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Champagne for Caesar (1950)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 11 May 1950 (USA)
In order to get even with the pompous president of a soap company, an eccentric genius goes on his quiz show in order to bankrupt his company.

Director:

Richard Whorf (as Richard B. Whorf)

Writers:

Hans Jacoby (story), Frederick Brady (story) (as Fred Brady) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... Beauregard Bottomley
Celeste Holm ... Flame O'Neil
Vincent Price ... Burnbridge Waters
Barbara Britton ... Gwenn Bottomley
Art Linkletter ... Happy Hogan
Gabriel Heatter Gabriel Heatter ... Announcer
George Fisher George Fisher ... Announcer
Byron Foulger ... Gerald
Ellye Marshall Ellye Marshall ... Frosty (as Ellie Marshall)
Vici Raaf ... Waters' Secretary (as Vicki Raaf)
John Eldredge ... Executive No. 1
Lyle Talbot ... Executive No. 2
George Leigh George Leigh ... Executive No. 3
John Hart ... Executive No. 4
Mel Blanc ... Caesar (voice)
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Storyline

What happens when the man who knows everything goes on a quiz show that doubles your cash prize every time a you answer a question correctly? Beauregard Bottomly is that man & what happens is you end up with 40 million dollars at stake. Written by April M. Cheek <Aravis2713@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...the bubbliest, frothiest, tickliest comedy!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Botta senza risposta See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to Beauregard Bottomley's alcohol-loving parrot Caesar, voiced by Mel Blanc. See more »

Goofs

When Ronald Colman, Barbara Britton and others watch TV in the shop window they would not be able to hear any sound through the store glass. However, to draw crowds to sell TVs or just attract customers, stores circa 1950 mounted loudspeakers to carry broadcast sound to passersby in front. See more »

Quotes

Happy Hogan: You have five seconds to tell us the Japanese word for goodbye. 1... 2...
Beauregard Bottomley: Sayonara. Not to be confused with cyanide, which is, of course, goodbye in any language.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening and closing credits run against a background of champagne bubbles. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Sopranos: The Knight in White Satin Armor (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-bye Baby
(uncredited)
Traditional lullaby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely hilarious and intelligent escapism

Excellent comedy starring comic Ronald Colman as Beauregard Bottomely, who is described as being the last scholar in America. He takes his "cornflakes with Schopenhauer", basically spends the whole day reading. Anyway he doesn't seem to do very well in the world of work, he's such a know-it-all that he doesn't last long anywhere. Believe me, and I know, correcting a boss who is talking nonsense on a matter of fact will earn you no brownie points.

One evening Beauregard goes to the TV store with his sister and the nightly crowd to watch the evening shows, specifically in his case, a science show where they send a radar beam to the moon. Afterwards there is a quiz show on that his sister forces him to watch. It's a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" type show where you are asked 7 successive questions, each time you answer a question correctly the prize doubles. The prize is not much, it's more of a masquerade program where you dress up as a historical personage or an inanimate object, or an animal, and the questions they ask you are based on your costume, a bit of fun really.

Beauregard is (rightly) disgusted by what he presciently sees as the the herald of intellectual Armageddon: "If it is noteworthy and rewarding to know that 2 and 2 make 4 to the accompaniment of deafening applause and prizes, then 2 and 2 making 4 will become the top level of learning." Anyway quite by chance he ends up applying for a job at the company that sponsors the show, only he doesn't get it because he's too superior in the interview (not arrogant mind you, he actually is superior, but that just doesn't do in a hierarchy). When he is given the cold shoulder he decides to get his own back by appearing on the quiz show.

Hilariously, he turns up dressed as the Encylopaedia Britannica, which basically means the quizmaster can ask him any question he feels like. Of course Beauregard gets all seven question right and wins something paltry like $120. But he says he wants to continue and the showbiz guys think it will be a ratings spinner so they ask him some more questions on a next show. The problem is when the amounts of prize winning get too high and the soap company wants to take the show off the air. They make the questions more and more harder in order to get him off, but with mounting hilarity they're unable to. One question for example: "How many dental plates are there on the molar of an Asiatic elephant", Beauregard comes straight back with "24".

It's well plotted with lots of twists and a great ending, there's also a lot of unashamed raunch in the movie. You can't help but enjoy yourself, and Vince Price is simply hilarious in what is perhaps a career best performance as the anti-intellectual soap company boss Burnbridge Waters with solipsistic tendencies.


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