Wednesday, December 16, 2009

53. Le Million/The Million (1931)

Running Time: 81 minutes
Directed By: Rene Clair
Written By: Rene Clair, from play by Georges Berr and Marcel Guillemaud
Main Cast: Rene Lefevre, Jean-Louis Allibert, Annabella, Paul Ollivier


Eventhough I didn't much care for "A Nous la Liberte", I still had high hopes for the second Rene Clair flick on my list, "Le Million" and man, was I right to have those high hopes. I've said it before and I'm gonna say it again: It's movies like this that make me so glad that I decided to do this project, because if I hadn't done this project I would've never seen "Le Million".

Michel is a struggling artist who is engaged to Beatrice and who owes money all over town to various creditors. His best friend is Propser and one day Prosper informs him of the news in the daily paper: That the million dollar lottery has been won and Michel is the big winner. Michel is very much happy about this news, as he recieves right at the end of being chased down by the grocer, the butcher and the dairy maid, among others and all of whom he owes money to. Michel quickly realizes that he kept his lottery ticket in his jacket pocket, which he gave to Beatrice to mend.

There's only one problem, Beatrice gave the jacket to a man named Grandpa Tulip, who was running from the police, so that he'd have a disguise and thus wouldn't be caught. She gave it to Tulip out of spite, after Michel was running around trying to charm a floozy by the name of Wanda. When Michel is informed that the jacket is gone and in the clutches of Grandpa Tulip, he quickly springs into action, prodding Beatrice for Tulip's address. Yet another problem presents itself, as in the meantime, Grandpa Tulip has pawned off the jacket to opera singer Sopranelli, for him to use in his production of "The Bohemians".

The race is on, as Michel promises to split the million with Prosper if he's able to obtain the lottery ticket. The whole film is a madcap ride through the day as Michel races to retrieve the lottery ticket, pay off his creditors, all while trying to make amends with Beatrice for his woman chasing ways. This movie had everything; comedy, drama, romance, music, as throughout the entire film little musical numbers pop up and they fit right in with all of the zaniness of this film. This is the movie I've been looking for since my return to this project, something that really threw me right into the thick of things and gave me what I really wanted out of a movie. I can't say enough good things about "Le Million" but I'll sum it all up with this: It's out there on Criterion DVD and if you haven't seen it, treat yourself to something that is sure to put a smile on your face and give you a really great hour and a half.

RATING: 10/10 Finally I've found that "Perfect 10" and hopefully the hits just keep on comin'.

NEXT UP: Tabu...F.W. Muranu's last film and the review should be up tomorrow. Peace out!

December 16, 2009 5:14pm


  1. Finaly managed to track this one down on a Korean import. Probably not as good as the Criterion - toatly lacking any extras at all, but that is not available over here.
    Much more fun than I expected I must say. 'A french musical??' I've had a couple of dread afternoons with those for this list (thank you very much Jaques Demy)to put me off... but this was great. Perhaps not quite a 10 from me.. but well worth while.
    Another one to thank 'The Book' for.

  2. Glad you found this one Ray. Something about "Le Million" just rubbed me the right way and based on the French films I've seen, this was just a lot different.


SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #66: La piscine/The Swimming Pool (1969)

Running Time: 120 minutes Directed By: Jacques Deray Written By: Jean-Claude Carriere, Jacques Deray, Alain Page Main Cast: Alain Del...