Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Money Talks" says very little

Cleveland Press August 11, 1972

"Money Talks" is playing at local theaters. Comedy; general audiences. Running time: 90 minutes

"Money Talks" is the second of the Allen Funt full length movie features to grow out of his Candid Camera TV series.

Feature length or not, it shares both the virtues and faults of its small screen original├╣the natural humor of people in unguarded moments being the chief virtue.

The chief flaw is one that has always bothered me about the series and about humor in general when t he originator is unable to come up with something truly witty├╣that is the business of obtaining laughs through the embarrassment of others.

The flaw that movie length gives the form is added repetition.

FUNT'S FIRST FILM was the tasteless "What Do You Say To a Naked Lady" in which the basis for the embrassing situations is obvious from the title.

"Money Talks," at least, is not tasteless. The notion to build situations around money. The situations range from the sort of tricks you pulled as a kid at Halloween purse on a string, bills glued to the sidewalk, to the more elaborate situations, mostly long interviews on the subject of money and what it can buy.

For money a furrier will measure a Great Dane for a fur coat. People will give to causes they know nothing about -- "give to help the affluent" is one of the appeals and one of the better moments. They also will turn down a chance to get money for less than it is worth or for nothing.

It is the elaborate setups which work least well "Money Talks" and which in the end make it duller than it need have been.

THERE IS A LONG session in which unsuspecting people witness a stunt woman toss men about because she is not being paid as well for some nameless job. Strained is sequence with Muhammad Ali in which he refuses to pay for a C.O.D. package.

The man on the street interviews are equally flaccid

The movie closes with Funt talking with his very small daughter, a cute scene stealer if ever there was one. In an over-long conversation they point out that every movie shouldd have something to say but their movie doesn't say anything.

True. But that's not the problem. The problem is that it says nothing at great length.