BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (1945). Director: Allan Dwan.
"Turkey?! If it had kept on running we'd have had to pay the actors off in cranberries!"
Monty Brewster (Dennis O'Keefe, pictured) comes home to his girl Peggy (Helen Walker) from the war and learns that he has inherited 8 million dollars from an uncle. But the will has a (frankly ridiculous and possibly unenforceable) stipulation: Monty must spend a million dollars before his thirtieth birthday (about two months), be left with absolutely no assets (which means he can't buy such things as jets and yachts) or he will forfeit all the rest of the money (he can only give 5% to charity). There doesn't seem to be any reason why he can't simply give $100,000 to ten friends, but instead he sets up a business, rents expensive offices, pays inflated salaries -- and keeps making money no matter how hard he tries not to. The old old idea (this was filmed several times before) is a cute one, but this version, despite all the running around and mugging and so on, just seems lifeless, and it's never very funny. Part of the problem is that Dennis O'Keefe is not exactly a skilled comedian a la Bob Hope, although he does do his best. Helen Walker, who was excellent as the sinister Lilith in Nightmare Alley, makes a competent if unamusing leading lady. The supporting cast does their best, but a few genuinely amusing lines are sort of thrown away and lost in the general hysteria/tedium. Eddie "Rochester" Anderson adds to the limited fun.
Verdict: Highly forgettable. *1/2.