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The Happiest Millionaire (Road Show Edition)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Fred MacMurray, Tommy Steele, Greer Garson, Gladys Cooper, Geraldine Page
  • Directors: Norman Tokar
  • Writers: AJ Carothers, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, Kyle Crichton
  • Producers: Bill Anderson, Walt Disney
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305512116
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,353 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Happiest Millionaire (Road Show Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical Overture
  • This restored original "Roadshow" version is 20 minutes longer than the theatrical version

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Reportedly the last feature to be personally shepherded by Walt Disney himself, The Happiest Millionaire is a stubbornly old-fashioned musical intended to build on the success of Mary Poppins, relying on songs and score from Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, the studio's resident songwriting team responsible for the hits of Poppins. Despite that pedigree, and a cast headlined by Fred MacMurray, Greer Garson, Tommy Steele, Geraldine Page, and, in their screen debuts, Lesley Anne Warren and John Davidson, the would-be successor wound up a white elephant.

Released in 1967, a watershed year for youth culture and social upheaval, The Happiest Millionaire romanticizes Philadelphia's upper crust circa 1916. Its title character, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle (MacMurray), is a militant industrialist urging America's mobilization against Germany, and noteworthy for an eccentric lifestyle that includes his own bible study classes, martial arts training, and (in a lone nod toward any remotely modern social values) a readiness to empower his lovely, headstrong daughter, Cordelia (Warren).

Under Norman Tokar's busy but routine direction, the project does muster moments of charm, and packs its story line with enough twists to partly explain its excessive 144-minute length. But the unintended irony of paeans to capitalism and conservative politics in an era of Sgt. Pepper isn't masked by the Shermans' music, which is eminently forgettable, despite the game mugging of Tommy Steele as an immigrant Irish butler. Equally game is MacMurray, but as a singer, he's no Rex Harrison.

Viewers hungry for a family musical with bright production values may be more forgiving. For the film's most ardent fans, Anchor Bay has also released an even longer, widescreen "Road Show" edition of the first-run theatrical version, clocking in at 164 minutes. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

This disney movie is one of the best comedy musicals ever!
Amazon Customer
I loved this movie as a kid and now my young children have been enjoying watching it as well.
apoem
It is wonderfully fun and uplifting with Great singing and dancing.
Mary Liz Aldridge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla Smith on September 22, 2004
Format: DVD
How often do you find a millionaire that is actually happy? Well, Fred MacMurray shows that if you can be yourself, regardless of your money, then you can be happy.

I watched this movie as a child, but haven't seen it for years. I was so thrilled to rediscover it here, and be able to buy it for my little girl. As the first scene began, I found myself singing along to songs that I didn't know I remembered.

If you want to introduce your young children (the younger the better) to some old classic musicals, you should start with this one (and Mary Poppins). The wit and charm of these old classic movies is definately lacking in todays world of film.

All in all, this movie is hilarious, well cast, well written, and fun.
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Monty Moonlight VINE VOICE on August 26, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A carefree millionaire(Disney Style), played by Fred MacMurray, lives life his own way, sometimes bordering on Addams Family-esque habits, such as keeping Alligators as pets and going on a chocolate cake diet! With his two sons soon to leave for school, he is disturbed to find that his only daughter is now engaged and will be out of his life too. The story is told somewhat from the cheerful Irish butler's musical point of view. Tommy Steele portrays the butler and steals the show! The film is great traditional Disney fun!

I fell in love with non-roadshow version of Happiest Millionaire a few years ago when seeing it on the Disney Channel, and it has since become one of my all time favorite films. Then, I found out there was a roadshow version, and, when I started switching from VHS to DVD a year or so ago, I decided to order both versions from Amazon. I recommend fans of the shorter version do what I did and buy both the shorter one AND this roadshow version. Why? Well, I felt they were so different! I knew I loved the shorter version, so I HAD to see the Roadshow version! It's just a matter of one having more scenes than the other, but the shorter version is simpler, one you'd watch with your kids, and the longer (Roadshow) version is the more grown-up version. Sometimes, you just want to watch the simple, happy, short version, and sometimes you want to watch the real deal. I don't know, but I LOVE them both, but when you started out with the short version, it just won't do to only have the Roadshow.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mary Liz Aldridge on December 7, 2004
Format: DVD
This film has been MY favorite since third grade (I'm 27). It is wonderfully fun and uplifting with Great singing and dancing. In a world where cartoons can scare kids, my three-year-old loves this film. It may be long, but with all the songs, it makes for a fast watch. Also the story is simple enough that children can turn it off one day and watch more the next.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I was a kid when this movie was made. It was magical, musical, fun, sparkling clean and entertaining. We all walked home from the theater singing, dancing or both. How I envy my parents that they didn't have to worry about screening a movie before we saw it. Fred MacMurray was always a sure winner, Tommy Steele was AMAZING, and Leslie Ann Warren was so beautiful! I taped this movie years ago before it was available for purchase. My own kids who are now in their 20's can still sing the words to "By-Um-Pum-Pum!" I shall buy them a copy so that they can share fun musical times of an era that is truly missed. Everyone should have a copy!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Tolman on December 10, 2002
Format: DVD
Alright, I admit it - John Davidson was my schoolgirl crush. I grew up watching Happiest Millionaire and to this day I just love that guy. My question is, now that I've got Happiest Millionaire in my video collection, when can we expect One and Only Genuine Original Family Band? I've tried asking Disney Store people but no one seems to remember the movie. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about? It's another great musical with Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson. Classic Disney. Let's call Michael Eisner if we have to. This movie has got to be made available.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Fred MacMurray, Tommy Steele, Lesley Ann Warren and John Davidson star in the classic Disney musical THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, a delightful story centering on the Biddle family of Philadelphia.
Cordy Biddle (Lesley Ann Warren) becomes engaged to Angie Duke (John Davidson). When this should be a happy occasion, Angie's snooty mother (Geraldine Page) still ensures that Angie hangs onto her apron strings. Cordy's mother (Greer Garson) tries to sort things out while Aunt Mary (Gladys Cooper) engages in some bitchy repartee with Mrs Duke!
The entire production is flawless, and while Leonard Maltin has criticised this film for being too long, I think the time flies by.
The Sherman brothers songs are strong throughout, and the supporting cast, including a very young Joyce Bulifant, are wonderful.
Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 27, 2007
Format: DVD
This film is not one of Disney's best, but if, like my wife, you were raised on musicals, it will not disappoint.

What did disappoint was Disney's failure to enhance the Roadshow Edition for 16 x 9 televisions. I recently bought my first HDTV, and in going through my DVD collection to determine which discs were enhanced, this was one of the few issued since 2000 which was not. A bit odd, but buyer beware.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Funk on March 18, 2005
Format: DVD
I am a very huge fan of the movie. I recently moved from San Diego, California, and I was always able to get all Disney shows there. I have "The Happiest Millionaire" on VHS, and I cannot get anough of it. I have been in Washington State now for a little over two months. Maybe it is because I am homesick, but I am craving for this right now. I found "The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band" a few days ago, but when I found out I could have both of my two ultimate favorites together, at one time, I had to order. My Dad will get the open copy of my movie, and I will get the unopened (which is how it will stay until I cannot resist anymore)!!! Love John Davis and Lesley Ann Warren together. It is so much the match made in heaven. Anyone like her in "Clue"?...
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this dvd Version identical to the first release?
Wikipedia states the original pre-release runtime was 172 minutes including overture, entre-act and closing music... so the 164 minutes may leave those portions out. What was released to movie houses back in the 60's was most likely the heavily edited 118 minute version.
Feb 5, 2009 by JackOfShadows |  See all 4 posts
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