Synopsis by Hal Erickson
"Klopstokia: A Far-Away Country. Chief Exports: Goats and Nuts. Chief Imports: Goats and Nuts. Chief Inhabitants: Goats and Nuts." This introductory title ushers in Million Dollar Legs, one of the zaniest comedies ever to emerge from a major studio. W.C. Fields stars as the president of Klopstokia, who will hold on to his office so long as he can best the secretary of the treasury (Hugh Herbert) in their daily arm-wrestling contests. Like most of the Depression-era world, Klopstokia is broke, forcing the government to take drastic measures to raise money. Fortunately, everyone in the country is a super-athlete, inspiring visiting Fuller Brush salesman Migg Tweeney (Jack Oakie) to come up with a brilliant idea: Klopstokia will enter the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Alas, the subversive cabinet members, hoping to overthrow the president, plot to undermine the Klopstokian athletic team with the aid of sexy seductress Mata Machree (Lyda Roberti), "the woman no man can resist." Words can hardly describe the nonstop parade of gags and verbal insanity in Million Dollar Legs: Ben Turpin, playing a cloaked-and-caped spy, pops in and out with neither rhyme nor reason; the conspirators' outdoor hideout is incongruously equipped with hydraulic lifts and elevators; Mata Machree's butler informs the villains that "Madame can only be resisted from 2 to 4,"; and, when asked why all the Klopstokian men are named George and the women named Angela, the president's daughter (Susan Fleming, later the wife of Harpo Marx), replies "Why not?" then launches into the national anthem -- a double-talk version of "One Hour With You." Among the writers were Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Henry Myers, who were also responsible for the wacky Wheeler andWoolsey political satire Diplomaniacs.
arm-wrestling, bankruptcy, Olympic-Games, political-unrest, President