TFAC spring film series presents 1968 British comedy “Hot Millions”

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The 1968 British comedy “Hot Millions” will be shown at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m.  Doors open at 6:30 for socializing and refreshments.

What is probably the first movie about computer crime, “Hot Millions” boasts a great cast of British and American actors, including the unique personality of Peter Ustinov, who co-wrote the screenplay, and the irrepressible Maggie Smith, who can be seen, still at the top of her game, in the current TV series “Downton Abbey”.

This is a gentle comedy, delivered with understated wit that brings smiles and chuckles, while poking fun at the modern, multinational corporate world.  Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert says it is “a warm comedy…because the characters are developed rather more than is usually the case in movies about (a) embezzlers or (b) eccentrics.  Hot Millions abandons convention.”

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One famous reviewer wrote that he couldn’t imagine liking anyone who doesn’t like this movie! Peter Ustinov stars as the well-behaved romantic and comic lead, probably because Maggie Smith keeps him in check.

“Miss Smith plays a marvelously funny — and restrained — career girl who has flopped at everything from London meter maid (she doesn’t have the heart to give out tickets) to secretary (in the interest of good grooming, she takes off her dress when she changes a typewriter ribbon),” said Vince Canby of the New York Times.

The film also features Karl Malden, Robert Morley, Bob Newhart and Cesar Romero.  Its writers were nominated for both an Oscar and the Writers Guild of America award.  For car buffs in the audience, the car driven by Bob Newhart’s character is a Jensen Interceptor.

This is the third in the current series of films of the 1960s being screened at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.  The next movie in the series will be “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on April 21, before which will be a champagne gala.  For reservations for the gala and additional details about the film series, visit or call the box office at 828-859-8322.

-Submitted by Susan Brady