Friday, June 12, 2009

Kid Millions

Forget Willy Wonka. THIS is the real deal, circa 1934!

The actual film Kid Millions, starring Eddie Cantor, Ann Sothern, Ethel Merman and George Murphy, was really not all that interesting. As Wikipedia describes it:

"The story features Eddie, a kid from Brooklyn, New York City, United States who suddenly inherits $77 million dollars from his lost father, an archeologist that had looted Egypt of its treaures. In order to reclaim the inheritance, Eddie begins his boat ride to Egypt. However, on the boat he meets various characters who claim also to receive a part of the inheritance, though their stories are doubtful. Later on, Eddie learns that the Sheik Mulhulla has threatened to kill anyone who tries to claim the treasure, and that Princess Fanya has fallen deeply in love with Eddie and wants Eddie's hand in marriage."

But it's the film's surrealist "Ice Cream Factory Fantasy" sequence at the end that makes Kid Millions a classic piece of cinema. It was the first United Artists film to utitize the three-strip Technicolor process. The cast of Our Gang are also reportedly among the throngs and hordes of screaming-for-ice-cream children. Can you imagine being the stage manager and cast wrangler for this shoot?

View: Technicolor finale from Kid Millions (1934)

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