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Le million
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Length:1 Hour 21 Minutes
Cast:René Clair, Annabella, René LefŐvre, Constantin Stroesco

A fun romp through a soundstage version of Paris, René Clair's charming 1930 musical comedy follows the exploits of Michel (René Lefevre) -- a starving artist living in a garret -- as he franticly searches for a misplaced winning lottery ticket that's his only defense against a swarm of creditors. Le Million's musical numbers have a breezy appeal, and its strong cast includes Annabella as Beatrice, the philandering Michel's one true love. But the well-choreographed chases and tussles, with cops and crooks alike, give Le Million its real zest. This is especially evident in a scene depicting a scramble for a tattered old jacket (with the winning ticket in one of its pockets) that suddenly transforms into a sort of rugby match -- complete with the sounds of a cheering crowd (a signature Clair touch) -- and the famous sequence where the chase for the ticket becomes entangled with an opera production, said to have inspired the Marx Brothers's classic A Night at the Opera. Gregory Baird

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