The Million Pound Note.

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The Million Pound Note.

#1 Post by abradley » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:45 am

Man with a Million (1954)
I'm not gonna do any cycling and I'm not gonna do any Ascotting. Sailing is my hobby.
22 November 2009
Also known as Man With A Million, The Million Pound Note is based on a short story by Mark Twain called "The Million Pound Bank Note". It's directed by Ronald Neame {The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie/The Poseidon Adventure } and stars Gregory Peck {To Kill A Mockingbird/Cape Fear}, Ronald Squire, Joyce Grenfell, Jane Griffiths & Reginald Beckwith .

It's Edwardian England and American seaman Henry Adams ( Peck) is stranded and down on his luck. That is until he becomes embroiled in an unusual wager between two wealthy, eccentric brothers, Oliver (Ronald Squire) and Roderick Montpelier (Wilfrid Hyde-White). Giving him an envelope, they tell him that it contains some money but that he must not open it till 14.00. Thinking they are crack pots he goes along with it anyway, and much to his amazement the envelope contains a one million pound note (£1,000,000). It transpires that Oliver believes that the mere existence of the note will enable Adams to obtain whatever he needs without spending a penny, while Roderick contends that it would actually have to be spent for it to be of any use. Hence the bet is on and a promise of a job for Henry if he can go for a month without breaking into the note.

Chirpy yet astutely cynical is The Million Pound Note. The laughs come courtesy of the ridiculous way that people react to money and those that have plenty of it. As Henry {a wonderfully cast Peck} moves from penniless bum to upstanding wealthy gentleman, without spending anything, the moral of the story is blatantly obvious. Very much a forerunner to the Eddie Murphy starrer Trading Places in 1983, it also has similarities with Twain's own The Prince And The Pauper, themes that always produce interesting results as regards the human condition. There's the obligatory romance angle in the piece, which thankfully doesn't cloy the picture at all, and Neame has an array of interesting characters from which to keep the story zippy {watch out for a delightful turn from Reginald Beckwith as Rock}. A real safe recommendation this one, across the board it works well, both as a comedy, and as a wry observation. 7/10
Worth a watch.
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