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Hot Millions More at IMDbPro »

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48 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Sir Peter Ustinov as a hacker, Dame Maggie Smith as a dolly bird - what's not to like?

Author: robin-221
1 May 2004

Those who only remember the late Sir Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot or a professional raconteur would do well to seek out this charming piece of late '60s satire. Ustinov stars as a convicted embezzler (we first see him during his last day in gaol where he is preparing the prison governor's tax return) who, sensing that the future is in computers, poses (by means of a deft piece of identity theft) as a computer expert and sets out to infiltrate an American multinational.

Ustinov (who co-wrote the script) is on top form, as is the delightful Maggie Smith, here unusually cast as an accident-prone cockney-sparrow dolly bird. Bob Newhart also puts in an amusing performance as a suspicious executive who has designs on Maggie Smith. In addition, Karl Malden is satisfyingly sleazy as Ustinov and Newhart's womanising boss.

What do I particularly like about this film? Not only is it a well-thought-out 'caper movie' but it's also a touching little love story; Ustinov and Smith are very convincing as the two misfits stumbling into love (the whole scene involving the deck of cards is particularly effective.)

So, what is there not to like? Well, the script is no more computer-literate than most films (that is, hardly at all) even though it captures the feel of late '60s 'big iron' business computing quite well. Also there are a couple of small plot glitches that you're not likely to notice until the second or third viewing, but I consider these to be minor niggles.

As I said, this is a film which is well worth seeking out, and after you've seen it once you'll want to see it again at regular intervals.

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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A bloody miracle

Author: ( from Raleigh NC
21 August 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there were two more charming performers than Peter Ustinov and Maggie Smith appearing together in a more charming movie in 1968, I don't know who they were. I first saw this delightful little satiric gem 25 years ago at the age of 16, and I consider any year in which I have failed to sit down to watch it again a wasted one. It's intelligent, quirky, neat, wistful, sweet, gently subversive, and utterly enchanting. The romance of these two social misfits is both richly comic and terribly moving - never more so than in Maggie Smith's desperate attempt to bring up the right card in the deck, a scene that's both ruefully funny and a perfect thumbnail portrait of heartbreaking loneliness. And that final freeze-frame on the anxious, concerned, loving face of Ustinov as he asks, "Are you all right?" - has anyone ever made the look and sound of devotion so perfectly and nakedly honest? I would never want to know anyone well who didn't love this movie.

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28 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Way ahead of it's time.

Author: Michael Hoffman ( from Fort Worth, Texas USA
12 June 1999

I first saw this film about 11 years ago when my former college Accounting professor recommended it to me. I was amazed that a movie from 1968 could so coherently and hilariously portray computer crime. Maggie Smith is delightful and Ustinov plays the "retro hacker" perfectly. "O Nolo Mio"!!!!!

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24 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Magic moments

Author: benbrae76
28 August 2006

This movie is now appearing on digital TV at least once a month, I've watched it a dozen or more times, and it never ceases to delight me. If it was on tomorrow I'd watch it again. Such is the artistry that Peter Ustinov and Maggie Smith, two great magicians of the acting profession can create, helped in no small way by the superb supporting trio of Karl Malden, Bob Newhart and Robert Morley. Not forgetting others in minor roles.

It is a simple tale, simply told, of an ex-con, a lovable embezzler, battling and succeeding with the then "new age technology" i.e computers, and finding affection in the process. Even if it is a tad (tongue in cheek) implausible, even unbelievable, the characters are not. There is no violence, no sex, no bad language, and best of all no awful method acting which is so prevalent today. A real lesson to modern movie-makers on how to make a great show from, and with, virtually nothing...except outstanding talent.

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

sweet, gentle, surprisingly funny

Author: hbs from United States
22 January 2003

It's very sly for all of the 60's look to the movie. The humor is quite gentle, but it grew on me much more than I expected. The cast is first-rate and they appear to be having a wonderful time. Ustinov wanders through the film muttering some quite funny things under his breath, and it's all very inconsequential; I'll buy the movie as soon as it comes out on DVD. The plot is that Ustinov as an embezzler released from prison posing as a computer whiz and embezzling money from an American company with an office in London. Maggie Smith is his secretary for a while, and watching her get fired from many different jobs is part of the fun. Bob Newhart is his usual deadpan self, and Karl Malden has fun as the dense and sleazy executive running the London office. The ending is funny and nicely cynical.

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23 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

A nice movie

Author: ( from Brick, NJ
27 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is a scene in "Hot Millions" that sort of typifies the relaxed attitude and the level of humor in the film. Peter Ustinov plays an ex-con trying to break into the computer of a giant American corporation in order to reprogram it to mail out phony checks which Ustinov, ultimately, will collect for himself. But he can't figure out how to crack the security system. Then one day, one of the secretaries opens a panel on the top of the mainframe (remember, this is 1968, the computers were the size of refrigerators) and sets a pot of boiling tea atop the heat generated by the machine, and this gives Ustinov the answer. "Hot Millions" is in the vein of this type of charming, urbane English humor that most suits its creator, Ustinov himself. The plot is devilishly simple, as I described. Ustinov defrauds the corporation and heads for the tropics with bumbling secretary Maggie Smith, although there's a bit more that happens at the end. It is a nice movie. It has nice people in it, and tells a nice story that will please everyone at the end. Ustinov is wonderful as always, as are Maggie Smith and Karl Malden and Bob Newhart, who has some genuinely funny moments as a disgruntled office clerk who also has an eye for Maggie. That said, I can recommend "Hot Millions" not as a zany laugh-out-loud comedy, but a well-mannered bit of fluff that has all the ease and comfort of lighting up a cigarette in a holder while wearing a smoking jacket or of the great Ustinov conducting a symphony orchestra, which, he does, in fact, do, in the final minutes of the film. 3 *** out of 4

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Greatest computer-hacking movie of all time

Author: Michael Stone from Alexandria, VA
10 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I recently found this movie on VHS after looking for it for a number of years, I was not disappointed. It gets better every time I see it. Peter Ustinov stars and co-wrote the original screenplay (nominated for an Academy Award). Other stars you've heard of include Karl Malden, Bob Newhart and Cesar Romero. Ustinov plays an accountant/embezzler, just released from England's infamous Wormwood Scrubs prison (he had embezzled from the Conservative Party headquarters, selected because he is a Liberal). He immediately begins a search for a new employer from whom he can embezzle, and discovers that computers are the wave of the future. He social-engineers his way into a London men's club and learns the identity of the best computer experts in town, he steals the identity of one Caesar Smith, who has just left town for South America to pursue his hobby of collecting moths in the wild. He talks his way into Ta-Can-Co, an American conglomerate headed by Carlton Klemper (Karl Malden). Klemper hires Smith and shows him around the computer center, especially its security feature consisting of a flashing blue light. Ustinov asks the computer how to defeat its security and the computer obligingly tells, him, "Disconnect blue light." Using hacking techniques from 30 years in the future, Ustinov breaks into the system and programs the computer to generate checks written to various bogus companies. The scheme starts to unravel when Klemper's assistant Willard G. Gnatpole (Bob Newhart) notices the amount of business Ta-Can-Co appears to be transacting with Ustinov's scam companies. With the help of his secretary Patty Terwilliger (Maggie Smith), Ustinov manages to avoid prosecution and lives happily ever after. To tell you how would spoil this very funny, romantic, intelligent, and ahead-of-its-time picture.

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

What a great Tutorial

Author: agitpro from Toronto, Canada
28 April 2003

I thought I'd enjoyed Sneakers until I saw Hackers. I thought I'd enjoyed AI until I saw Circuitry Man. I thought I enjoyed Demon Seed until I saw Dungeon Master. I thought I'd enjoyed Johnnie Mnemonic until I saw the Matrix, but this movie set them all back on their heels.

Sir Peter's depiction of the archetypal Hacker is phenomenally well done, and how they managed to predict that Social Engineering skills would be brought to bear in the world of hacking was a phenomenal display of foresight. If Kevin Mitnick's life were ever to be fictionalized more than it has been by the Media and released as a comedy I'd suspect this is what the script would turn out to be like.

Karl Malden and Bob Newhart both provided excellent portrayals of the archetypal 60's executives who still seem so prevalent in today's business world, showing where much of the security concerns of today should be focused.

View this if you're a computer geek, and if you're involved in computer security this movie should be required.

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Computing 101

Author: jotix100 from New York
2 February 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Hot Millions" is a delightful comedy that is made even better by the presence of the marvelous cast assembled for it. The movie is a tribute to the genius of Peter Ustinov, who wrote the screen play and appears as the key figure of an enterprising embezzler. The movie, directed by Eric Till, doesn't show signs of having dated as terribly, as some others from that period.

At the center of the action is a friendly man, Marcus Pendleton, who, before being released from prison, fixes the income tax forms for the warden, who is amazed of the refund he is owed by the government. Marcus, who is a genius at numbers, sees opportunities where others wouldn't. He starts working for a firm that uses the latest computer for its accounting, but Pendleton is a resourceful man who finds a way to take advantage of the system and establishes different phony accounts in different parts of the continent.

Marcus is assigned a secretary, who also happens to have a flat in his building. The inept Patty is seen working as a bus fare taker who manages to make a mess of everything. How she lands a job as a secretary is beyond comprehension, but things are never the same in the office when the creepy Willard Gnatpole decides to go after her, but have no fear, Patty's heart belongs to Marcus, who is an accomplished pianist and she is a flutist and they make beautiful music together.

The best thing in the film is Peter Ustinov. He clearly understood how Marcus should be played and runs away with the film. Mr. Ustinov gives an assured account of the embezzler. The excellent Maggie Smith is also at her best with her take on Patty, the kind woman who adores Marcus and who proves to be a genius herself when it comes to investing the money she finds in Marcus' pockets.

Karl Malden is perfect as the American in charge of the corporation. Bob Newhart also appears as Gnatpole, the man who desires Patty, but can't get her to reciprocate. The marvelous Robert Morley is seen as Caesar Smith, whose identity Marcus has assumed. Cesar Romero appears also in a cameo role as an airport customs inspector.

"Hot Millions" will delight everyone looking for a fun time in the company of that unsavory, but charming character, Marcus Pendleton.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A Nifty Caper Movie

Author: dgz78 ( from United States
22 March 2006

Okay, for those that dislike this movie, I agree this ain't Olivier doing Shakespeare. But it is a charming little caper movie that could only have been made in the sixties.

Peter Ustinov plays a charming embezzler and Maggie Smith plays a not-so dumb-in-the end secretary that he marries. It doesn't have any roll on the floor laughs but then again it doesn't try to. Made before the blockbuster era of Jaws and Star Wars and even before the crass but extremely funny humor of M.A.S.H., simple movies like this could be made for a modest cost without being expected to be the next Gone With The Wind.

If you come across this movie, just enjoy it without looking for any deep underlying message.

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