I'll Give a Million


1h 12m 1938

Brief Synopsis

After saving a tramp (Lorre) from suicide, a millionaire (Baxter) takes his clothing and disappears. Word is out that he will give a million dollars to anyone who is kind of a tramp.

Film Details

Also Known As
I'd Give a Million
Release Date
Jul 22, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the Italian film Darò un milione , written by Cesare Zavattini and Giaci Mondaini (Novella, 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,700ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

While on his yacht in the South of France, Tony Newlander, a very wealthy man, realizes that he has no friends and that he is surrounded by people who are only interested in his fortune. Tony dives into the Mediterranean to save a drowning man, and after the rescue, learns that the poverty-stricken man, named Louie, attempted suicide. Louie takes Tony to his shack by the shore, where Tony reveals his identity and remarks that he would give at least a million francs if he could find just one person who was kind without expecting to get paid for it. The next morning, Louie awakens to discover that Tony has switched clothes and gone, leaving Louie a wad of bills. In town, a reporter hears Louie's story and brings him to his editor, who prints the story that a millionaire, disguised as a tramp, will give a million francs for a kind deed. Tony, meanwhile, wanders through town, and after he tries to help an American circus girl named Jean catch her runaway chimpanzee named Darwin, Tony is arrested on suspicion of setting off a fire alarm, which Darwin actually pulled. As the judge is about to pass sentence, he reads about the millionaire tramp in the newspaper and, believing Tony to be the millionaire, gives him his liberty and a calling card. That day, Tony, in puzzlement, witnesses citizens bestow a number of acts of kindness on various tramps before he sees Louie's picture in the newspaper and learns of the story. Meanwhile, when Tony's supposed suicide is discovered on the yacht, Corcoran, a former associate, destroys the ship's radio so that the news cannot be relayed and thus cause a drop in Newlander securities before he can sell them. At the circus, owner Anatole Primerose lets all the tramps in for free, and Tony brings Jean flowers. She gets him a job as nightwatchman, to the dismay of Primerose's son Max, who is in love with her. The Riviera soon becomes a vagrant paradise as tramps arrive by the trainload to take advantage of the kindness alloted them by citizens who hope to get the promised million francs. When the city is overrun, and the citizens demand that the editor produce the millionaire, the editor fires the reporter. To regain his job, the reporter then charges that Louie probably murdered the millionaire. After threatening to turn Louie over to the police, the editor gives him a chance to identify the millionaire among the tramps whom the prefect of police has ordered to be rounded up. When Tony is about to be arrested, Jean convinces the gendarme that he is an employee. Jean tells Tony that she hopes to leave the circus someday and settle down in a house for the sake of her Uncle Victor, a circus clown who has taken care of her since her parents died. Tony admits that he is now getting a kick out of life because of Jean. Their subsequent embrace and kiss is heard by Max, who threatens to have Jean fired. To save her job, she tells Max that Tony is the millionaire of the story and that she is only playing up to him and plans to give Max half of the million francs. Tony overhears their conversation and leaves, now cynical about everyone. When he tries to have ten thousand francs wired to him and identifies himself to the telegraph clerk as the millionaire, the clerk calls the police, but just then Louie, fearing the editor, pronounces that a tramp in the police lineup named Kopelpeck is the millionaire. The clerk, told this news, calls Tony a fraud. Taken to the imperial suite at the town's hotel, Kopelpeck attempts with Louie to steal as much silverware as he can, but when some items fall from their clothes as they run out, the fraud is exposed. Meanwhile, Tony has been arrested for claiming to be the millionaire, and Victor overhears the judge sentence him. He tells Jean that Tony has gone crazy and thinks that he is the millionaire. Greatly concerned, Jean and Victor rush to the judge with bail money that she finagled from Max. At the court, Jean explains to Tony why she "lied" to Max, but when the captain of Tony's yacht arrives and identifies him, Jean is cold to him, thinking that he was laughing at her all the time. After an angry mob of citizens complain about all the money they have spent entertaining tramps, Tony agrees to divide the million francs between the poor and the city, if Jean will marry him. She refuses, saying that she was in love with a poor tramp who needed her, but when Tony convinces her that he still needs her, she agrees. At the wedding, guests scratch as fleas from an invited tramp circulate among them.

Cast

Warner Baxter

Tony Newlander

Marjorie Weaver

Jean

Peter Lorre

Louie

Jean Hersholt

Victor

John Carradine

Kopelpeck

J. Edward Bromberg

Editor

Lynn Bari

Cecelia

Fritz Feld

Max Primerose

Sig Rumann

Anatole Primerose

Christian Rub

Commissionaire

Paul Harvey

Corcoran

Charles Halton

Mayor

Frank Reicher

Prefect of police

Frank Dawson

Albert

Harry Hayden

Gilman

Stanley Andrews

Captain

Lillian Porter

Flower girl

Luis Alberni

Reporter

Rafaela Ottiano

Proprietress

Georges Renavent

Gendarme

Rolfe Sedan

Telegraph clerk

Eddy Conrad

Proprietor of pastry shop

Egon Brecher

Citizen

Frank Puglia

Citizen

Michael Visaroff

Citizen

Alex Novinsky

Citizen

Armand Kaliz

Hotel manager

George Bookasta

Newsboy

Gennaro Curci

Husband

Mario Dominici

Husband

Adrienne D'ambricourt

Wife

Jacques Lory

Tramp with couple

Antonio D'amore

Tramp

George Davis

Gendarme

Manuel Paris

Gendarme

Fred Malatesta

Gendarme

George Sorel

Gendarme

Joe Romantini

Gendarme

Jacques Vanaire

Gendarme

Adolph Milar

Gendarme

Jules Raucourt

Gendarme

Victor Delinsky

Circus guard

Helen Gierre

Charwoman

Pepi Sinoff

Wife

Ludwig Lowey

Waiter

Albert Pollet

Cashier

Fredrik Vogeding

Police sergeant

Alex Melesh

Bum

Laura Treadwell

Dowager

Louis Mercier

Lookout

Billy Arnold

Steward

Constant Franke

Cameraman

Alphonse Martell

Cameraman

Albert D'arno

Cameraman

Louis La Bey

Newspaperman

Charles Tannen

Radio operator

Marcelle Corday

Mother

Mary Treen

Girl

Paul Porcasi

Cafe proprietor

Harry Semels

Man in cafe

André Cheron

Proprietor of cafe

Eugene Borden

Yardmaster

Torben Meyer

Doorman

Joseph Kamaryt

Stevedore

Jack Chefe

Clerk

Elisabeth Frohlich

Paper seller

Christina Montt

Streetwalker

Alex Palasthy

Nearsighted man

Vincent Romaine

Pierre

Shorty

The chimpanzee

Rosina Galli

Zoia De Groot

Marek Windheim

Wolfgang Zilzer

Film Details

Also Known As
I'd Give a Million
Release Date
Jul 22, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the Italian film Darò un milione , written by Cesare Zavattini and Giaci Mondaini (Novella, 1935).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,700ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was I'd Give a Million. The film was based on the 1935 Italian film Darò un milione, which was written by Cesare Zavattini and Giaci Mondaini, and directed by Mario Camerini, and which starred Vittorio de Sica, Assia Noris and Luigi Almirante. According to Los Angeles Examiner, Darryl Zanuck, intrigued by a review of the Italian film, sent for a print and after viewing the film, "bought the entire production." Los Angeles Examiner, in September 1937, called the film "an Italian Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," and reported "underground whispers that Twentieth Century-Fox will try to borrow Gary Cooper" for the lead. At the time, according to Los Angeles Examiner, Niven Busch, with the help of four interpreters, was working on the script. It is not known if any of Busch's contributions were included in the final film. Hollywood Reporter reported in November 1937 that Annabella and Tyrone Power were to play the leading roles, and in December 1937 that John Ford was scheduled to direct Warner Baxter and Loretta Young in the film. In March 1938, a Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the film would feature Don Ameche and possibly Young. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item and production charts, Binnie Barnes was originally cast in the film. Variety commented that Baxter "is not happily cast in the part."