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Lost and Found: Miss Tatlock’s Millions (1948) — 30 Comments

  1. Miss Tatlock's Millions is one of my all-time favorite comedies–probably the funniest of them all. I've loved it since it first came out.

    John Lund is absolutely superb in this, hilarious, and his comedic timing is perfection. From beginning to end he is terrific. And what a cast–Woolley is his acerbic best, Ilka Chase dryly sarcastic ('Nicky has to act fast–his charm wears off after a couple hours'..she says about her son).

    Richard Haydn's annoyingly slow reader-of-the-will is his usual joy, and we can't overlook Barry Fitzgerald–another comic joy.

    I've bought this in tape and DVD and never received a decent copy of it. It always looks like a VHS tape copied over and over, kinda watery. At least I can watch it and try to re-live the fun of it, but a good DVD would be wonderful and this is a film all film lovers really need to see.

    I've heard various reason why it is one of the lost films–that the studio buried it in the archives, that the original burned in a studio fire, that no one thought it important enough to keep decent copies. Whatever the excuse it is high time for all good movie lovers to bombard TCM!

  2. Thanks for dropping by, soaplover! I share your frustration at Tatlock's scant showing on video. I too have bought one or two of those multi-generational VHS dupes and cringed at the poor quality. Finally I found the reasonably decent DVD copy from which the images in this post were captured. But a glance at the customer reviews on Amazon shows that few buyers found it as satisfactory as I did; maybe I was just lucky. Now (two years after my post) even that is no longer available, and the source, Hollywood's Attic in Burbank, CA, has gone out of business.

    As for why Miss Tatlock's Millions remains "lost", I suspect (and hope) it's more likely buried in the Universal vault rather than destroyed and gone forever. With no powerhouse names to hang a DVD release on, Universal probably figures it's just not worth the time and money. Universal took the trouble with some of their old Paramounts — W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, Preston Sturges for the stars he worked with (Henry Fonda, Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Betty Hutton, etc.), and so on. But John Lund? Wanda Hendrix? Not so much. There's always hope, but in the meantime we can take comfort from knowing that at least the picture's not genuinely lost.

  3. I first saw Miss Tatlock's Millions many — too many — years ago on TV when I was first starting to watch movies.

    Recently I acquired a DVD thru Amazon, it's OK — I'm not complaining — but it is rather poor quality, like it was originally filmed from a TV showing (in fact, periodically a "Channel 9" logo pops up). The story holds up well after all these years and it was fun to watch again.

    This tribute page is awesome, so thanks for that. I don't know how you came up with those photos. I'll have to look around your website for other gems. Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Anon! The frame-caps on this post are from a DVD I bought from a concern known as Hollywood's Attic; alas, they're out of business now. The quality isn't the best, but it's better than other videos of Miss Tatlock that I've picked up over the years (one VHS tape was simply awful). As the frame-caps suggest, it's passable enough, and I'm grateful to have it, considering the range of inferior bootlegs out there.

    By all means, stay a while here at Cinedrome, and look around! I hope you like what you see.

  5. Hello

    Just found your blog while looking for any signs of fresh showings of Miss Tatlock's Millions. I watched this movies many times as a kid in the 60's on Channel 5 out of NYC. Loved the movie and years later bought a very poor quality DVD. I have over the years sent TCM several requests to please show this film. When the movie "The Ringer" come out some years ago USA Today even mentioned Miss Tatlock's Millions in their review of the Johnny Knoxville comedy! I thought maybe then TCM might show it but alas that was not to be. I have wondered if the fact that some might think that the film makes light of the mentally challenged may be the reason TCM has never shown Miss Tatlock's Millions. It doesn't and I sure wish this very funny movie was easier to be viewed!

  6. Welcome, Anon! You may be on to something with the idea that "the film mak[ing] light of the mentally challenged" may be keeping Miss Tatlock's Millions in the Universal vault. And you're right, it certainly doesn't; if anything, it makes light of people who do make light of such people. Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting.