A Million to Juan (1994) Poster

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A sweet adaption of a Mark Twain tale, Hispanic style
inkblot114 November 2006
Juan (Paul Rodriguez) was born in the migrant fields of California but was taken back to Mexico by his mother when he was six. He has no documentation to attest to his U.S. citizenship and lives as an illegal in the Los Angeles area with his young son. Despite the fact that he has two roommates, making the rent is very difficult and he resorts to selling oranges near the freeway. One day, someone gives him a check for a million dollars, only on loan. He must pay it back in full when a month is up. However, just being able to show off the authentic check gets him credit at posh clothing stores, car dealerships, and more. Is his life going to be easier? And, what about the kind, pretty immigration officer who smiles at him quite frequently? This is one of those nice trips down a lesser travelled road. It's wonderful to view a story about the Hispanic population and their unique problems and opportunities. Rodriquez is a charming fellow and he has assembled a fine cast around him. Although the film was not made on a big budget, it is still a worthy choice for film fans who like to stray from the blockbuster path and watch something different. Those who like romantic stories, too, will want to seek out this movie as well.
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Good! Bien Suave
jman7248523 December 2003
I've seen this movie and I thought it was good. I mean I'm Latin and this movie was real true to me. I mean it related to me a lot and it also had a strong message. Don't loose faith, it all pays off in the end. I mean I found it to be funny and in the end it made me think.
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Funny, Inspiring, and beautiful
trent4all26 August 2003
A million to Juan is simply put, a great movie. The sound may be at times poor, and the images a bit grainy, but the heart and satire behind it surely makes up for it. The struggle of Juan makes you sad, but his honesty and intregity make you believe in him. I have seen this movie over fifty times, and I could still catch it on cable and enjoy all over again.
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Good movie, I really like it.
jediharr21 June 2000
I am somewhat of a fan of Paul Rodriguez, so when I heard about this movie, I couldn't wait. I thought it was going to be non stop hilarity. But, it was more. It wasn't constantly funny. But, It had alot of good moments and I liked them. It showed how it is for hispanics in America and how they are treated. I recommend to at least watch it once.
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A Hideous Embarrassment
big-oz-fan9 July 2006
Crystal Sky was (is?) one of the worst low budget companies on the market. I was unlucky enough to have worked on this awful thing... job title withheld to protect the innocent... and besides the long hours with little or no pay, what we wound up with after all our hard blood, sweat and tears was pure crap. When I finally saw it in the theatre I was completely embarrassed, and I was there by myself!! The photography was dark, murky and out of focus.... almost continually. I didn't shoot it, but rest assured that had I shot it, it would have looked probably 100% better than it did. As to the other reviewer's comments about the stereotypes: keep in mind that a Mexican was the director and could have changed things had he wanted. What we wound up with was the typical reverse racism and stereotyping that so often happens. There are shows that you wouldn't want to watch even for free. This is one. Save the hour and a half of wear on your DVD/VCR and TV.
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small, but an understandable film to watch
departed0722 March 2004
i was young when i first saw this movie. Paul Rodriguez plays Juan, a hispanic living in a poor neighborhood with his 2 brothers and his son. Juan isn't the kind of man who has luck everyday; he lost his wife, he can't afford to give his son his wishes, he sells oranges on the streets, until one day he meets a man in an angel suit(played by Edward James Olmos). The Estrange man gives Juan a check for 1 million dollars with rules and conditions. All of a sudden, his luck has change and people are kissing his ass back and forth, even the people he hates wants a piece of the check, Juan falls in love with a banker(Polly Draper), but doesn't know how to react. His son comes to the rescue and gets them hooked up. Small movie, but a film that people should watch and understand how it feels to have something vaulable for a one time deal.
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An underrated film
Agent1024 June 2002
Paul Rodriguez is easily one of my favorite comics, which really makes this film kind of a departure from his usual antics. I mean, it was slow and serious? What was up with that? Anyway, I felt the story had a very compelling arc to it, considering he had to give up the money after just a month. While the story is really improbable, it does demonstrate a rather idealist mentality, saying all of our dreams will come true as long as we play by the rules. A strange film to say the least.
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Good work Paul
rigovega25 October 2018
I know this has mixed review, but the films simplicity and honesty is what makes it worthwhile. So the story has been told many times on screen only this time the protagonist is a Chicano.

The movie is not trying to be something that it's not. It's funny when it has to be and it does not try too hard. Yes, there is plenty of stereotypes but that is expected in this kind of film. If you like Chicano films, Rags to Riches stories, or simply a movie that the whole family can watch, then you might enjoy this.
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Paul Rodriguez's "Jurassic Park"
Captain_Couth13 July 2015
A Million to Juan (1994) has been labeled by Paul Rodriguez himself his "Jurassic Park" due to the fact that he grossed over a million dollars in rentals from the movie's one hundred thousand dollar budget. The movie is a modern update of the Mark Twain story "The Million Pound Bank Note." Paul Rodriguez stars as Juan, a poor hardworking immigrant who lives in a rundown apartment complex with his son and cousins Jorge (Tony Plana) and Alvaro (Bert Rosario). He also has a mad crush on his social worker Olivia (Polly Draper) who's helping him with his case, one day he a stranger hands him a million dollar check that'll change his life forever.

I found the direction by first time director Paul Rodriguez to be adequate but the screenplay by Robert Grasmere and Francisca Matos to be too melodramatic and stereotypical. But the acting and charisma of Paul Rodriguez and his supporting cast manage to rise above the mediocre script. I enjoyed the movie and fans of Rodriguez's stand up comedy will enjoy the humor.
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A great movie adaptation!
barbaraemma-sprague2 June 2007
I love this movie.The first time I saw it I fell in love with it. It is a wonderful movie, with a wonderful cast. It's funny, it's sad, it makes you angry (at least with m it did) and besides I Love an good "Underdog" movie. I highly recommend this movie. Paul Rodriguez did a great job!I wish that Cheech would have had a bigger part though and I don't recall George Gonzales in this.I especially liked Larry Linville's character and of course the Beverly Hills Salesman. I only wish I knew what Liz Torres was screaming at Hector about when he has Anita in his truck??? Can somebody PLEASE tell me (Honestly) because I don't understand Spanish! My kids and I are DYING to know!!!
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faustozone29 June 2011
i bought this movie because i was intrigued with the storyline--struggling immigrant wins a million dollars. i was disappointing that he did not win a million dollars, but merely was allowed to show a check around, which if he spent, he had to pay back in a month. there was never even cash thrown around like in Brewster's Millions. I felt that was a tease; it would have been much more exciting he actually found a million in a bag somewhere and lived it much. and live it more than just buying a suit. also, his live interested, the INS, worker was completely improbably. A love interested, like a hot chick in the barrio, which was also teased with but never consummated, would have been better. i mean, the Anglo INS worker got married to Juan, even without a million dollars. The message of the movie was positive, but I felt that not much really happened, there was never any excitement. still, I do not regret seeing this move. I grew up in Los Angeles of that time, was enjoyed seeing character types and neighborhoods of my youth. There was the old RTD bus stop sign. I enjoy stereotypes, and Latino stereo types were well represented, Cheeck Marin's character was intriguing and I would have liked to have seen more of him. This movie is best for those who want a picture of the working Latino immigrant scene of the 1990 Los Angeles, which is why i watched it. I'm going to see it again, LOL. hahhaha.
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What happens when you put Paul Rodriguez in a starring role? This "fantasy", of course!
The Great ML2 August 2002
Wow, can someone explain to me why anyone would finance this tripe? If anyone deserved a kick in the can it would be that person. You have Paul Rodriguez over-emphasizing every syllable (Oh, it's Senorita Smiiiiiiiiiiiiith!), to making Polly Draper (who looks well over 50 years old in this "film") into some kind of sex symbol, and other nonsense. All I can say is poor Edward James Olmos & Cheech Marin.

Another important question I must ask, what businessman in their right mind would give Paul Rodriguez things just because he flashes a fake-looking check?

At least consider the fact that the audience has somekind of brainpower.
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