Somewhat Fresh: ‘A Millionaire for Christy!’

[8 June 2012]

By Michael Barrett

The first third of this film is an escalating riot of wacky misunderstandings. Christie (Eleanor Parker) is a legal secretary who goes to tell the host of a saccharine radio show (Fred MacMurray) that he’s inherited 28 million pesos (two million dollars), and when she sees how handsome he is, she gives into a moment’s desperate lapse of reason and tries to become a gold-digger by fainting in his arms. It happens to be his wedding day, and this fateful decision leads to a sequence that’s hilarious and original. Then he starts manhandling her through a complicated second act that slows down for romance while they’re staying with a caravan of Mexican migrant workers (!). The third act revs up again with a lot of contrived conniving among the characters, none of whom are behaving likeably, so that the frantic finale feels forced in contrast to the first act’s freshness.

Published at: