(aka 'The Million')

directed by René Clair
France 1931


  An impoverished artist discovers he has purchased a winning lottery ticket at the very moment his creditors come to collect. The only problem is, the ticket is in the pocket of his coat. . . which he left at his girlfriend’s apartment. . . who gave the coat to a man hiding from the police. . . who sells the coat to an opera singer who uses it during a performance. By turns charming and inventive, René Clair’s lyrical masterpiece had a profound impact on not only the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin, but on the American Musical as a whole.


Theatrical Release: April 15th, 1931

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 72 - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:21:15 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• A gallery of production photos
• A rare American television interview with René Clair (9:12)
• 6-page liner notes - essay by Elliot Stein

DVD Release Date: May 16th, 2000

Keep Case
Chapters: 17




NOTE: This was originally shown in the 1.19:1 ratio so this Criterion has some significant cropping.

This film is extremely old and the Criterion DVD shows a lot of damage (consistent scratches and dirt), contrast flickering and hiss'pop audio. There is grain at times and I suppose that this may be the best the film has looked for many a year. The film still retains much of its charm and the Clair interview (albeit only 9 minutes) is a great selection for an addition. An obvious lower-tier of Criterion pricing and is kind of neat to have in the collection. Recommendation reserved for cineastes and fans of French cinema of this era.  out of  

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 72 - Region 0 - NTSC


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