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An impoverished artist discovers he has purchased a winning lottery ticket at the very moment his creditors come to collect. The only problem is, the ticket is in the pocket of his coat. . . which he left at his girlfriend's apartment. . . who gave the coat to a man hiding from the police. . . who sells the coat to an opera singer who uses it during a performance. By turns charming and inventive, René Clair's lyrical masterpiece had a profound impact on not only the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin, but on the American Musical as a whole.
Welcome back one of the treasures of international cinema. In 1929-30, when Hollywood was stymied by the arrival of talkies, a Frenchman named René Clair set about reinventing the movies for the world of sound. Rather than enslave his camera--and imagination--to a microphone in a potted palm, Clair embraced sound as a liberating new dimension of the motion picture. His effervescent comedy-musical-romance Le Million doesn't just feature a witty commingling of dialogue and song--it's a jeu d'esprit in which every movement, every cut, every sound effect (or absence thereof) contributes to a lilting rhythm.
The plot is precisely as airy and as farcically complicated as it needs to be. Suffice it to say that there's this threadbare jacket with a winning lottery ticket in the pocket. It becomes separated from its starving-artist owner and leads him and numerous others a merry chase over the roofs of Paris, through the urban underworld, and onto the very stage of the Opera. You'll wonder more than once whether the Marx Brothers were taking notes.
For no good reason whatsoever, Le Million remained out of circulation for decades, except for a few bleary dupe videos. Now we have a crystal-clear DVD that does full justice to Lazare Meerson's ethereal settings, Georges Périnal's luminous camerawork, the enchanting beauty of leading lady Annabella, and René Clair's world-class comedy masterpiece. There shall be dancing in the streets. --Richard T. Jameson
In Le Million, Rene Clair, one of the cinema's great directors and great pioneers, created a gem of light comedy which for all its lightness is a groundbreaking and technically... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jon Corelis
This film by Rene Clair is very enjoyable and is recommened. This is paticuarly true for those interested in Rene Clair's career.Published on July 7, 2012 by Tony Marquise Jr.
This film is constantly silly, but rarely funny. There are NO likeable characters, as the entire cast is made up of greedy, two-faced philanderers, with no puckish charms to... Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by vitajex
The premier edition of the prestigious "Sight and Sound" critics poll of the all-time Top Ten movies came out in 1952 (and every 10 years thereafter another poll is issued). Read morePublished on January 25, 2008 by Randy Keehn
I rented this movie thinking it would be awesome, from all the rave reviews it got on Amazon. But it's really just a pretty average comedy. Read morePublished on March 11, 2007
Seventy-five years old, and René Clair's Le Million remains one of the most delightful, ebullient and amusing of movies. Read morePublished on August 14, 2006 by C. O. DeRiemer
At the dawn of sound, director René Clair brought us this delicious farcical concoction, imbued with a spirited, joyously romantic flavor only the French can produce. Read morePublished on September 5, 2005 by John Farr
One of the most majestic compositions of comedy and musical ever shown in a film. Absolutely hilarious even for today's standards. Read morePublished on October 29, 2004 by Tent