Le Dernier Milliardaire (The Last Millionaire) (1934)

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Accused by his critics of ignoring the social ills of the world, director Rene Clair responded with Le Dernier Milliardaire, a "relevant" satirical comedy somewhat reminiscent of the much later Being There and Forrest Gump. Max Dearly stars as Monsieur Banco, the richest man in the world. On the verge of revolution, the bankrupt kingdom of Casinaria begs Banco to pay a visit and offer financial advice. Alas, upon his arrival our hero is accidentally hit on the head, and he later awakens as a babbling imbecile. But the parliamentary leaders of Casinaria, seeing only the man and not his condition, regard Banco's lunatic ramblings as pure genius -- and act upon them accordingly! A sheer delight when seen today, Le Dernier Milliardaire was an enormous flop when first released, forcing Rene Clair to go into a lengthy professional exile. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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