Eddie Cantor in “Kid Millions” (1934) – reviewed by George

Dot Clark (Ethel Merman) is singing “Who Could Ever Be Blue” with a chorus of cuties at the Body Shop (Don’t ask. I don’t know), and when the number ends she is angry to see that Louie the Lug (Warren Hymer) has walked in. “I told you to never come here when I’m workin’!”
But she calms down fast when he tells her the news: Professor Edward Grant Wilson has died in Egypt after discovering a tomb worth millions. And he shows her a photo of the Professor (Eddie in side whiskers). Then Louie asks if Dot knows who gets all that dough. “Nobody! That’s you!”
“It’s the law. The law says if a guy meets a dame walking around in Atlantic City, and introduces her as his wife, she IS his wife.”
“Yeah… What kinda law is that?”
“Common law. That’s what you are. His common law wife! And that entitles you to 77 million bucks!”
Cut to Benton, Loring, and Slade , Attorneys at Law, where one partner announces that he’s dug up Professor Grant’s heir, his son Eddie. He’s living on an old barge in Brooklyn with a stevedore and his sons. He’s been living with them ever since his father disappeared 23 years ago.
Okay, it’s true that Eddie lives with the stevedore and his family of ruffians, but he spends all his time on the next barge with a really sweet girl, Nora (Doris Davenport) and a bunch of kids he’s training as an orchestra.
Slade still finds him, but by then the ruffians know about the money and everyone wants to be Eddie’s best friend. If they get any friendlier they’ll kill him.
An old Southern gentleman, Colonel Larrabee (Burton Churchill) is traveling aboard the SS Luxor when he receives a cablegram from the Professor’s assistant Gerald Lane (George Murphy) saying that Wilson’s son has been found, and Lane will board the Luxor at Gibraltar. The Colonel is traveling with his niece Joan (Ann Sothern).
So the plot is heavy with characters who want the money, and that includes Sheik Mulhulla (Paul Harvey) and his daughter Princess Tanya (Eva Sully). Well, Tanya really wants just Eddie, and she steals every scene she’s in.
Eddie is on the Luxor too (talk about contrived!), as are Dot and Louie. Dot wants to get Eddie to sign away his claim, and Louie just wants to throw him overboard.
Well, the movie is only 1:30, so at 0:37 I thought we were safe, only to have a scene where Joan and Gerald are rehearsing their number for the ship’s Minstrel Night!
So here I take a break, except to comment that one portion of M.N. is devoted to the utterly marvelous Nicholas Brothers, who steal the program completely, even from the 1934 Goldwyn Girls (and there must be 40 or 50 of them – I tried but couldn’t get an accurate count). Back in a few minutes.
Back! Did you miss me? The Luxor docks in Alexandria, and Eva Sully pretty much owns the rest of the picture, and there’s a happy ending with the last 7 minutes in color as Eddie and Nora open a free ice cream shop for kids.
Original Story and Screen Play by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin and Nunnally Johnson, Music and Lyrics by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn & Burton Lane and Harold Adamson, The Song “Mandy” by Irving Berlin, Directed by Roy Del Ruth.

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