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Man with a Million (1954)
"The Million Pound Note" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  18 June 1954 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,985 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

Two rich British men offer a penniless American a loan, without telling him that the amount is £1,000,000, and this in the form of a single banknote.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ronald Squire ...
Joyce Grenfell ...
A.E. Matthews ...
Duke of Frognal (as A. E. Matthews)
Maurice Denham ...
Jonathan Reid
Reginald Beckwith ...
Brian Oulton ...
John Slater ...
Wilbur Evans ...
American Ambassador
Hartley Power ...
George Devine ...
Chop house proprietor
Bryan Forbes ...
Gudrun Ure ...
Renie (as Ann Gudrun)
Hugh Wakefield ...
...
Roderick Montpelier (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
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Storyline

An impoverished American sailor is fortunate enough to be passing the house of two rich gentlemen who has 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 as if he is 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a new Peck... in a heck of a howl! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man with a Million  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The flag outside the U.S. consulate features 48 stars, although an American flag in 1903 would have had only 45 stars. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Reid: Now what about a cycling suit, Mr. Adams ? Cycling is all the rage nowadays. And then of course there is Ascot.
Henry Adams: I'm not gonna do any cycling and I'm not gonna do any Ascotting. Sailing is my hobby.
Mr. Reid: Ah ! The sport of kings. Very right and proper for a personage such as yourself.
Henry Adams: I thought racing was the sport of kings ?
Mr. Reid: [unperturbed] Then it ought to be sailing !
[to his assistant]
Mr. Reid: Nip in the waist a bit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trading Places (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Gilbert
Sung by Gregory Peck
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charge it to my account!
1 April 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Oliver and Roderick Montpellier, two English brothers, make a bet that any man given a one million pound note, can live off the fat of the land just by showing off the good fortune of having it in his possession. Then, if by the end of a month, if he can show the intact bill, he will indeed be a man worthy of whatever fortunes might befall on him because of the sheer luck of proving the brothers right.

The lucky recipient of the note is one Henry Adams, an American in London who is just a poor man with no money, or prospects of a job in the near future. He tests his good fortune when he decides to dine at a modest restaurant. As the bill comes, he shows his one million pound note, which of course, the owner can't possibly change. The meal is free.

Henry Adams then discovers how he can go through his present situation relying on the fact that he is a millionaire, without really being one. He is given a set of smart clothes, a suite at one of the best hotels in town, and an introduction to high society, something that is not always available to Americans, even rich ones, as Henry appears to be.

This delightful comedy of 1954 was a total surprise. The film, made in England at the famous Pinewood studios, was directed by Ronald Neame. Based on a Mark Twain story, which we haven't read, it counts on the great work of Gregory Peck, a man that was one of the most charismatic performers during his years in the cinema. Mr. Peck is the whole movie; it's unimaginable to think of any other actor playing Henry Adams.

The supporting cast shows familiar faces of consummate English players who contribute to create the Edwardian atmosphere. Ronald Squire and Wilfrid Hyde-White are the Montpellier brothers, whose bet trigger the action. Reginald Beckwith is the mute valet who sticks by Henry through thick and thin. Jane Griffiths plays Portia, the woman that conquers Henry Adams heart. Also in the cast we saw Hugh Griffith, in a non-credited role. Joyce Grenfell, another delightful character actress, has some brilliant moments as the Duchess of Cromarty.

An enjoyable movie. Catch if it ever plays on your classic movie channel. You won't be disappointed!


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