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#180- Le Million

Quick recap: A man loses a million dollar lottery ticket, which sucks for him because he told all of his creditors that he is rich now and can afford to pay his debts.

those are his creditors dancing for joy because this guy was kind of a jerk and apparently owed a ton of money

those are his creditors dancing for joy because this guy was kind of a jerk and apparently owed a ton of money

Fun (?) fact:  Nothing. Zip. Nada. First time in 180 movies that the trivia page on IMDb was empty, but it’s bound to have happened at some point.

My thoughts: The fact that I had such a hard time finding anything out about Le Million says a lot. It wasn’t a good or bad movie. It just was. For a movie made in 1931, I was most impressed by the sound quality, which is the reason, I think, for including it in The List. The songs (yes, this was a musical) were catchy, although they kind of drifted in and out through the movie, never really beginning and never really ending. It was weird, but also made the movie’s events seem more plausible, almost as if it was a dream.

One of the reasons I didn’t really embrace Le Million is because of the characters. Michel is the jerk who lost the lottery ticket. He’s a penniless artist who has a fiancée but also sees girls on the side, which she totally knows about but refuses to break it off. Classy guy, that one. His friend (or rival?) Prosper is not much better and challenges Michel that if he finds the ticket, he gets half of the fortune. There’s also a mob guy, Grandpa Tulip, who takes the jacket that the ticket was in, and then the opera singer, Ambrosio, who buys the jacket and refuses to return it. I spent most of the film trying to figure out whether I wanted Michel to find the ticket or not, but ultimately rooted for him because his fiancée Béatrice was the one who gave the jacket away initially and I wanted something good to happen to her.

Looking on the positive side, although I can’t really say that I ‘enjoyed’ myself, I certainly wasn’t bored. I never laughed at any of the funny parts but I recognized that they were supposed to be funny, if that’s a thing. One scene in particular stood out: when the opera singer is on stage and Michel sneaks on to take the jacket. It had many elements of Moulin Rouge, including the way the audience was seated. I couldn’t find anything online, but I’m curious if Le Million inspired Baz Luhrmann in any way. It’s also possible that I see Moulin Rouge in practically everything.

Final review: 2/5. A very ‘meh’ movie.

Up next: The Ballad of Narayama

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