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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 details of the £1,000,000 note are shown In the background to the opening credits of the film: June 20th 1903 London. See more »
When Henry Adams returns to his benefactors' home, he pulls the bell handle and the fabric of the stone building flexes outwards. 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.
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Nice social commentary and otherwise a rather pleasant diversion
I almost gave this film a 7--it was very close. This film is based closely on the Mark Twain story of the same name.
The film begins with Gregory Peck--alone and penniless in London. He doesn't even have the money for a meal or a place to stay. It's so bad that when a little kid throws a partially eaten pear on the ground that he's tempted to pick it up and eat it...when out of the blue, two gentlemen call to him from the balcony above. He is escorted up and they treat him kindly. After inquiring about his circumstances, they assure him that they'll make him a loan and not to worry. They hand him an envelope and instruct him to go buy himself dinner.
A cursory look in the envelope shows that there is indeed money inside, but when it comes time to pay the bill, he discovers that it's a million pound note (a fictional amount, by the way) and the people in the restaurant cannot possibly make change. However, they don't seem the least bit interested in his paying and immediately extend him any credit he wants. The note along with the money, by the way, tells him that he's to have the money at no interest and he's expected to return it in one month.
Later, when he goes to buy a decent set of clothes, they treat him like a bum--until they see the million pound note--at which case, once again, he's given unlimited credit and they dote on him. The same thing then happens when he goes to stay at a fancy nearby hotel. Word soon spreads all over London and now suddenly EVERYBODY wants to be his friend and extend him credit.
There's a lot more that occurs in the film--particularly in regard to how the Brits view social class and wealth as well as the whole idea of being a celebrity for celebrity's sake. It's all rather droll and mildly amusing, though not as wonderful as it could have been. I am having a hard time putting my finger on why, as Gregory Peck was terrific. Perhaps it's the way everything comes together perfectly in the end--regardless, it's a very good film but one that left me feeling a tad...well...flat.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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