From the moment Barry Fitzgerald enlists an unemployed Hollywood stunt man to impersonate the crazy and deceased scion of the Wealthy Tatlock family, "Miss Tatlock's Millions" rockets its imaginative and hugely funny way through acres of slapstick to a wet and happy ending in the Hawaiian breakers.
Fitzgerald, it seems, had been drawing pay from the Tatlocks for many years for the ostensible purpose of maintaining their loony grandson Schuyler in the jungles of Hawaii. Schuyler had long since succumed to his pyromania, but Fitzgerald had neglected to mention that in his letters and had been pocketing his wages just the same. Now (at the movie's beginning) the old Tatlocks have passed away and the motley family is being assembled for the reading of the will.
When Fitzgerald appears with his pseudo-nut, he is greeted by the most revolting collection of relatives in recent movie history. Monty Woolley does a tremendous take-off on the Easterner who hates California ("Wonderful climate for a grape, which I am NOT!"). Ilka Chase plays a cousin with whom Woolley favorably compares Lucretia Borgia, and her son is a particularly apt caricature of a professional ladies' man.
Well, "Schuyler" gets the legacy but he falls in love with the girl who is supposed to be his sister (Wanda Hendrix). At this point the plot becomes confusing and I will leave it alone. The audience was laughing so hard I couldn't hear much anyway.
John Lund, as the stunt man who pretends to have lost his mind, manages to do a really excellent comedy job with only two (2) extraordinary expressions. The scene in which he casually ignites the living room curtains with someone's cigarette lighter is typical of "Miss Tatlock's Millions."
Barry Fitzgerald is becoming typed as an amiable drunk, but this role as a male governess who hides Irish whiskey in every cranny of his bedroom is exactly suited to him. Wauda Hendrix is okay too.
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