Monday, May 18, 2009

HOT MILLIONS (1968) - Eric Till

A frothy little corporate crime comedy with Peter Ustinov as an old school embezzler who, upon getting out of prison, learns that the money's all in computers these days. We're not talking iMacs but big, bulky 1960s room-sized computers with reel to reel machines and blinking purple security lights. After copping a computer expert's identity and insinuating himself into a international corporation run by Karl Malden and a very suspicious Bob Newhart, Ustinov begins setting up fake company partners in various countries and diverting millions in cash to each. It isn't long before his secretary and soon-to-be-paramour Maggie Smith is onto him and his money stash and they're both looking to make a quick escape.

If you like your crime hardboiled, then this little Brit-infused caper flick will probably leave you softer than a goose's belly. But if you're interested in seeing computer hacking in one of its earlier carnations (Ustinov actually "hacks" into the computer with a screwdriver), then this may do the trick. The Ustinov-Maggie Smith repartee/relationship is by no means sexy but uncommonly sweet-natured and kitchen sink real for the genre. If you seek the sexier side of the same coin, probably should stick to Duplicity.

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