For once, an episodic film that holds together, and the link that holds it is lots of money: millions, in fact.
Richard Bennett plays a multimillionaire who is disgusted with his dollar-clutching relatives. When told by his doctors that he is dying, Bennett decides to pick out total strangers and give each $1 million, mostly to see what they will do with the money. He closes his eyes and picks a name from
the phone book. Eight sketches follow that depict the results of Bennett's largesse. These include "The Streetwalker," directed by Ernst Lubitsch, in which $1 million goes to Wynne Gibson, a prostitute, who immediately abandons her street corner and rents a lavish penthouse apartment, determined
to make up for lost sleep between silk sheets; "The Auto" or "Rollo and the Road Hogs," directed by Norman Taurog, finds Alison Skipworth receiving the check at her little teashop where she and newly acquired hubby W.C. Fields, a worn-out vaudeville juggler, reside. The pair go to a new car
dealership and begin buying one new car after another, taking to the streets as roadhog vigilantes. Also noteworthy is "The Clerk," also directed by Lubitsch, in which Charles Laughton plays a meek, harassed clerical worker. When he receives his $1 million check, he stands up quietly, and then
walks into the resplendent office of the firm's president. As the man looks up, Laughton gives the boss a loud Bronx cheer, slams the door, and goes into unperturbed retirement.
Most of these stories are well-told, expertly acted, and brilliantly directed. Paramount poured out its best acting and technical talent for this enormous production, the Laughton and Fields segments considered strongest. Us? We'll go with W.C., the Great One himself. MILLION inspired a popular
radio and later a TV series, "The Millionaire."
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: For once, an episodic film that holds together, and the link that holds it is lots of money: millions, in fact. Richard Bennett plays a multimillionaire who is disgusted with his dollar-clutching relatives. When told by his doctors that he is dying, Benne… (more)