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The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the ... See full summary »


Norman Tokar


Kyle Crichton (play), Cordelia Drexel Biddle (book) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred MacMurray ... Father
Greer Garson ... Mother
Gladys Cooper ... Aunt Mary
Geraldine Page ... Mrs. Duke
Tommy Steele ... John Lawless
Hermione Baddeley ... Mrs. Worth
John Davidson ... Angie
Lesley Ann Warren ... Cordy
Paul Petersen ... Tony
Eddie Hodges ... Livingston
Joyce Bulifant ... Rosemary
Sean McClory ... Police Sgt.
Jim McMullan ... Lt. Powell
William Wellman Jr. ... Lt. Grayson
Aron Kincaid ... Walter Blakely


A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the unusual antics of her father--especially since the nice young men around town all fear him. Wouldn't you fear a father-in-law that keeps alligators for pets and teaches boxing at his daily Bible classes? Cordelia decides to run off to boarding school and promptly finds the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, his family doesn't approve of Biddle's outrageous antics, either. A Disney musical punctuated by snappy songs and an energetic debut by Tommy Steele. This is reportedly one of the last live- action films Walt Disney personally oversaw. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


So Big!... So Romantic!... So Full of Life! See more »


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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

7 December 1967 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Happiest Millionaire See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The real Anthony Drexel Biddle, Sr. (1874-1948), was a banking magnate and dyed-in-the-wool eccentric whose independent wealth allowed him to pursue such diverse ventures as physical culture (he boxed with Jack Johnson and taught boxing to Gene Tunney), theatricals, and religion. He served as a Colonel in the U.S. Marines in both World Wars. Cordelia Drexel Biddle's (1898-1984) marriage to Andrew Buchannan did not result in a happy ending. Although they had two sons, both of whom became prominent in business and diplomatic circles, the marriage ran into trouble, they were divorced within a few years, and Angier Duke died young, not long after that, in a boating accident. She co-wrote (with Kyle Crichton) the book upon which both the movie and play "The Happiest Millionaire" were based, "My Philadelphia Father". After her divorce from Angier Buchanan Duke (who, unlike his character in the movie, was actually more than a decade her senior), she made a far happier marriage to architect Thomas Robertson, a marriage which lasted until his death in 1962. Like her father, she enjoyed an active life devoted to many charitable activities. By most accounts, she was one of those women who grew more attractive as they grew older, prompting a reporter to state, "The aura of youth clinging to this illusion. It is no product that can be bought in a beauty shop or designer's salon. Hers is a youth that laughs at the insolent years..." Active almost to the end of her life, she died at her home in Southhampton, New York. See more »


At the bar, when Angie makes the fighter spill his beer, the fighter has foam on his mustache. In the next frame, it's gone. See more »


[first lines]
John Lawless: [singing] Well now, ain't this an elegant neighborhood, all the residents dressed so fine! One day off the boat am I, with a job that's nearly mine! 'Tis a job with an elegant millionaire, and his elegant family! Today I move from immigrant - to high society!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original uncut roadshow version was actually trade-screened at 164 minutes. This version has been shown on the Disney Channel, and has only now been released to video and to DVD. This version, five minutes longer than the 1967 premiere version, adds a scene with Mr. and Mrs. Biddle after the children have left, and the song "It Won't Be Long Till Christmas." See more »


Featured in The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story (2009) See more »


Strengthen the Dwelling
Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by Fred MacMurray and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wonderful Period Musical
11 August 2004 | by dmorseSee all my reviews

I just bought the DVD roadshow version of this film, as I had seen it as a teenager and thoroughly enjoyed it....this is the complete 3 hour version with prologue, intermission, and exit music; although it has been panned through the years, I have always thought highly of it...it is based on the memoirs of Cordie Biddle, who is the daughter of Anthony Biddle the highly conservative and inventive head of the Biddle household..there are some wonderful actors including Fred MacMurray as the patriarch, Greer Garson as his wife, Gladys Cooper (in I believe one of her last roles) as Cordie's grandmother, and of course Leslie Ann Warren, and John Davidson as the younger romantic interest....If there is a complaint, I would have to say there is too much time spent on the romance of the two younger players, and whatever happened to Paul Petersen, and Eddie Hodges, who are only in ONE scene as the brothers of Cordie....their scenes must have been left on the cutting room floor if they indeed had anymore!!! This is an early 20th century piece, with wonderful costumes, decor, and settings of the period, and lilting music for the most part...and as others have said Tommy Steele as the butler STEALS the show with his singing, dancing, and commentary on the goings on throughout the story. I have on order the movie "Half a Sixpence" which Tommy originated on the stage in London; am looking forward to this film also...I think we all miss the family oriented musicals, and movies of this time period; they are so easy to view and so enjoyable...One final comment; what a wonderful way to end the movie with Fred MacMurray and Greer Garson doing a duet on "Let them Go" a poignant ballad on their feelings of dealing with the empty nest syndrome...this was added for the roadshow version I believe, I don't recall it in the original version....Does anyone know whether Greer Garson's voice was used in this; I wasn't sure if she was a singer or not....at any rate I would recommend this film to any one...

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