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Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

Approved  |   |  28 March 1956 (France)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 485 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

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Title: Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jack Bittner ...
Joe / Narcissus
Libby Holman
Josh White
Norman Cazanjian
Doris Okerson
John La Touche ...
The Gangster (as John Latouche)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herb Campbell ...
A man - hands
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Release Date:

28 March 1956 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Rêve à vendre  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Took three years to complete. See more »

Quotes

(singing on soundtrack): Oh Venus was born out of sea-foam / oh Venus was born out of brine / but a girl of today / if she is grade A / is assembled upon the assembly line
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Connections

Featured in Cocteau Marais - Un couple mythique (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl with the Pre-Fabricated Heart
Lyrics by John La Touche
Sung by Libby Holman, accompanied by Norman Cazanjian and ? (name illegible)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY (Hans Richter, 1947) ***
15 January 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had long been interested in watching this one (and had even toyed with the idea of acquiring its BFI PAL VHS in the mid-1990s) but, having now caught up with the film, I cannot say that the end result fully lived up to expectations!

It is quite a unique effort, mind you, but very uneven in tone – a reflection of the many 'cooks' involved in the 'broth' since, despite the overall credit to Richter, many another avant-garde artist was responsible for the various dream sequences that basically comprise the narrative (Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, etc.). This is also why I preceded its viewing with a number of shorts by all these exponents of experimental cinema and, for what it is worth, I opted to check the film out on the day of Richter's own birthday!

The concept is an intriguing, even noir-ish, one – accentuated by the initially down-on-his-luck protagonist and constant voice-over. The fantasies range from the romantic (a henpecked man braving a labyrinth for the sake of his idealized beloved recalls the work of Jean Cocteau) to the musical ('sung' by a mannequin and dreamt by a geeky girl liberated to femme fatale status by the hero's attentions), and from the prescient (the audience at an interactive movie theater imitate every move of the actors on-screen) to the insipid (a lazily derivative 'rotating shapes' display by Duchamp serving as the visions of a gangster type – who on earth but mathematicians dreams of such things anyway?!). The last hallucination, then, is reserved for the leading man himself – his assuming a blue countenance at this point presumably representing his own uniqueness (in view of the gift he is able to 'bestow' upon others).

As I said, this is more worth watching for its intentions than for what is ultimately achieved; the colour scheme, at least, makes it that more palatable to the adventurous movie-buff. Incidentally, we also have here one of the very earliest examples of a pre-credits sequence on celluloid.


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