Million Dollar Mystery
|Million Dollar Mystery|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Fleischer|
|Produced by||Stephen F. Kesten|
|Written by||Rudy De Luca
Royce D. Applegate
|Music by||Al Gorgoni|
|Edited by||John W. Wheeler|
|Distributed by||De Laurentiis Entertainment Group|
|Release date(s)||June 12, 1987|
|Running time||95 minutes|
|Box office||$989,033 (USA)|
Million Dollar Mystery (also known as Money Mania) is a 1987 American film released with a promotional tie-in for Glad-Lock brand bags. This was the final feature-length film directed by Richard Fleischer.
Tom Bosley has the starring role as Sidney Preston, a disgruntled White House aide who took off with $4 million that belonged to the government. While on the run, he stops at a roadside diner and has their world famous chili. He suffers a fatal heart attack and before dying, reveals to onlookers the location of the first million dollars.
The occupants of the diner head out on a mad dash to find the loot. When they find the money, they lose it in a mishap. They follow clues to the next million and lose it as well. After finding and losing the third million, the movie ends. During the closing credits, one of the characters informs the audience that there is a million dollars somewhere in the USA and if they follow the clues in specially marked Glad-Lock bags, they have the chance to win $1 million.
The plot was not unlike the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
- Tom Bosley as Sidney Preston
- Royce D. Applegate as Tugger
- Penny Baker as Charity
- Eddie Deezen as Rollie
- Douglas Emerson as Howie Briggs
- Rich Hall as Slaughter Buzzárd
- Daniel McDonald as Crush
- Rick Overton as Stuart Briggs
- Kevin Pollak as Officer Quinn
- Jamie Alcroft as Bob
- Mack Dryden as Fred
- Tawny Fere as Faith
- H.B. Haggerty as Awful Abdul
- LaGena Hart as Hope
- Mona Lyden as Barbara Briggs
- Pam Matteson as Dottie
- Gail Neely as Officer Gretchen
- Bob Schott as Bad Boris
- Wendy Sherman as Lollie
While performing a routine stunt for this film, legendary stuntman Dar Robinson died on November 21, 1986.
Producer Dino De Laurentiis conceived the idea for Million Dollar Mystery when he visited New York and saw a row of people lining up for what he presumably thought was a movie. A companion told De Laurentiis that they were actually lining up for lottery tickets.
Glad Bags sponsored a sweepstakes timed for the film's release. The company gave away entry forms, and the audience would fill out these forms with their answer to where the last million is hiding, based on clues given in the film. De Laurentiis said of the film: "This is a really broad comedy with car chases, designed for the young major moviegoing audience, about 12 to 24 years old. The sweepstakes gives us the potential to reach even more people - the infrequent moviegoer, the person more interested in winning a million dollars than in going to the movies, and these are the kind of people who use Glad Bags, housewives who maybe go to the movies once or twice a year."
De Laurentiis had high expectations for the film, but it did not turn out to be a hit. The winner of the contest ended up being 14-year-old Alesia Lenae Jones of Bakersfield, California, who successfully guessed that the loot was hidden in the nose of the Statue of Liberty.
- Nominated: Worst Original Song, Barry Mann & John Lewis Parker (1988)
- Nominated: Worst Supporting Actor, Tom Bosley (1988)
- Nominated: Worst Supporting Actor, Jamie Alcroft (1988)
- Nominated: Worst Supporting Actor, Mack Dryden (1988)
- Million Dollar Mystery at the Internet Movie Database
- Million Dollar Mystery at the TCM Movie Database
- Million Dollar Mystery at AllMovie
- Million Dollar Mystery at Rotten Tomatoes