The Million Pound Note (Man With a Million) (1954)





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Released in the US as Man With a Million, The Million Pound Note is a satisfying adaptation of a satirical short story by Mark Twain. Gregory Peck plays Henry Adams, an impecunious American living by his wits in London. Henry becomes the object of a wager between millionaire brothers Oliver and Roderick Montpelier (Ronald Squire and Wilfred Hyde-White), who want to find out if a man with a million pound note in his bank account could live comfortably for one month on the strength of that note--without ever spending a penny of it. When Henry is given the note and lets it be known that he has it, every courtesy imaginable is extended to him by hoteliers, restauranteurs, etc. Trouble brews when Henry uses the note's reputation to speculate on the stock market. When his creditors demand that he produce the note as an act of faith, Henry is unable to do so, whereupon pandemonium reigns--and the audience's laughter cascades. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Directed By:
Written By:
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United Artists


Gregory Peck
as Henry Adams
Ronald Squire
as Oliver Montpelier
Joyce Grenfell
as Duchess of Cromarty
A.E. Matthews
as Duke of Frognall
Jane Griffiths
as Portia Lansdowne
Hartley Power
as Hastings
Wilbur Evans
as American Ambassador
John Slater
as Parsons
Hugh Wakefield
as Duke of Cromarty
Ernst Thesiger
as Bank Director
Ronald Adam
as Samuel Clements
George Devine
as Chop House Proprietor
Ann Gudrun
as Renie
Hugh Latimer
as Bumbles Receptionist
Eliot Makeham
as Consulate Official
Jack McNaughton
as Williams
Wilfrid Hyde-White
as Roderick Montpelier
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Critic Reviews for The Million Pound Note (Man With a Million)

All Critics (1)

It was a gentle satire of manners that never had enough spice in it to win me over.

Full Review… | April 14, 2016
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Million Pound Note (Man With a Million)


Based on a short story by Mark Twain, this wry comedy with young Gregory Peck is rare indeed. This well done adaptation of Twain's story was given fine treatment and is free to see on youtube here: The story reveals how everyone is so stunned by the appearance of a millionaire in their presence they give Peck a pass on everything he does. Sadly, today's audience would find little appealing in this quaint light comedy. It has no profanity. The Million Pound Note (released as Man with a Million as well as Big Money in the U.S.) is a 1954 British comedy, directed by Ronald Neame and starring Gregory Peck. It is based on the Mark Twain short story, The Million Pound Bank Note. [img][/img] REVIEWS by RT Community: 70% (67%) A charming comedy set in Edwardian London that plays as you probably would expect. Very much a Saturday matinee movie that, for the most part at..... 60% I saw "Trading Places" not knowing that the story had already been done. Pretty funny and really cute. [img][/img] Cast Gregory Peck as Henry Adams Ronald Squire as Oliver Montpelier Wilfrid Hyde-White as Roderick Montpelier Joyce Grenfell as Duchess of Cromarty A. E. Matthews as Duke of Frognal Maurice Denham as Mr. Reid Reginald Beckwith as Rock Brian Oulton as Lloyd John Slater as Parsons Wilbur Evans as American ambassador Hartley Power as Hastings George Devine as Restaurant proprietor Bryan Forbes as Todd Gudrun Ure as Renie (Ann Gudrun) Hugh Wakefield as Duke of Cromarty Felix Felton as Alfred (uncredited) Jane Griffiths as Portia Lansdowne [img][/img] Directed by Ronald Neame Produced by John Bryan Written by Mark Twain Jill Craigie Music by William Alwyn Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth Editing by Clive Donner Distributed by General Film Distributors Release dates 7 January 1954 (UK) 18 June 1954 (US) Running time 90 minutes [img][/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

Lite cinema featuring Gregory Peck as a penniless American stranded in London. On a bet, two wealthy bankers give him a million pound note with the stipulation that IF he can go one month without cashing it he can have any job his heart desires (within reason, of course). Yes, it's a plot riddled with holes but with Peck carrying the film nobody seems to mind. A delightful little comedy.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Well translated and warmly received in China in the 1950-60s, Man with a Million reveals the materiality in the immaterial note in the capiltalist economic mode. The interesting thing is why it was introduced in China then when socialist realism mode took the dominating position. Such a translingual practice tries to expose the hypercritical essence of Capitalism, which foregrounds the unquenchable desire for capital, but apperantly tells more than it in the Chinese context.

Yizhong Gu
Yizhong Gu

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