Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Wheeler Dealers" Spin Some Fun

Cleveland Press November 23, 1963

Texas boy meets New York girl in a wildly exaggerated comedy about high finances, "The Wheeler Dealers."

The film pokes fun at more than just high finance. Along the way the needle is applied to modern art, government investigators, the New York cab situations, psychiatry and fancy restaurants.

The movie attempts to hit so much that an occasional miss was bound to occur.

The total effect, though, is a pleasant, escapist, frothy affair.

THE DEALER who wheels is James Garner and he's got himself a role here that is tailor made for his talents. He carries it off with a fine flourish.

He is a smooth operator from the West who needs a million dollars in a hurry. He s just sunk a couple of dry oil wells.

So up to New York he goes to raise the cash, discovers first off that he can't get a cab in the big city. The solution is simple enough -- he buys the cab, figures he can sell it later and write it off as a tax loss.

Much of the humor is dependent on at least a smattering knowledge of financial jargon and an awareness of tax loopholes. But anyone who has ever wrestled with a tax form will appreciate some of it.

LEE REMICK is cast as a market analyst trying to sell Garner some stock. Phil Harris, Chill Wills and Charles Watts are a trio of high flying tycoons with 10 gallon hats and Jim Backus is a growling Wall Street manipulator.

One of the funniest bits in the film pokes fun at abstract art with Louis Nye scoring as a far-out artist who can get down to plain talk quickly enough when it comes to a discussion of cornering the art market.