Looking Backward: A Millionaire for Christy (1951)

26 Jun

A Millionaire for Christy is a frothy little screwball with surprising chemistry between its stars (when you think Hot Makeout Action, I ‘m betting you don’t immediately think Fred MacMurray and Eleanor Parker – GIF courtesy Constance Milligan).

millionaire christy constancemilligangifThe weirdest thing about it, and admittedly it’s only weird if you’re someone who watches too many of these damned things, is context – it’s such a 1930s movie that it’s weird to see in the early 1950s.

I’ve seen this before in more recent comedies that desperately want to pay tribute to an older style and there’s frequently something kind of desperate going on. That isn’t really the case here. But there is a strange friction between the goings-on and the period in A Millionaire for Christy, almost as if the screenplay sat around for fifteen years and someone just shaved out the vague references to the WPA. Which, sixty years later, is scarcely noticeable, but still there. Maybe it’s me.

It’s a frequent problem for me in a certain kind of post-WWII movie, that attempt to recapture the attitudes of a world before the massive change it brought that makes for the occasional film equivalent of a brittle smile. It took a while for Hollywood to level out. (Anyone else feel like latter day Abbot & Costello become layabouts with dead-end jobs in a prosperous America instead of just another couple of out-of-work oddjobbers like they were before V-J Day? Again, maybe it’s me.)

Still, light fun, and fine work from Parker in particular, who didn’t usually do this sort of thing.

2 Responses to “Looking Backward: A Millionaire for Christy (1951)”

  1. bevlionsplace December 5, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    As we enter the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Eleanor Parker on Dec. 9th, perhaps a visit to a new website that I just uploaded, Eleanorforever.com will be worth a while. Your site is most impressive and a whole lot of fun to come to and enjoy, and I’d like to make mention of it at the new Eleanor Parker tribute website if you permit me. Best wishes.

    • yellowstockingtales December 6, 2016 at 3:46 am #

      Do feel free to make mention of it – thanks! I haven’t been able to post in some time except at my other blog, YellowstockingTales, but you’re more than welcome to include it. Take care!

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