12/19/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
DEXTER: THE SECOND SEASON (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

The Criterion Collection presents
Le Million (1931)

"It should be easy to find a Tulip in Paris."
- Prosper (Louis Allibert)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 19, 2000

Stars: Annabella, Rene Lefevre, Louis Allibert
Other Stars: Raymond Cordy, Paul Ollivier, Vanda Greville, Odette Talazac, Constantin Stroesco
Director: Rene Clair

Manufacturer: CMCA
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild language)
Run Time: 01h:21m:20s
Release Date: May 16, 2000
UPC: 037429147627
Genre: musical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- BBC- C-

DVD Review

When sound came to motion pictures in 1927, avant-garde director Rene Clair prophesied the deathof film. He proved himself wrong with his amusing musical comedy, Le Million, whichmakes extravagant use of sound and song to underline the action and to comment upon it.

Impoverished artist Michel (Rene Lefevre) is being harassed by his creditors while he attempts tomake love to his model, Vanda (Vanda Greville). Discovered by his fiancée Beatrice (Annabella),a ballet dancer, Michel tries to patch things up with her but is distracted when the creditors show upagain. At the same time, a master thief, Grandpa Tulip (Paul Ollivier) ducks into Beatrice'sapartment and helps himself to Michel's jacket. When Michel learns that he has bought the winningticket in the Dutch lottery, he is chagrined to find that the ticket is in the coat which has nowwandered away. The rest of the film concerns the attempts of Michel, his roommate Prosper (LouisAllibert), Vanda and Beatrice to recover the coat in a wild romp that finds Michel behind bars and onstage at the Lyric Opera.

In this prototype for the Hollywood musical, Clair is nearly arrogant in his insertion of songs into theaction. In addition to the Greek chorus of creditors who comment on Michel's fortunes andmisfortunes, there are also several voiceovers in which Michel and Prosper sing to themselves. Aduet onstage at the opera plays out over the wordless exchanges between Michel and Beatrice on thescreen, giving an interior view of the characters through pantomime to the lyrics of the song. In theclimactic tussle over the jacket at the opera, Clair boldly uses the sounds from a football game,complete with cheering crowds.

Lefevre makes an appealing and sympathetic protagonist; his small size lends him a Mickey Mouse/everyman quality that makes his plight seem even more a trick of fate. Beatrice is a fairly standardfemale lead, but Vanda Greville really is notable as the scheming golddigger. Louis Allibert makesa fine amoral Prosper. The irritating tenor who ends up with the jacket, Sopranelli, is beautifullysketched in a brief exchange where it is established that he hires young women to throw him bouquetsafter his songs.

The film has an almost Magic Realism feeling to it; we're firmly planted in the real world but thereare touches of the bizarre as well. The opening sequence, on the Paris rooftops, prefigures the unrealrooftop world of Mary Poppins, and the mass of leaves which falls upon the romancingcouple backstage at the opera give us a distorted sense of reality that is highly intriguing.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The image is sharp and gorgeous, with plenty of deep blacks and a wide range of greys. Someinstability in light levels and flickering is visible throughout, but this is a problem with the sourcematerial. There is light speckling near reel changes, but in all a very pleasant presentation indeed.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoFrenchno


Audio Transfer Review: The French mono suffers from noise and hiss typical for pictures of this period. Dialogue is generallyclear, however, and the music is agreeable although somewhat tinny and limited in range. Theopening sequence begins quite crackly, but quickly calms down after a few moments. The sound oftolling bells is a bit warbly, indicating some kind of problem with the running speed. This is certainlynot reference material, but about as good as one is likely to find in a picture of this vintage.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Production Notes
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Stills gallery
  2. Color bars
Extras Review: A 09m:13s clip of Clair in a television interview, discussing the use of sound in film, with specificreference to Le Million, is included. Taken from an old kinescope, this interview is insurprisingly good condition. 19 stills from the film are included in a short gallery, and the ubiquitousSMPTE color bars are here. Finally there are brief but useful production notes contained in the insertbooklet. Despite the claims of the packaging, not all of the songs are subtitled; the opening song forsome reason is not provided with subtitles.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

An engaging and influential screwball comedy given a beautiful transfer; unfortunately the sound hasnot aged well at all. Recommended for those looking for something a little different.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, stephen colbert, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store