If I Had a Million: Serio Comedy Anthology of Stories, Helmed by Eight Directors and Boasting Paramount’s Top Talent

Based on a story by Robert Andrews, If I Had a Million is a serio-comedic anthology boasting Paramount’s top acting talents, and utilizing the contribution of eight directors and no less than 17 (credited) writers.

Refusing to leave his fortune to his relatives, dying millionaire Richard Bennett selects randomly individuals from the phone book, and then gives each one of them a check for one million dollars.

The first recipient is Charlie Ruggles, who cheerily enters his former place of employment, a china shop, and smashes every bit of crockery in the place.

Prostitute Wynne Gibson uses her money to escape from her sordid lifestyle and finally sleep in a bed all by herself.

Forger George Raft finds is unable to convince anyone that his check is genuine.  As a result, he hands the check to a flophouse manager, who burns it.

Husband and wife W.C. Fields and Alison Skipworth, dismayed that the destruction of their new car, use part of their million dollars to purchase a fleet of cars and then smash up road hogs.

Convicted murderer Gene Raymond hopes that his million will help finance a new trial, but the execution is carried out on schedule.

Newly rich clerk Charles Laughton reaches his boss’ desk, and delivers a loud Bronx cheer.

Gary Cooper, Roscoe Karns and Jack Oakie play three brawling marines who think the check’s a joke and sign it over to an illiterate lunch-counter owner.

May Robson, the last million-dollar recipient, is an elderly woman confined to a nursing home. She spends her money to turn the home into a joyful resort for old people, forcing the nursing-home staffers to earn their paychecks by sitting all day in rocking chairs.

In the end, the millionaire who started the plot rolling is given a new lease on life, recovering from his “fatal” illness.

Directed By:

James Cruze, H. Bruce Humberstone, Ernst Lubitsch, Lothar Mended, Stephen Roberts, William A. Seiter, Norman Taurog, Norman Z. McLeod.