Oh, young lovers, beware Olympic runners with goat heads. But this is no goat, it's major-domo to the President of Klopstokia, W.C. Fields, whose country boasts "chief import: goats and nuts, chief export: goats and nuts, chief inhabitants: goats and nuts." In 1932, the Olympics were held in Los Angeles but more importantly Million Dollar Legs was released to capitalise on it, an amusing, absurdist comedy.
So whose legs are worth a million dollars? I've seen the movie and I still don't know. Though I'd bet the legs belong to Angela if only because every woman in Klopstokia is named Angela. All the men are named George. When Sweetheart asks, "Why?" Angela says, "Why not?"
His name's not really Sweetheart, that's just what the President and his daughter call him. His real name is Tweeny and he's played by Jack Oakie who, when warned that incurring the President's wrath may result in getting his arm broken, says, "That's okay, I got two of 'em."
But the President doesn't break anything on Sweetheart personally, he just has the younger man carried out of the room by guards. When the President's daughter, the most prominent Angela (Susan Fleming) in the film, asks, "They won't hurt him, will they?" Fields reassuringly responds, "Only for two hours, then they'll shoot him."
Angela and Sweetheart were struck by her little brother's arrow and fell in love at first sight but she wants him to learn the traditional Klopstokia love song of gibberish written on the skin of her dead grandfather anyway. I really liked Fleming in this movie who gets to be a lot weirder than women tended to be in comedies of the time. When their train to Los Angeles inexplicably goes to San Francisco, Sweetheart says he'll get a taxi faster than she can say, "Jack Robinson."
"Jack Robinson, eh!" she says and sneers--the joke being that she's inexplicably a pill for an instant for no apparent reason.
The string of absurdity in this film makes it feel more like a Marx Brothers movie than any non-Marx Brothers movie I've seen. It's an early screenwriting credit for Joseph L. Mankiewicz and I have to say it's some of his best work.
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Horse facsimiles jump a cardboard duck.
A colonel's Korea is kept in space.
Pea alligators hunt in a pod truck.
The mummy's torn bathing cap hides an ace.
DNA Knucklebones determined balls.
Stilt walkers scream sighting the ancient hoof.
In LA, apple carts demolished stalls.
The lovelorn alarm clock sang on the roof.
Drip coffee isn't an invitation.
A stolen stop sign reroutes the fern root.
Hard toffee isn't for mastication.
The barmy bairn breaks chimneys for free soot.
Inorganic pinstripe suits roughly rend.
Unqualified pinwheels want weaker wind.