Any fool can steal. I’ve been embezzling. The con is on in Hot Millions, a droll caper whose wit and warmth recall the Ealing Studios romps of the 1950s. Peter Ustinov heads an engaging cast and co-scripts the Oscar-nominated screenplay about a dapper rogue (Ustinov) who uses a corporation’s mainframe computer to issue checks to bogus companies, then proceeds to cash the checks. While he’s stealing (sorry, embezzling) millions, delightful Maggie Smith nearly steals the show as a featherheaded secretary. Karl Malden as a pill-gobbling CEO and Bob Newhart, he of the button-down mind, add to the affable fun. When it was over, I realized that I’d been smiling for two hours (Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic).
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