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Million Dollar Baby
Million Dollar Baby FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byCurtis Bernhardt
Written byCasey Robinson
Richard Macaulay
Jerry Wald
Story byLeonard Spigelgass, story "Miss Wheelwright Discovers America"
Produced byHal B. Wallis (executive producer)
StarringPriscilla Lane
Jeffrey Lynn
Ronald Reagan
CinematographyCharles Rosher
Edited byRudi Fehr
Music byFrederick Hollander
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • May 31, 1941 (1941-05-31)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States

Million Dollar Baby is a 1941 romantic comedy film directed by Curtis Bernhardt. Released by Warner Bros., the film stars Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, and Ronald Reagan, with May Robson and Lee Patrick.


When wealthy American expatriate Cornelia Wheelwright (Robson) is informed by her longtime lawyers that her late father swindled his partner, Fortune McCallister, out of $700,000, she acts decisively. First, because James Amory is the only lawyer in the firm to be outraged by the injustice, she hires him and fires the rest of the firm. His first task is to locate all of McCallister's heirs. It turns out there is only one: granddaughter Pam McCallister (Lane).

Pam works in Lacey's Department Store and lives in a boardinghouse in New York City. To find out what kind of person she is, Cornelia becomes a fellow tenant. Cornelia also meets Pam's boyfriend, composer and piano player Pete Rowan (Reagan).

Cornelia then has Jim give Pam a million dollars. Pam is excited at first, buying gifts for her boardinghouse friends, and her boyfriend, who lives across the hall from her. Much to her surprise, her friends and boyfriend seem to change overnight. They are not as overjoyed at her good fortune as she imagines they would be, and rather resent her. As the last straw, her boyfriend tells her she's an Elsie Dinsmore and breaks it off with her. Pam finally decides on a course of action that makes her happy, as well as those around her.