Customer Reviews


42 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous songs
This is a great movie, with really fabulous music and songs. We had lots of fun and laughed out loud at situations caused by alligators living in the house. The dancing and music are tops. This is funny, entertaining and pleasing to the eyes and the ears.
Published 19 months ago by Barb

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE HAPPIEST, BUT CERTAINLY THE MOST TYPICAL FROM DISNEY
Walt Disney's was a visionary film pioneer; he took the fledgling craft of animation and transformed it into an art form of the highest order, and, in the process, altered our collective perception of what childhood is all about. However, occasionally that vision was marred by Disney's own lack of foresight into changing audience tastes. By the end of the 1950s the Walt...
Published on June 22 2004 by Nix Pix


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous songs, Dec 28 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Happiest Millionaire (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
This is a great movie, with really fabulous music and songs. We had lots of fun and laughed out loud at situations caused by alligators living in the house. The dancing and music are tops. This is funny, entertaining and pleasing to the eyes and the ears.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE HAPPIEST, BUT CERTAINLY THE MOST TYPICAL FROM DISNEY, June 22 2004
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Happiest Millionaire (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
Walt Disney's was a visionary film pioneer; he took the fledgling craft of animation and transformed it into an art form of the highest order, and, in the process, altered our collective perception of what childhood is all about. However, occasionally that vision was marred by Disney's own lack of foresight into changing audience tastes. By the end of the 1950s the Walt Disney Studios had incurred huge expenses on Disney's foray into live action films, the birth of his theme park - Disneyland - and the lack luster box office response to his most recent and most expensive animated feature - Sleeping Beauty. Though the old master was set to recoup his losses, the sumptuously mounted, though often dismal, The Happiest Millionaire (released the year after Disney's death) was the personal and financial failure that rounded out Disney's tenure as the mogul of one of Hollywood's great cinema dream factories.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s road show engagements for movies of distinction were quite common. Road shows were designed to elevate movies to the lofty ambitions of live theater. They usually began with a lush orchestrated prelude, included an intermission half way through, and exit music to escort audiences out of the theater after the final credit sequence. One often dressed up for this sort of premiere event, certainly paid extra to attend and was often provided with a printed program as a keep sake from the occasion. Disney had attempted the road show only once before, on Fantasia (1940) and the result had been an unqualified financial disaster. What a pity then, that The Happiest Millionaire - what should have been an eighty-minute tune-filled - if antiseptic and sexless - melodrama, is over inflated into a gargantuan three hours spectacle that, quite simply, fails to dazzle.
The plot is a fictionalized account of real life circumstances that concern an eccentric Philadelphia millionaire, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle (Fred MacMurray). He runs a combination Bible and physical fitness college of sorts, loves boxing and keeps alligators in a solarium adjacent his dining room. When immigrant John Lawless (Tommy Steele) becomes Biddle's new butler he does indeed find his new surroundings rather odd. Not that Lawless isn't odd himself - it's just that, unlike Biddle's quirkiness, which can be grating to the point of distraction, Lawless becomes a genuinely loveable reprobate of congenial good humor, thanks to Tommy Steele's remarkable performance. The plot is thread bare to the point of nonexistent. It concerns Biddle's only daughter, Cordelia (Lesley Ann Warren). She's a sort of tomboy desperate to be feminine and sent off to a lady's finishing school where she meets and becomes engaged to New Yorker Angie Duke (John Davidson). Mrs. Duke (Geraldine Page) is social snob but Angie doesn't share her values. He wants to forgo the family business and build automobiles in Detroit. True to Disney form, everything does indeed work out in the end with Angie and Cordelia driving off toward an unintentionally apocalyptic matte painting that depicts the Motor City as something of a cross between Blade Runner and Mary Poppins, a glowering jungle of towering chimneys blackening the skies with the aftershocks of modernity.

Plot construction is problematic; As Cordelia's mother, Greer Garson is given extremely little to do. One of Disney's good luck charms - Hemione Baddeley has even less of a say. Equally curious is the fact that after the film takes great pains to introduce the Biddle two sons Tony and Livingston (Paul Petersen and Eddie Hodges) - even giving them a song - it suddenly loses interest in their character development by sending them off to school where, as an audience, we forget that they ever existed.
Of course, the plot - such as it is - would be largely forgivable if Disney's resident song writers, the Sherman Brothers had come up with a score worthy of their best endeavors. Tommy Steele opens the show with a bang with, Fortuosity, but the rest of the score does not live up to expectations and, in spots, is painfully sweet and cuddly. Valentine Candy or Boxing Gloves is so coy one wishes for the elegant Tommy Steele to burst into the room and tap dance its treacle into silence. All in all, Steele is remarkably well served by the score, belting out I'll Always Be Irish and several other songs with such austerity and charm that he easily dismisses the awkward lyrics. His choreography by Mark Breaux and Dee Dee Wood showcase Steele's finer points, particularly in the barroom number that closes the second half of the show. Unfortunately, there are no memorable showstoppers that leave one with a sudden urge to run out and buy the soundtrack or even leave the theater humming.
THE TRANSFER: This re-released DVD of The Happiest Millionaire is about as dismal as the film itself. Everything's present: the Overture, Entr'acte and Exit music, but the transfer is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. Unlike the previously available DVD from Anchor Bay, colors seem somewhat more dated this time around and fine details breaks apart with a considerable amount of pixelization and edge enhancement, especially when viewed on a larger monitor. There are also several cases where mis-registration of the camera negative results in an excessively blurry print - something else absent on Anchor Bay's version. This DVD compresses the entire running time on one side of the disc, which I suspect is the biggest problem. There are no extras, not even the trailer.
BOTTOM LINE: Get the Anchor Bay version instead!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Best Musical Ever!!, April 26 2004
This review is from: The Happiest Millionaire (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
This is my favorite movie of all time! I used to rent it over and over when I was in high school. I love the music, the story, the characters, everything. It is funny and wonderful! I loved the fact that Cordelia never could make it past a first date, because she always "knocked out" literally, all of her dates! The alligators and the butler from Ireland make for some hilarious scenes also. Don't wait, get the DVD. You'll love it!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and silly, April 26 2004
By 
Lotus Scrum (Phoenix, Az United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Happiest Millionaire (Sous-titres français) (DVD)
I remember catching this on the Disney channel back in the 80s and LOVED it! It was fun and just down right silly. I loved the music and a woman I had NEVER seen before and fell in love with, Lesley Ann Warren. I soon began to always remember this film due to her. I also really enjoyed most of Fred MacMurray's films from this time period also. A time that films were fun and innocent, or at least MORE innocent then the films now.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars We love OLD Disney., Aug. 17 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Happiest Milliionaire (DVD)
WE LOVE THIS MOVIE! FUN SONGS! LIKEABLE CHARACTERS! THE BEST THING ABOUT THE MOVIE IS THAT (NO MATTER HOW FAR-FETCHED IT SEEMS) IT REALLY IS A TRUE STORY! ANTHONY BIDDLE REALLY DID KEEP PET ALLIGATORS, THEY REALLY DID FREEZE ONE TIME, HE REALLY DID GO ON A CHOCOLATE CAKE DIET, HE REALLY DID PURSUE THE MILITARY TO USE HIS BIBLE CLASS, ETC. ETC. EVEN DOWN TO HIS EXPRESSIONS...."I MIGHT HAVE DIED" "DEAD, DEAD, DEAD." READ THE BOOK WRITTEN BY HIS DAUGHTER. IT MAKES FOR A FUN COMPARISON. TRUTH REALLY IS STRANGER THAN FICTION!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fred McMurray and a good musical, what a combo!, July 29 2003
This review is from: Happiest Milliionaire (DVD)
My only criticism of the DVD version of this is that they edited out some of it. I'm used to seeing it with all the movie and it aggravated me that some of it was cut. But it is a very long movie (aren't all musicals?) so that may be why. The story is based on fact (exactly how close it comes I don't know!)and concerns a millionaire who is, to say the least, quite eccentric. He runs off servants constantly, but manages to hire as his butler John Lawless from Ireland, who fits in perfectly. McMurray, who plays the millionaire who hates change, was perfect in this part, as he fights sending his daughter off to finishing school and then fights even harder when she gets engaged. John Davidson plays the fiance (I think this might have been his first big screen role)and is both good-looking and likeable. The songs are good & some scenes are memorable indeed, like the high-class duel-of-words between Aunt Mary and Mrs. Duke or the hangover scene when they go to get Angie (Davidson) out of jail. Perhaps most memorable of all is the scene where the alligators have thawed out and the maid finds them -- don't ask, just watch the movie. A very enjoyable musical.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't this Walt's Final Live-Action Film?, March 12 2003
By 
Dave Mason (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
What genius decided to remove the name of Walt Disney from above the title of this film?
As the final production completed while Walt Disney was alive, this film deserved better for this DVD edition. Not only could there have been additional "special features" featuring the songs of the Sherman Brothers, but the spectacular work behind Emile Kuri's set designs should have given cause to at least feature a gallery of his work. Kuri's influence was extensive upon the films created during the final decade of Walt's life, and should be further acknowledged. This was a missed opportunity.
Most people with a VCR don't need an additional DVD. It was the FEATURES that created DVD demand, and it appears that now that there is market momentum toward this new technology, Disney, along with all other studios, is quickly retrenching in order to reduce costs. It is regrettable that they are also diminishing the value of their own brand in the process.
All in all, an unnecessary release in this version.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars my youngest likes it, Feb. 16 2003
By 
hardly_b (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
It's a sweet movie, and it was entertaining enough the first time, but I'll probably never watch it all the way through again. My youngest daughter liked it quite a bit when she was 4-7, and it became part of the regular rotation of comfort films. The music is good, the values are very family oriented, and it's very wholesome.
I got curious about the family on which this movie was based, and I couldn't learn much, but there was such a family, and they are apparently still around and still very rich and connected. One thing I learned is that the person on whom the John Davidson character is based died shortly after marrying the Biddle daughter, although he did leave at least one son. I can't remember much about what I discovered (it's been several years since I looked them up), but I got the distinct feeling that a factual movie about the family would have been quite interesting, and that this might be why they were picked as the subject of this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Disney`s best., Jan. 13 2003
By 
keith kunz "Heart Of A Child." (buena park, ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Happiest Milliionaire (DVD)
this, bounces from musical comedy to melodrama and back. with careless abandon. The comedy is funny at first.The music is so-so with bad singing.and the melodrama is insulting.It`s too long. since Walt; died before it`s release. my guess is, no one was in-charge and it shows.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!, Jan. 12 2003
By 
sandra (ANCHORAGE, ALASKA) - See all my reviews
I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I GREW UP WATCHING IT ALMOST EVERY DAY. I TOO WOULD LIKE TO SEE "THE ONE AND ONLY GUENUINE ORIGINAL FAMILY BAND" ALSO STARRING LESLEY-ANN WARREN. IT TOO WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. THE MUSIC IN THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE IS FUN. ESPECIALLY "I'LL ALWAYS BE IRISH". AFTER HEARING THAT SONG I FIND MYSELF SINGING IT FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. I ALSO LOVE THE ALLIGATORS. I AM A REPTILE LOVER MYSELF. I RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE TO EVERYONE, AND HOPE MY OWN DAUGHTER WILL LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DO. THANK YOU GRANDMA FOR INTRODUCING ME TO SUCH A WONDERFUL, FUN FILLED MOVIE, AND FOR BROADENING MY HORIZON.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Happiest Millionaire (Sous-titres français)
CDN$ 14.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews