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One In A Million
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Showman Thadeus Spencer (Adolphe Menjou) is stranded in the Swiss Alps with his troupe of entertainers but with no funds. After watching the innkeeper's daughter Greta skating on the ice rink, Spencer hits on the idea of showcasing a new novelty act: Dancing on Ice, with Greta as the featured skater. Greta, aspiring to compete in the Olympic Winter Games as a figure skater, thinks that she's skating in a tryout performance, unawares that Spencer is raking in the dough. This now calls her Olympic eligibility into question, and, really, that's the main plot in a nutshell. Don Ameche plays a fast-talking American newspaperman and Henie's potential love interest, come to the Alps to investigate a hotel fire. He ends up sticking around to help Greta out of her jam.
For those who only know Don Ameche as that old dude in COCOON, it might come as a surprise that the guy can sing, and sing well.Read more ›
20th Century Fox's Screen Archives in the last few months:
Thin Ice 1937, Happy Landing 1938, My Lucky Star 1938, Iceland 1942
and Wintertime 1943, but One In A Million 1936 marks Sonja Henie's
screen debut. Her two best films, Second Fiddle 1939 and
Sun Valley Serenade 1941, have been over-looked thus far.
One In A Million features Adolphe Menjou and his all-girl orchestra,
the Ritz Brothers and Don Ameche as the love interest.
The story lines are very thin. All her films follow the same formula
allowing for Sonja Henie to skate in various production numbers
usually ending in a spectacular finale.
These films are all in black and white and the quality varies
from very good to excellent. They are all very entertaining,
but in all honesty, I will have to watch them again in order
to distinguish one film from the other. However, all her skating
numbers are special and very enjoyable. There are no extras.
Our tale takes us to Switzerland with a tour group of entertainers who discover to their surprise that their big gig has gone up in ashes (quite literally---the hotel they were to appear burns to the ground). Just when things look bleak, their manager (Adolph Menjou) spots young Henie training for the Winter Olympics, and schemes to make her into a star performing at Madison Garden. Of course, things get sticky (and bitterly cold) with the inclusion of a reporter (Ameche) who sees a human interest story developing, much to his delight and Henie's annoyance, along with a scandal from Henie's father's past that comes back to haunt them. So yep, it's a rocky romance from the start (in typical old movie fashion). But eventually, it all turns out well.
The cast is top-notch, and Fox gives each act on the bill their chance to shine. The Ritzes, who were still brand new on the Fox roster, have some of the best moments. The running gag with brother Harry (always the centerpiece of the act, much like Curly Howard was to The Three Stooges) scamming Al & Jimmy with a two-headed coin and the refreshingly unusual impersonations of movie "heavies" Peter Lorre, Charles Laughton & Boris Karloff demonstrate how wonderful the Ritzes really were. Even Borrah Minevitch & His Gang score with a riotously funny harmonica chorus (although Minevitch's solo bits with the harmonica prior get tiresome).
An entertaining reminder of how enchanting movies of the Old Hollywood could be!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a fan of martial arts movies, I found One Million Klicks to be a fun watch. I'm ready for the sequel!Published 13 days ago by StoneHail
Fantastic martial arts film. Makes me yearn for the good ole days or no guns thrill and frills action.Published 1 month ago by Movies4life
Sonya Heine was not an actress but she did ice skate well which was why Zanuck hired her. This movie is extremely entertaining, featuring several speciality acts in addition to Don... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ralph E. Roe Sr.
Sonja Henie could really skate but she couldn't act. The plot is sappy but a little more substantial than "Thin Ice" or "Lucky Star". Read morePublished on November 2, 2013 by Robert Butterfield
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