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The Million Pound Note

Mark Twain's classic story of the penniless American who is given a million pound bank note in a wager and succeeds in keeping it intact for a month, makes gentle screen satire.

Mark Twain’s classic story of the penniless American who is given a million pound bank note in a wager and succeeds in keeping it intact for a month, makes gentle screen satire.

With Edwardian settings providing a fascinating background, the yarn suffers from the protracted exploitation of one basic joke. It is sustaining and amusing for a time, but there are very few single gags that can successfully hold up for 92 minutes. Note is not an exception.

The plot is based on a bet between two brothers (Ronald Squire and Wilfrid Hyde White) that a man with a million pound bank note in his possession could live on the fat of the land for a month without having to break into it. The guinea pig for their wager is Gregory Peck, a penniless American stranded in London. And, sure enough, he finds this an open sesame to food, clothes, hotels and, naturally, society.

The Million Pound Note

UK

  • Production: Group. Director Ronald Neame; Producer John Bryan; Screenplay Jill Craigie; Camera Geoffrey Unsworth; Editor Clive Donner; Music William Alwyn; Art Director Jack Maxsted, John Box
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1954. Running time: 92 MIN.
  • With: Gregory Peck Jane Griffiths Ronald Squire Joyce Grenfell Reginald Beckwith Maurice Denham
  • Music By: