The Million Pound Note aka Man With A Million An impoverished American sailor is fortunate enough to be passing the house of two rich gentlemen who have conceived the crazy idea of distributing a note worth one million pounds. The sailor finds that whenever he tries to use the note to buy something, people treat him like a king and let him have whatever he likes for free. Ultimately, the money proves to be more troublesome than it is worth when it almost costs him his dignity and the woman he loves.
really rather good
The Million Pound Note aka Man With A Million A rare foray into British films for Gregory Peck, and the journey seems to have done him good as this film shows him in one of his better performances (alongside Roman Holiday and To Kill a Mockingbird).
Henry Adams is given the million-pound note of the title and is challenged to keep it, intact, for a month. And that’s the whole premise of the film – but along the way there is a chase along a windswept street, a dumb strongman, a rich girl, a gold mine, Joyce Grenfell, a bet, and a rather snooty tailor.
The film manages to poke fun both at the Americans and the British, as well as highlighting the class differences still prevalent in this country even today. Henry Adams’ plight could be the one of any lottery winner in 2007, although this being movieland, all works out for the best in the end.
Interesting to compare with Mr Deeds Goes To Town, another film about a dotty philanthropist who comes into sudden wealth.
“What A Charmingly Whimsical Gesture!”
The Million Pound Note aka Man With A Million Two elderly brothers, wealthy English gentlemen, establish a wager. They entrust a million-pound banknote to a penniless American, to see if he can live for a month purely on the good will which the note will engender, without ever having to cash it.
Gregory Peck plays Henry Adams, the innocent American, in this stodgy romantic comedy, based on a Mark Twain story. His love interest Portia Lansdowne is played by Jane Griffiths. The film is really just one gag, strung out for 90 minutes – a pauper has no friends, whereas a millionaire is surrounded by sycophancy and limitless credit. Markets deal in confidence, rather than cash.
The film is unarguably well-made. The performances are sharp, the incidental music comments neatly on the action and the ‘look’ is sumptuous. And yet there is something flat about Ronald Neame’s direction, and the laughs are rather thin on the ground