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Stage chestnuts are great, says I, RE BREWSTER'S MILLIONS


pronker
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1945's Brewster's Millions was a marvelous, fun movie this morning, loaded with plot and the befuddled comic persona of Dennis O'Keefe.  Edward Small Productions came up with this version of a venerable stage play, plus two others, all about the same time: Getting Gertie's Garter and Up In Mabel's Room, both with O'Keefe, as well.  I haven't seen these films in decades and am wondering if they have been shown recently, or will be shown in the near future?  It wouldn't seem that the two would have some ghastly rights problems, but that can happen.  Would anyone know about these two fast-paced comedies' showings?

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I'm afraid I know nothing of the other two titles you mention. I do know that Brewster's Millions is aired now and then on TCM.

 

You're right, it's " a fun movie, loaded with plot and the befuddled comic persona of Dennis O'Keefe".

 

It's a very entertaining little comedy. Who knew it could be so damn hard to spend a million dollars in two months?

A million is, even today, a considerable amount of money. I wouldn't sneeze at it. Imagine how fabulous a sum it must have been in 1945. 

 

Dennis O'Keefe, by the way, was in a few film noirs, playing a very different kind of character from the amiable WW2 vet in Brewster's Millions.

If you like this actor, check out Raw Deal (1948.) You'd hardly know it was the same guy.

 

Sorry I can't answer your questions re. those two other films you were wondering about.

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Hi, thanks for the swift reply - yes I've seen more of O'Keefe's work but it's been quite a few years.  I guess he appeals because he is a workmanlike actor, singing, dancing, acting in both comedies and noir, on TV as well, coming from a vaudeville background.  It's an American success story for him.

 

Well, let's hope that those two comedies show up at some point on TCM, because they are truly funny and show off the farcical aspects of their timeworn stage sources, Garter, I think, jbeing from the '20's and Room from about 1910, maybe?  They are a hoot and a half, in an hour and a half.  Along with Millions, they make me smile.

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I was a fan of Dennis O'Keefe and considered him an under rated actor, he could do comedy and drama both quite well.It's been about 35 nor 40 years since I saw "Getting Gertie's Garter" and "Up in Mable's Room". Both directed by the great Allen Dawn. Gertie was played by Marie "The Body" Mac Donald

 

"Up in Mable's Room" O'Keefe was trying to retrieve a negligee he had given to his ex sweetheart, "G.G.G" he trying to retrieve a garter he gave her. I remember both films being pretty funny.. O'Keefe did two outstanding film noir in the late 40's, both directed by Anthony Mann. "Raw Deal" as mentioned by misswonderlytoo is excellent and "T-Men" a semi documentary  style. Check them out, you won't be sorry. I saw GGG on Amazon, but at a stiff price....

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O'Keefe was a GREAT farceur.  Amazing that he was equally effective as a hard-nosed tough guy.  He died way too young.  A real pity.

 

The televised racing scene in BREWSTERS is absolutely beautiful.  And while O'Keefe himself is less manic in HI DIDDLE DIDDLE, the picture is a classic that is shamefully neglected, relegated to public domain obscurity.  Even Tarantino paid homage to it!

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@RayFaiola  Yes, Tarantino knows his stuff well enough to pass anyone's muster as he synthesizes.  I haven't seen much of it since Pulp Fiction, which occupied my mind for /days/.

 

@fredbaetz  I liked GGG and UIMR so much!  O'Keefe is like Mickey Rooney, raised from infancy onstage and able to write, direct, act and all the other things necessary to produce entertainment. 

 

Right about this time were produced some other outrageous comedies, such as Murder, He Says, too.  A few years later came Miss Tatlock's Millions, another fave.

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What I want to know is, would it be as difficult to spend one million dollars in two months today as it was back then? Remember, no investments or donations to charity.

I think it would have to be a billion dollars now.

It seems like in the remake with Richard Pryor that the amount was 40 million, came out in the early 80s.

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Totally enjoyed rewatching BM and I always like seeing Helen Walker.

 

Dennis O'Keefe would be asked to build up his leg muscles though if he was working in films today.

That one scene with just his jockey shorts on, would have required him to have calf implants surgically implanted nowadays!

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@CaveGirl  Isn't that the truth - many films have Gable or Cooper or O'Keefe shirtless or in swim trunks, and they look like average guys, you know?  Actors nowadays need to go to Body By Jake and work a lot harder at their physiques.

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