• 1 hr 33 min
  • Documentary
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Synopsis

Screenwriter Preston Sturges never lets the facts get in the way of a good story in this colorful filmed biography of turn-of-the-century millionaire Diamond Jim Brady. The hearty Edward Arnold stars as Brady, who parlays a small-time railroad supply firm into a thriving financial empire. Once he's in the chips, Diamond Jim indulges in his every whim, lavishing his money on wine, women, song and food -- lots and lots of food. Alas, for all his business acumen, he is never able to find true romance, striking out twice with coquettish Emma (Jean Arthur) and her more sedate look-alike Jane (also Jean Arthur). Along, the way, Diamond Jim also has a casual fling with the fabulous Lillian Russell (Binnie Barnes), but theirs is more a friendship than an affair. Having paid no attention to the truth throughout the film, writer Sturges felt no need to accurately portray Brady's ultimate demise, so he borrows a page from the old George Arliss vehicle Old English by having Diamond Jim deliberately eat himself to death. Edward Arnold would repeat his Diamond Jim Brady characterization opposite Alice Faye in 1940's Lillian Russell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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