The Million Pound Note also called as Man with a Million – a charming, sweet and whimsical comedy
The Million Pound Note (released as Man with a Million as well as Big Money in the U.S.) is a 1954 British comedy, directed by Ronald Neame and starring Gregory Peck. It is based on the Mark Twain short story, The Million Pound Bank Note.
Henry Adams (Gregory Peck) is a penniless sailor who is stranded in London and becomes the guinea pig of the bet of two English brothers. They wage a bet saying that it is good enough to have a million pound note in hand and one will be able to enjoy all the riches and comforts of life without ever having to en cash the note. Adams is given a million pound note and he is able to get the best food, smart clothes, a suite at one of the best hotels in town, introduction to high society – all because people take him to be an eccentric millionaire who carries a million dollar note in his pocket. !!!!
This is a delightful light weight comedy. It is Gregory Peck’s first venture into comedy. Gregory Peck fits the role of Henry Adams to a ‘T’; it is unimaginable to think of any other actor playing Henry Adams. The way Peck plays from being the penniless American to the perceived millionaire and finally returning the root cause of all his trouble (the million pound date) to the brothers and going off with his lady love – it is just a great all round performance.
If you are looking for gags and some laugh out comedy skip this film. This is a charming, sweet and amusing film. The film is more than 50 years old and the subtle theme of how perceived wealth can obtain immediate approval in the eyes of the society is very much true even today.
The film performed only modestly at the box office when it was released and it also received mixed reviews.
This lighthearted comedy is absolutely pleasant. We do not find a villain in the movie and every character is likable in their own way. This is a feel good movie whose conclusion we never doubt – for we are sure that Peck will get the girl and lead a happy life.
The film is an amiably entertaining piece of vintage British comedy and has a lot of charm and gentle humor. It is an easygoing, witty and enjoyable movie. Catch if it ever plays on your classic movie channel – definitely worth a watch.