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346 Ratings

Le million

Directed by René Clair
France, 1931
Musical, Comedy


By turns charming and inventive, René Clair’s lyrical masterpiece about the journey of a winning lottery ticket had a profound impact on not only the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin, but on the American musical as a whole.

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Le million Directed by René Clair

Critics reviews

Figures in a chase like funambulists on their tiptoes, that’s the Clair way, mime and song in intricate, continuous play. The chorus is a cry for debtors… or an underworld anthem, even cocked pistols sway to the music. The centerpiece merrily shades artifice into romance, or vice-versa: The juveniles reconcile in the ersatz forest while Signore Sopranelli and his prima donna pitch fraudulent woo by the footlights, a stagehand blesses it all from above with a shower of rose petals.
April 17, 2017
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The great René Clair was initially skeptical about the coming of sound; the idea that cinema would further adhere to prefab notions of realism and wed itself even more to theater worried him. But with this masterpiece, he gave us one of the first truly great uses of the technology. The fablelike tale is a vessel for the director to experiment with the use of sound and music, discarding the conventional notions of realism he so resisted.
October 28, 2015
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Le Million is a musical comedy from 1931 that features some surprisingly adroit cinematography and special effects. An opera singer features in the cast of characters, and in many ways the whole thing feels like a comic opera—a small scale story of a few people in a concentrated place and time performed with such intensity that it feels like a sweeping epic.
July 20, 2013
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