6.8/10
738
12 user 9 critic

Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy | 28 March 1956 (France)
After learning how to look inside himself, a poetic bum sells people vivid dreams.

Director:

Hans Richter

Writers:

Hans Richter, Hans Richter (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jack Bittner Jack Bittner ... Joe / Narcissus
Libby Holman
Josh White Josh White
Norma Cazanjian Norma Cazanjian ... (as Norman Cazanjian)
Doris Okerson Doris Okerson
John La Touche John La Touche ... The Gangster (as John Latouche)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herb Campbell Herb Campbell ... A man - hands
Learn more

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Storyline

After learning how to look inside himself, a poetic bum sells people vivid dreams.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Took three years to complete. See more »

Quotes

(singing on soundtrack): Oh Venus was born out of sea-foam / oh Venus was born out of brine / but a girl of today / if she is grade A / is assembled upon the assembly line
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cocteau Marais - Un couple mythique (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl with the Pre-Fabricated Heart
Lyrics by John La Touche
Sung by Libby Holman and Josh White, accompanied by Norma Cazanjian and Doris Okerson
See more »

User Reviews

 
DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY (Hans Richter, 1947) ***
15 January 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I had long been interested in watching this one (and had even toyed with the idea of acquiring its BFI PAL VHS in the mid-1990s) but, having now caught up with the film, I cannot say that the end result fully lived up to expectations!

It is quite a unique effort, mind you, but very uneven in tone – a reflection of the many 'cooks' involved in the 'broth' since, despite the overall credit to Richter, many another avant-garde artist was responsible for the various dream sequences that basically comprise the narrative (Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, etc.). This is also why I preceded its viewing with a number of shorts by all these exponents of experimental cinema and, for what it is worth, I opted to check the film out on the day of Richter's own birthday!

The concept is an intriguing, even noir-ish, one – accentuated by the initially down-on-his-luck protagonist and constant voice-over. The fantasies range from the romantic (a henpecked man braving a labyrinth for the sake of his idealized beloved recalls the work of Jean Cocteau) to the musical ('sung' by a mannequin and dreamt by a geeky girl liberated to femme fatale status by the hero's attentions), and from the prescient (the audience at an interactive movie theater imitate every move of the actors on-screen) to the insipid (a lazily derivative 'rotating shapes' display by Duchamp serving as the visions of a gangster type – who on earth but mathematicians dreams of such things anyway?!). The last hallucination, then, is reserved for the leading man himself – his assuming a blue countenance at this point presumably representing his own uniqueness (in view of the gift he is able to 'bestow' upon others).

As I said, this is more worth watching for its intentions than for what is ultimately achieved; the colour scheme, at least, makes it that more palatable to the adventurous movie-buff. Incidentally, we also have here one of the very earliest examples of a pre-credits sequence on celluloid.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Rêve à vendre See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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