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An impoverished American sailor is fortunate enough to be passing the house of two rich gentlemen who have conceived the crazy idea of distributing a note worth one million pounds. The sailor finds that whenever he tries to use the note to buy something, people treat him like a king and let him have whatever he likes for free. Ultimately, the money proves to be more troublesome than it is worth when it almost costs him his dignity and the woman he loves. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
The clues indicate that the time was after 1912 and before WWI. The American flag at the consulate has 48 stars, which became official on July 4, 1912. Also, there are very few automobiles, which although not entirely common, were around in 1912 London. By 1915 and 1916 automobiles were quite common. The costumes and other timeframe indicators suggest the time of the film must be mid to Autumn 1912. At this time, the actual exchange rate would have been one British Pound equaling $4.70. So a 1 million pound note would be worth about $4.7 million dollars. There are several sources to confirm early 20th century pound to dollar exchange rates. See more »
When Henry Adams is chasing the bank note you can clearly see modern telephone manhole covers on the pavement and television aerials on the rooftops. See more »
Now what about a cycling suit, Mr. Adams ? Cycling is all the rage nowadays. And then of course there is Ascot.
I'm not gonna do any cycling and I'm not gonna do any Ascotting. Sailing is my hobby.
Ah ! The sport of kings. Very right and proper for a personage such as yourself.
I thought racing was the sport of kings ?
Then it ought to be sailing !
[to his assistant]
Nip in the waist a bit.
See more »
Two elderly brothers, wealthy English gentlemen, establish a wager. They entrust a million-pound banknote to a penniless American, to see if he can live for a month purely on the good will which the note will engender, without ever having to cash it.
Gregory Peck plays Henry Adams, the innocent American, in this stodgy romantic comedy, based on a Mark Twain story. His love interest Portia Lansdowne is played by Jane Griffiths. The film is really just one gag, strung out for 90 minutes - a pauper has no friends, whereas a millionaire is surrounded by sycophancy and limitless credit. Markets deal in confidence, rather than cash.
The film is unarguably well-made. The performances are sharp, the incidental music comments neatly on the action and the 'look' is sumptuous. And yet there is something flat about Ronald Neame's direction, and the laughs are rather thin on the ground.
Verdict - Ostensibly a good idea, but not enough to support a full-length film.
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