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.