The Wheeler Dealers
Release Date: Nov. 14, 1963

The Wheeler Dealers

When his oil drilling ventures in Texas turn out to be nothing but dry wells, wheeler dealer Henry Tyroon (James Garner) visits New York  to raise more money. He meets Molly Thatcher (Lee Remick) , an attractive Wall Street analyst  who  is being setup to fail by her boss who is "not used to bright girls." Molly's view of men is equally jaded: "Every man has sex on the brain like its some sort of wonder drug... I even had a guy once that said sex prevents cavities." To ensure Molly's demise, her boss assigns her the task of unloading underperforming shares of Universal Widget to unsuspecting investors.  Meanwhile, Tyroon tries to impress the fledgling broker by inviting her to lunch at Chez Henri. When he learns that Chez Henri is her favorite restaurant, he buys and redecorates it in Texas style with horse paintings. Tyroon tags along with Molly as she visits the head office of Universal Widget in Massachusetts. Thaddeus Whipple (Vaughn Taylor) tells them that Universal Widget hasn't made a widget since 1854. Undaunted, Tyroon convinces the reluctant Whipple to drill for oil on the company's property in Boston!  Suddenly unsourced rumors  heat up the performance of Widget's stock. In a parody of gullibility and greed, the shares skyrocket as new rumors circulate that Universal Widget is developing a miracle drug.    The bubble bursts when the oil rig on Universal Widget's property strikes oil by tapping into a private company's pipeline!   

Director Arthur Hiller (The Americanization of Emily, The Man In The Glass Booth) adapted the screenplay from a book with the same title by  G.J.W. Goodman. To add to the mirth of this light-hearted comedy, Hiller uses several funny subplots including the antics of three Texas cigar chompers who follow Tyroon around in the hope of getting in on the ground floor of other profitable investments including a stake in a collection of German expressionist paintings. The movie's hi-jinks are a pleasant diversion for a few hours, and it never hurts to be gently reminded that when something seems too good to be true, it probably is! Incidentally, the movie is now available on DVD at Warner Archives.


Copyright: Peter Fokes (2004)
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