Le Million - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Million Reviews

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rubystevens
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2009
groundbreaking and absolutely charming screwball musical comedy. loved it
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2013
"Le Million" starts with a couple of interlopers curious, not complaining, about the boisterous party being thrown in an apartment building in Paris. Well, that same day did not start out so well for Beatrice(Annabella), a ballerina, who comes across Michel(Rene Lefevre), who she pines for, with Wanda(Vanda Greville) in his arms, and coming to the wrong conclusion since Michel had just painted Wanda's portrait. To be honest, Michel has bigger worries, like owing half of Paris money. By comparison that is nothing compared to Grandpa Tulip(Paul Ollivier) who has half the police department chasing after him before Beatrice helps him out by loaning him Michel's tattered jacket that she was valiantly attempting to mend. And just as Michel's troubles look like they may be finally over, they are only just beginning.

"Le Million" is a delightful and funny operetta that includes references to ballet, rugby and an opera about bohemians that mirrors Michel's life. Made at the advent of sound pictures, the movie also harkens back to the golden age of silent comedies with its exquisite early double chase. In fact, the movie is one long chase, with mistaken identities rampant. Pleasantly enough, director Rene Clair shows no signs of having trouble adjusting to the new format, just as a major theme is the failure to communicate. My only serious problem is how long it takes for everybody to key in on the jacket which admittedly might just be a consequence of maybe having seen that same gag many times from more recent films.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2009
A wonderfully funny, charming, imaginative film. Ahead of its time -- even released four years before "A Night at the Opera." Hmm.

Loved the goofy use of songs -- back then, cinema hadn't lost its innocence yet. Also loved the irregular angles of the apartment building, and the bit where the soundtrack of an onscreen group scuffle is thrown out and replaced with the ambient roar of a football game.
Super Reviewer
April 1, 2009
A nice looking and fun little French comedy from 1931. What is cool about this film was that Rene Clair worked around the limits that early sound forced upon films of the late 20's and early 30's. The recorded sound is limited. He uses alot of pre-recorded music and off screen sfx and voice overs.The story is about a artist and his friends looking for a lost lottery ticket through the streets of Paris. It's a fun story,but it's not as much fun as the American screwball comedies that would arrive in the coming years. It's amazing that more films didn't follow Clair's inventiveness on working around the limits that sound provided.
Dracula787
Super Reviewer
May 13, 2008
A French farce about two men in a race to recover a lost winning lottery ticket worth a million Francs. The film had a lot of influence on the screwball comedies that would emerge later in the decade. In an of itself this lighthearted film is enjoyable, but not trancendingly fun. I could have done without the musical numbers, but overall it?s worth a watch and I was never bored.
July 23, 2013
A brilliant lighthearted musical comedy that is one of the early films to be shot in sound. It's directed with panache by René Clair.
November 3, 2010
An early work from the great Rene Clair. In this screwball classic a struggling artist learns he's come into the possession of a winning lottery ticket, just as he debt collectors have arrived. But the ticket is in a coat at his girlfriends, which makes its way to other people. Forget that this came out way back in 1931, because it still has the comedic goods, and is available for viewing in a wonderful Criterion DVD.
October 12, 2010
A somewhat silly, but playful musical about a man who wins the lottery, but manages to lose the ticket several times over, while also sabotaging his relationship with his fiance. The movie is very heavy with farce, but the characters are funny and the slapstick is entertaining. At the time, it was no doubt a remarkable feat: being an early talkie and a full fledged musical. Although I don't speak French, the subtitled songs were enjoyable. The film has a slightly dated feel because of the farce: at times I was irritated by how outrageous the situation got (and not necessarily so outrageous that it was funny or ironic). Nevertheless, and entertaining look at early movie musicals.
July 29, 2008
I'm getting in habit using the words "charming" and "inventive" when it comes to Rene Clair, and here he does it again, with another delightful musical comedy. It's clear that this film served as inspiration for others, particularly the Marx Brothers. Joyful and sublime.
April 23, 2009
Disappointing film. 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 compensate. I spent most of the film hoping that nobody would find the lottery ticket and everyone would die in a fire. I imagine this film was some sort of Depression-era wish fulfillment, but it left me cold and unimpressed.
April 12, 2009
a charming early musical in which the songs are seamlessly and cleverly integrated into the many twists and turns of the expert plot. the tone is similar to rené clair's 'a nous la liberte,' but in a much tighter, and intricate package. amazing opening shot. great fun overall. at times the compositions, setups, and tone reminded me of 'rules of the game,' but i haven't seen enough french film yet to know if i'm just observing the standards of early sound films in france
½ August 21, 2014
A penniless artist discovers he just won the lottery but left his ticket in his jacket which was in turn unknowingly given away by his fiancee to a...well, that's just giving away the movie. Among all of Rene Clair's 1930's musical comedies, this one is by far my favorite. It's got the best music (still not memorable but better than the other two), it's got the most laughs and it's the most well-directed. It's somewhat comparable to Preston Sturges, if I'm being all film geeky about it. You'll be surprised at how much fun you will have watching this black and white 1930's French film. I couldn't recommend it enough.
April 4, 2014
A poor artist goes on a hilarious adventure trying to procure his old jacket with the winning lottery ticket in the pocket.
July 23, 2013
A brilliant lighthearted musical comedy that is one of the early films to be shot in sound. It's directed with panache by René Clair.
½ June 14, 2013
Yes, this is a merry romp, crossing heroically into the sound era with aplomb (but still retaining many fond elements of the silent film days). René Lefèvre (also the star of Le Crime de M. Lange by Renoir) wins the Dutch lottery but leaves his ticket in his jacket pocket which is "borrowed" by master criminal Grandpa Tulip and then changes hands a fair few times, resulting in a wild chase across Paris. Very influential and even zany at times, but, for this viewer, no hearty laughs erupted. Perhaps things are just a little too pat with no wicked surprises (or true bizarrities) to shake things up. Regardless, this is a tightly constructed almost screwball comedy.
April 13, 2013
All the trappings of an early Hollywood musical . . . but in France for some reason. Part screwball comedy and part farce, this film has been imitated many times ("Lottery Ticket", "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World", etc.), but rarely surpassed.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
February 14, 2013
"Le Million" starts with a couple of interlopers curious, not complaining, about the boisterous party being thrown in an apartment building in Paris. Well, that same day did not start out so well for Beatrice(Annabella), a ballerina, who comes across Michel(Rene Lefevre), who she pines for, with Wanda(Vanda Greville) in his arms, and coming to the wrong conclusion since Michel had just painted Wanda's portrait. To be honest, Michel has bigger worries, like owing half of Paris money. By comparison that is nothing compared to Grandpa Tulip(Paul Ollivier) who has half the police department chasing after him before Beatrice helps him out by loaning him Michel's tattered jacket that she was valiantly attempting to mend. And just as Michel's troubles look like they may be finally over, they are only just beginning.

"Le Million" is a delightful and funny operetta that includes references to ballet, rugby and an opera about bohemians that mirrors Michel's life. Made at the advent of sound pictures, the movie also harkens back to the golden age of silent comedies with its exquisite early double chase. In fact, the movie is one long chase, with mistaken identities rampant. Pleasantly enough, director Rene Clair shows no signs of having trouble adjusting to the new format, just as a major theme is the failure to communicate. My only serious problem is how long it takes for everybody to key in on the jacket which admittedly might just be a consequence of maybe having seen that same gag many times from more recent films.
½ March 23, 2012
Some films simply exude charm... this is one such film.
Funny to see the French imitate the uniquely American form of the musical. Of course, unlike MGM, they do it by rewarding a 'bohemian' a million dollars.

What can one say? Well acted. Beautifully written. Even the songs are outstanding.
Humor. Suspense. Excitement. ...even love. This was a home run! Live the reviewer said, a sheer delight.

Toward the end, amidst the fury for the jacket, it turns into the standard silent screwball, which was very well received.

I have to be honest...there are people who are amused by people making stupid mistakes in movies. I get furious. She gave his jacket away that had his lottery ticket!?!! If I was the author, I would have had him shoot her in the face, & end the movie at that moment. But that's probably why I'm not making movies.
July 22, 2012
A wonderful amount of fun! The sort of humor that still works today.
½ June 3, 2012
A pleasant musical comedy.
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