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Millionaire Playboy (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 15 March 1940 (USA)
Joe Zany has been bashful around girls since he was a baby, and has violent spells of hiccuping when he is kissed by one. His father, utilities magnate J.B. Zany, calls in the services of ... See full summary »


Leslie Goodwins


Bert Granet (story), Bert Granet (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Joe Penner ... Joe Zany, aka Mr. Joe Potter
Linda Hayes ... Lois Marlowe
Russ Brown Russ Brown ... Mr. Bob Norman
Fritz Feld ... 'G.G.' Gorta
Tom Kennedy ... Tom Murphy
Granville Bates ... Stafford
Arthur Q. Bryan Arthur Q. Bryan ... J.B. Zany
Pamela Blake ... Eleanor (as Adele Pearce)
Diane Hunter Diane Hunter ... Hattie
Mary Beth Milford ... Bertha (as Mary Milford)
Mantan Moreland ... Bellhop
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Faylen ... (scenes deleted)


Joe Zany has been bashful around girls since he was a baby, and has violent spells of hiccuping when he is kissed by one. His father, utilities magnate J.B. Zany, calls in the services of escort bureau manager Bob Norman and offers him a fat fee if he can cure Joe. Learning that Joe isn't scared of old ladies, Bob takes him to a lake resort where there are many girls and tells him they are old ladies who have had face lifts. Neither Bob nor Joe know that J.B. is trying to buy all the property around the lake for an electric power project, and has two agents on the job, Stafford and Murph. Stafford is trying to persuade resort-owner Lois Marlow to sell out but she refuses, though her guests are leaving because there are no men around. She hells them that Joe is a millionaire playboy and the girls decide to stay and work their wiles on him. Stafford and Murph, anxious for the guests to leave so Lois will sell out, decide to try and scare Joe away. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"JOE ZANY" IS HIS NAME... SO WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?... Shadows Scare Him... Squirrels Chase Him... Girls Panic Him!


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Glamour Boy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mr. Zany's offer of $5,000 to cure Joe would equate to over $90,000 in 2018. See more »


J.B. Zany: Did you buy those notes?
Joe Zany, aka Mr. Joe Potter: Uh huh.
J.B. Zany: Well, you're a smarter businessman than I thought.
Joe Zany, aka Mr. Joe Potter: Yeah, they can't fool me. I'm too ignorant!
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Slapstick Almost Wrecked by the Lead
30 March 2015 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

this is a very good slapstick comedy feature from RKO, with a fine supporting cast including Tom Kennedy playing one of his patented dimwits, Fritz Feld, Arthur Q. Bryan and the underrated Mantan Moreland. Russ Brown, now principally remembered as a leading support in the stage cast of DAMN YANKEES is a fine second banana. It's directed by old hand slapstick pro Leslie Goodwins. And it's all wrecked by Joe Penner.

During the 1930s a lot of radio comedy was predicated on people with funny voices -- Fanny Brice, a talented performer, led the way with Baby Snooks. There were others and Joe Penner was among their ranks: an adenoidal toddler's voice, a catch phrase ("wanna buy a duck") and that was it. Think of Lou Costello without Bud Abbott to play against and only a portion of one routine ("I'm a baaaaad boy!") and done. That's Joe Penner: a third banana from a burlesque show somehow shoved into the top spot of a movie without preparation.

Show business has always thrown up these sports and for the most part they star in one show, then it's on to whatever B or C list celebrities do -- "Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts" these days, where they can be safely ignored. Well, in those days, this is what happened to them: B comedies from RKO where skilled supporting casts and Leslie Goodwins tried to make bricks without straw.

So long as Joe Penner is not on the screen, this is a pretty good comedy: millionaire sportsman is afraid of young women, so his father hires a psychiatrist to cure him. The psychiatrist take him to a failing resort populated by millionaire-hunting pretty girls who are all, he informs the millionaire, actually old ladies. Complications, in the manner of all the best comedies, ensue, including a local mass murderer. Unfortunately, Joe is there to be annoying to other characters (which is fine) and audience alike (which is not). Others could certainly play this part very well, even, perhaps, people in this movie. Unfortunately, they chose Joe.

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