Le Million Reviews

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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.
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.
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.
May 24, 2012
Great french musical comedy.
April 20, 2012
A jolly musical. Now i know where "a night at the opera" was inspired from.
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.
December 5, 2011
A winning lottery ticket has been mislaid - this musical tells of the madcap search for it with a lovely humour.
June 5, 2006
Kind of light-hearted but pretty entertaining chase movie musical. I love watching movies that are really early talkies and comparing them. Take this one, that has a lot of energy and playful scenes (both musically and visually) to something form the same year like...Dracula which bores me far more. Tons of fun.
March 11, 2010
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, Rene 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
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.
Super Reviewer
January 17, 2009
groundbreaking and absolutely charming screwball musical comedy. loved it
½ July 6, 2009
Downright freakin' jaunty.
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.
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.
½ November 28, 2008
A brilliant old comedy that actually still works today. If you put Will Ferrell in the lead role and remade the movie in English you'd have a smash hit!
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