Million Dollar Legs (1932)

Article #1316 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-21-2004
Posting Date: 3-20-2005
Directed by Edward F. Cline
Featuring Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, Andy Clyde

The president of Klopstokia tries to fill the empty treasury by competing in the Olympics.

Fantastic content: The country of Klopstokia is fictional, and some of the athletes have powers that are superhuman.

Nowadays when they talk about making wild, outrageous comedies, they usually just mean they’re loading it up with lots of sex and violence. Back in the thirties, this is the type of movie that would pass for wild and outrageous, and I for one prefer the high-energy conceptual weirdness of this early movie. Klopstokia is a country inhabited by goats and nuts, the strongest man gets to be president (in this case it’s W.C. Fields), all the men are named George and all the women are named Angela, and I’ll give you one guess as to where the major-domo is told that he should seek out the privy counselor. Along with Jack Oakie and W. C. Fields, we have Hugh Herbert as the Secretary of State, Billy Gilbert as the sneezing Secretary of the Interior, Dickie Moore as a little boy who shoots arrows (only some of which are poisonous), Ben Turpin as a mysterious spy keeping his eyes open, and if you keep your eyes open, you’ll spot Bruce Bennett and Syd Saylor. Is there a plot? I’m not sure. But I’ll take it hands down over almost any comedy released nowadays. Don’t confuse this with the Betty Grable of the movie the same name. And unless the title refers to the legs of the super-fast major-domo, I have no idea what it means.


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