway actors Tony Roberts and Sandy Duncan, as well as the debut of child actor Lee Harcourt Montgomery. Roberts and Duncan appeared together again in the 1971 Paramount production Star Spangled Girl (see below). Although The Million Dollar Duck received mixed reviews, most critics applauded Duncan's work, with Los Angeles Times reviewer Charles Champlin stating: "Miss Duncan has a dingaling joie de vivre which is a joie to behold." The New York Times critic called her "a really amusing, refreshing new doll." Duncan received a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer-Female for her work in The Million Dollar Duck, and Dean Jones received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actor-Musical/Comedy.