Millie (film)

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Millie 1931 poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by John Francis Dillon
Produced by Charles R. Rogers
Written by Novel:
Donald Henderson Clarke
Charles Kenyon
Starring Helen Twelvetrees
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Edited by Fred Allen
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)
  • February 6, 1931 (1931-02-06)
Running time 85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Millie (1931) is a Pre-Code drama film directed by John Francis Dillon and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the novel by Donald Henderson Clarke, the movie stars Helen Twelvetrees, Lilyan Tashman, James Hall,[1] and Joan Blondell.

In 1959, the film entered the public domain in the USA due to the copyright claimants failure to renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[2]


Millie is a naive young woman who marries a wealthy man from New York. Three years later, we see her with her young daughter in an unhappy marriage. She finds that her husband is unfaithful to her and she gets a divorce. Because of her pride, she does not want his money. However, she also does not want to remove her daughter from a comfortable lifestyle, so she allows her ex-husband to have custody. She gets a promotion and becomes financially independent. She has many admirers and she likes to flirt but she prefers to live independently, not committing to any of her lovers, until she eventually falls in love with the reporter Tommy. But when he cheats on her too, she becomes bitter and refuses to allow herself to become emotional close to anyone else.

Years later, Jimmy, a wealthy businessman and politician who always wanted to marry her but was rejected, still obsesses about Millie. He finds that she has a daughter Connie, now 16 years old and who looks very much like her. When Millie hears that Jimmy has takes an interest in Connie, Millie warns him away. He promises to stay away from Connie, but later, he secretly takes the girl to a remote lodge to seduce her. Millie is tipped off, goes to the lodge with a gun, confronts Jimmy and kills him.

In the following murder trial, Millie tries to keep her daughter's name out of the press and claims not to remember why she shot Jimmy. She says that another woman ran out of the lodge after the shot but claims that she didn't see who the woman was and has no idea as to the other woman's identity. The prosecution thus claims that Millie's motive was jealousy of Jimmy's romantic relationship with this unknown other woman. Millie's friends, however, help to bring out the truth, and when the jury finds out that Millie's true motive was to protect her daughter from Jimmy's lascivious intentions, they acquit her. In the end, Millie is reunited with her daughter and her estranged husband's family.



  1. ^ The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films 1931-40 by The American Film Institute, c.1993
  2. ^ Pierce, David (June 2007). "Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain". Film History: An International Journal 19 (2): 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125. ISSN 0892-2160. OCLC 15122313. Retrieved 2012-01-05.  See Note #60, pg. 143.

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