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If I Were Rich1933

  • 3.5
This caper comedy revolves around the astonishing effect that $100,000 in cash has on various characters, something that can be explained by remembering that in 1932 Britain (like the U.S.) was in the grips of a serious economic depression. Robert Donat plays a "humble electrician" dispatched to turn off the power at a luxury flat owned by entrepreneur Edmund Gwenn and his daughter Wendy Barrie. En route, he unknowingly has that sum slipped into his bag by a fleeing thief. When this illicit windfall is discovered, his reluctant hosts beg him to stay and wave it around a bit, as they're about to be visited by potential investors who might be impressed into contributing their own cash toward the building of a public "super-swimming pool with sex appeal." Also released as FOR LOVE OR MONEY (and also, simply, as CASH), this sophisticated affair involved numerous talents bound for bigger fame. Donat would soon become a major international star in classics like GOODBYE MR. CHIPS and Alfred Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS while some years later Gwenn achieved immortality as the department-store Santa in holiday perennial MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET. Director Alexander Korda would shortly find his métier as a specialist in exotic adventure sagas including the 1942 JUNGLE BOOK. - Dennis Harvey

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