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Sudden Money (1939)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Ruggles ... Sweeney J. Patterson
Marjorie Rambeau ... Elsie Patterson
Charley Grapewin ... Grandpa Casey Patterson
Broderick Crawford ... Archibald 'Doc' Finney
Billy Lee ... Junior Patterson
Evelyn Keyes ... Mary Patterson
Phil Warren Phil Warren ... Eddie Dunn
Joyce Mathews ... Yolo
Richard Denning ... Johnny Jordan
Mary Parker ... Ellen
Richard Tucker ... Mr. Rodney Hinds
James Burke ... McPherson
Charles Halton ... Mr. Wixby
Ethel Wales ... Miss Perkins
Alex Melesh Alex Melesh ... Prof. Armand Tito


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Plot Keywords:

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Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

31 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweepstakes Millionaire See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

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User Reviews

An object lesson about sudden wealth that is actually very true!
28 February 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Sweeney Patterson (Charlie Ruggles) is an ordinary boob who suddenly strikes it rich by winning a sweepstakes. And, like so many lottery winners, he and his family overspend like mad until all their good fortune is soon all used up.

This is actually a story close to the truth, as reportedly 70% of all the million dollar plus lottery winners eventually end up declaring bankruptcy. As such, it's a nice lesson on greed and sudden wealth.

So is the film any good? Yes, though I wouldn't call it a comedy...more an allegory or slice of life movie. The acting is fine and the problem a real one, as human nature is, quite often, really awful and stupid.

By the way, listen closely to the conversation between Sweeney and his daughter near the end of the film when he says: "When a girl gets to be as big as you are, spanking is a husband's privilege"!!! My, how times have changed!!

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