Le Million' France DVD, René Clair (1931), New & Sealed.
I have lately got into the habit of purchasing any interesting DVD that the Criterion company releases. I figure that even if I dislike the movie, Criterion usually supplies enough extra material to compensate for any shortcomings in the actual film. I read up on them, and I buy the ones which are the most interesting to me.
Le Million is my latest purchase, and I must say that I was not disappointed in the film. It is cheery, funny, and romantic. Everything about it is quite excellent. The songs are wonderful. If I understood French, I would probably hum them and sing them all day long. The acting is very good for this kind of movie. American musicals of the classic Hollywood era relied more on song and dance than the actual characters and story, but in Le Million, the characters are rather well developed and the story, while not being anything extremely impressive, is not at all lacking. I loved the developments of the relationships, especially the relationship between the once best friends Michel and Prosper. The romantic moments are also very well developed. The direction is nearly perfect, with several very memorable moments. Probably the single most perfect scene of the film occurs right after the lead couple has an argument. They hide on the stage of an opera performance, and the opera singers sing lines which the couple, Michel and Beatrice, interpret to their own situation. This is definitely one of the high points in cinema history. The scene managed to make me laugh, to win me over with a very sweet romance, and make me smirk at just how clever the director was.
Director: René Clair
Writing credits: Georges Berr (play) / René Clair
Jean-Louis Allibert .... Prosper (as Louis Allibert)
Annabella .... Beatrice
Raymond Cordy .... The taxi driver
Vanda Gréville .... Vanda
René Lefèvre .... Michel
Paul Ollivier .... Per-la Tulipe
Constantin Siroesco .... Sopranelli
Odette Talazac .... The soprano
Coding: All Region Code / NTSC Format
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo / AC-3 / 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: English / Chinese (Removable)
Color: Black & White
Runtime: 83 Mins.