|Index||4 reviews in total|
An amiable, workmanlike farce that's like "My Man Godfrey" without the archness, this Hollywood studio product has an unusually European flavor, perhaps due to the number of newly arrived Holocaust refugee actors in its cast. Especially worth seeing for Peter Lorre's engaging turn as a kittenish hobo.
This is another turn on the 'rich guy goes hobo' routine, but it's grand fun. Millionaire Warner Baxter tires of all the hangers-on; when he saves tramp Peter Lorre from drowning, he switches clothes and tries out life with no dough. But Lorre tells the press that there's a millionaire dressed as a tramp who's going to give someone a million francs just for being nice to him. So the whole French town takes in all the tramps and gives them everything. Meanwhile, Baxter falls in -- and falls in love with -- Marjorie Weaver at the local circus. Lorre gives one of his best performances; and when he teams up with fellow tramp John Carradine towards the end, it's a match made in heaven. I'd watch a whole movie starring those two guys in those two roles! Baxter is just fine -- if a tad long in the tooth -- in the lead. Weaver is a fresh face; and the cast is full of wonderful faces and wonderful actors. Check this rarity out if it comes your way.
20th Century-Fox did this Hollywood remake of a 1935 Italian film of the same translated title, the setting switched to the South of France, featuring a cast filled with contract players led by Warner Baxter ("The Prisoner of Shark Island"). His character, Tony Newlander, is the millionaire tiring of the sycophants around him, none of whom he can rely on as a trusted friend, who rescues a drowning man known as Louie 'The Dope' Monteau (Peter Lorre), a homeless derelict. Tony would be happy just to find one person who could befriend him without the promise of monetary gain, leaving Louie a million dollars for his troubles. Once the newspapers publish a story claiming that a millionaire is masquerading as a bum, a fortune awaiting the person who shows him any kindness, the entire city is quickly overrun with derelicts looking for handouts, while Tony finds himself falling for an impoverished circus performer (Marjorie Weaver) with a trained chimp named Darwin, who excels at judo and cigarette smoking. Amidst the Moto series, Peter Lorre thoroughly enjoys this comic change of pace, joined in mischief during the latter stages by John Carradine's Kopelpeck, resplendent in top hat and cane. Among the many familiar faces are Fritz Feld, Jean Hersholt as a clown, and Frank Reicher as the Prefect of Police, who himself takes in a bum off the street and ends up getting robbed.
"I'll Give a Million" is silly escapist film. It's based on a 1935
Italian film and is, inexplicably, set in France. When the film begins,
Tony (Warner Baxter) is aboard his huge yacht. However, despite his
wealth, he doesn't particularly love his life...and this is apparent
when he jumps overboard to save a drowning hobo, Louis (Peter Lorre).
The folks aboard the boat don't realize he's jumped and Tony swims
ashore with his new friend. But as I said, he didn't love his life and
instead of going to the nearest authorities to tell them who he is, he
dons Louis' clothes and decides to be a hobo!
In the meantime, Louis comes into town in a tux and a wad of cash and is a sensation. He informs everyone it's from his millionaire benefactor and the same man had told him he was tired of phonies and would give 1,000,000 francs if someone just did something nice for him without expectation that they'd ever get paid back. After telling the press this story, it makes the newspaper and suddenly everyone in town is being super-nice to all the hobos! In the meantime, Tony has met a lovely woman, Jean (Marjorie Weaver) and she's taken him under her wing at the circus. What's next? See the film.
I sure would love to find a copy of the original Italian film because the American version is very enjoyable and I'd love to see how good the first version is. Regardless, nice acting and a cute story make this one worth your time.
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