|MR. BILLION (director: Jonathan Kaplan; screenwriter: Ken Friedman; cinematographer: Matthew Leonetti; editor: O. Nicholas Brown; music: ; cast: Terence Hill (Guido Falcone), Jackie Gleason (John Cutler), Valerie Perrine (Rosie Jones), Slim Pickens (Duane Hawkins), Chill Wills (Col. Winkle), William Redfield (Lacy), Dick Miller (Bernie), Ralph Chesse (Anthony Falcone), Bob Minoe (Black kidnapper), David Cass (Boss Kidnapper), Leo Rossi (Italian kidnapper); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Steve Bach/Ken Friedman; 20th Century-Fox; 1977)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Dull action-comedy. Its cornball antics are never funny. Jonathan Kaplan ("White Line Fever"/"Over The Edge") can't seem to get the handle on how to direct this wannabe screwball chase comedy. It's not helped by a slouch script co-written by Kaplan and Ken Friedman. Also not helping are the three main stars, Jackie Gleason, Terence Hill and Valerie Perrine, who are miscast and show no flair for the goofy material.
A poor, handsome, bachelor, Italian auto mechanic, Guido Falcone (Terence Hill, debut film), inherits a billion dollars when his uncle (Ralph Chesse) from San Francisco suddenly dies and leaves him everything. The only catch is he has 20 days to leave Italy and be in San Francisco to sign the will in person or else he loses everything. Trying to stop him as he goes cross-country from New York is the slimy scheming president of the Falcon Finance, John Cutler (Jackie Gleason), who hires a pretty private detective, Rosie Jones (Valerie Perrine), to stop him anyway she can. But she falls for the nice guy and switches sides. Their romance never materialized on the screen, as the pair had zero chemistry together. Cutler also hires a pair of kidnappers (Bob Minor & Leo Rossi), who botch the job.
I'm still searching for the comedy.
REVIEWED ON 7/4/2018 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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