Hot Millions - Directed by Eric Till, Starring Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Karl Malden, Bob Newhart
Ustinov plays Marcus Pendleton, who is just being released from prison for embezzlement. Pendleton is a crook, sure, but he's so smooth and charming that he even does the books for the prison warden! Released into a world heavily dominated by computer, Pendleton meets programmer Caesar Smith (Robert Morley) and convinces him to pursue his lifelong dream of hunting moths. He then assumes Smith's identity and gets a job at a huge corporation run by Carlton J. Klemper (Karl Malden). He buts heads with the company's top computer man Willard C. Gnatpole (Bob Newhart), who distrusts Smith and scoffs at his supposedly superior knowledge of programming.
Despite his funny character name, Bob Newhart sort of plays the heavy here. He seems the only person to doubt Pendleton's veracity, and tries to steal Patty away from him to boot. The film seems to regard corporate bureaucrats like Gnatpole with real disdain, choosing to side with the charming--if admittedly completely crooked--Pendleton, who does what he wants and knows how to get it, silly little laws be damned.
Hot Millions is a very slight film, and not worth spending a whole lot of effort to track down. But it is a nicely diverting couple of hours, and I have to say it is fun watching this very unique cast put through its paces. If you're a particular fan of Peter Ustinov--as we have become--you'll enjoy it.