Montague “Monty” L. Brewster (Dennis O'Keefe), a newly discharged U.S. soldier, comes marching home from war into the arms of his sweetheart, Peggy Gray (Helen Walker) and her mother, Mrs. Gray (Nana Bryant).
He also brings along his wartime buddies, Hacky Smith (Joe Sawyer) and Noppy Harrison (Herbert Rudley).
Monty and Peggy want to get married right away, but there's an unexpected hitch. A lawyer appears at the door and advises him that he's heir to a large estate of $8 million tax free. He's a multi-millionaire! But wait, there's a catch. He has to spend a million in two months before his 30th birthday and show no assets. Among other conditions, he can give only 5% to charity, it has to be a secret, and he can't be married.
In other words, he has to end up broke with nothing to show for it. That messes things up with Peggy, big time, but she capitulates. And that's how Brewster & Company is born, with Jackson (Eddie Anderson, "Rochester" on The Jack Benny Show) at the front desk, Peggy and his pals on the payroll.
A little encounter with socialite Barbara Drew (Gail Patrick), daughter of Monty's banker, Colonel Drew (Thurston Hall), whose bank is failing, upsets Peggy.
He's happily making bad investments. Buy they suddenly begin paying off big. He's making money hand over foot. After just one week, he's up $25,000. Desperate to lose more money, he increases his investment in a money-losing play he'd dumped $75,000 into, and makes showgirl Trixie Summers (June Havoc) the star. She's horrible. And that also upsets Peggy.
Women trouble: Barbara and Trixie are after him; Peggy's giving up on him.
Brewster's Millions is okay. Actually, a little meh. But it's a good early-evening diversion with a few chuckles.
Originally cast as Monty Brewster was Garry Moore, a highly successful radio personality who would later gain fame as a television game host in the '50s-'70s; but he didn't make it past the first day of filming.
Brewster's Millions received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music Scoring. It is the fifth of ten film adaptations of George Barr McCutcheon's 1901 novel of the same name. A 1985 remake starred Richard Pryor as a minor league baseball player.
Dennis O'Keefe reprised his Brewster role in a 30-minute radio adaptation on The Screen Guild Theater that was broadcast on March 31, 1947.