try repeatedly

Brewster's Millions

Brewster's Millions is a novel written by George Barr McCutcheon in 1902, originally under the pseudonym of Richard Greaves. It was adapted into a play in 1906, which opened at the Globe Theatre (now called the Gielgud Theatre), and the novel or play has been made into a movie nine times (including twice in India). The 1985 version starring Richard Pryor and John Candy is perhaps the best known.

Plot introduction

The novel's story revolves around Montgomery Brewster, a young man who inherits a million dollars from his rich grandfather. Shortly after, a rich and eccentric uncle who hated his grandfather also passes away. The uncle's will leaves Brewster with seven million dollars, but only under the condition that he keeps none of the grandfather's money. To inherit the seven million dollars, Brewster is required to spend every penny of his grandfather's million within one year, and end up with no assets or goods gained by his grandfather's wealth at that time. Should he make the deadline, he will earn the full seven million; should he fail, he remains penniless.

Plot summary

Monty Brewster finds that spending so much money within the course of a year is incredibly difficult, especially with the strict conditions imposed by the executor of his uncle's will. Brewster is required to demonstrate business sense by obtaining good value for the money he spends, limiting his donations to charity, his losses to gambling, and the value of his tips to waiters and cab drivers. Moreover, Brewster is sworn to secrecy, and cannot tell anyone why he is living to excess. Working against him are his well-meaning friends, who try repeatedly to limit his losses and extravagance even as they share in his luxurious lifestyle.

Brewster's challenge is compounded by the fact that his attempts to lose money through stock speculation and roulette prove to increase his funds rather than decrease them. Lampooned by the press as a spendthrift, he throws large parties and balls and charters a cruise lasting several months to Europe and Egypt for his large circle of friends and employees. Nonetheless, despite his loose pursestrings, Monty repeatedly demonstrates a strong moral character. At one point, he uses his funds to bail out a bank to save his landlady's account, despite risking his eligibility for the will. At another, he jumps overboard to save a drowning sailor from his cruise even as his rich friends choose not to.

Monty's would-be wife Drew turns down his marriage proposal early in the year, believing him to be financially irresponsible and bound to a life of poverty, and his attempts to win her back repeatedly fail as Monty's attention is entirely absorbed by the requirement to spend so much money. At the conclusion of the year, Monty succeeds in spending the last of his funds, which he has meticulously documented, and confesses his love to another woman, Peggy Gray, who has been sympathetic to his lifestyle despite knowing nothing about his challenge. Tragedy strikes the night before Monty's deadline, as his lawyers inform him that the executor of his uncle's will has vanished after liquidating all of the assets. Monty convinces himself that he is doomed to poverty, but marries Peggy Gray, who accepts him despite the lack of wealth. Shortly after the wedding, the executor of his uncle's will arrives to inform him that he has successfully met the challenge and that he had simply come to deliver the money to Monty in person.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

Play adaptation

The novel was adapted into a Broadway play by Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley. The play débuted at the New Amsterdam Theatre December 31, 1906.

Movie versions

External links

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