|U.S. title The Man with a Million|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.com/
Once upon a time, when Britain was very rich, deep in the vaults of England, there was more gold than anywhere else in the world. "Safe," people use to say, "safe as the Bank of England . . ." And so our story begins.
After the beautiful success of Roman Holiday in 1953, Gregory Peck followed up with another comedy entitled The Man with a Million (United States title) based off of a Mark Twain story called The Million Pound Note. For a comedy with Gregory Peck to be followed so soon after Roman Holiday was not, in my opinion, a very smart business move. I guarantee you when the audience back in 1954 went to the theater and saw that Gregory Peck was going to be in another comedy, they probably said something like this, "Oh, look, it's Gregory Peck in another comedy! It'll probably be as wonderful as Roman Holiday, don't you think, Bill?" Already, this little forgotten gem was in trouble. In fact, it never really had a chance, and even today it still hasn't been given it's rightful chance with movie critic, Leonard Maltin, giving it a 2/4 star rating.
|Gregory Peck with British actor, Wilfrid Hyde-White.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.tcm.com/
The Man with a Million had a lot to "look up to", and because of the audiences' of 1954 refusal to give it a chance, they were unable to see the film's true charm. I agree with Director Martin Scorsese who wrote in a small piece on TCM's April Highlights, "Peck's amazement and bewilderment, his initial euphoria and eventual exasperation, are beautifully drawn, and the film is genuinely delightful" (Scorsese).
|Gregory and the million pound note.|
Photo Courtesy of http://www.rottentomatoes.com
All I can say is give the film a chance. I did, and I'm glad that I did, too. I give The Man with a Million a 3/4 stars.