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GOLDEN OLDIES FINALLY ON DVD

              

For Hicksflicks.com, May 16, 2014

Kirk Douglas also stars in "The Moneychangers" (1976), an NBC miniseries that is making its DVD debut on the Paramount Home Video label.

Paramount has had some success in conjunction with CBS in releasing a number of vintage TV series ("Perry Mason," "Rawhide," etc.) but this is its first foray into made-for-TV movies on its own label (though there have been some TV movies licensed to other DVD companies).

The full title is actually "Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers," Hailey being the author of the novel that provides the story. (Haley is best known for authoring the bestsellers "Airport" and "Hotel.")

Douglas stars as one of two bank vice presidents in line for the top job, which is to be awarded by the board of directors as per the wishes of the current bank president, who is dying of cancer.

 

Left, vintage newspaper ad; Plummer, Collins, in 'The Moneychangers.'

While Douglas is an ethical man with high ideals and a desire to put customers ahead of political games with the board of directors, represented by a particularly self-interested businessmen (Patrick O'Neal), his opposition, as played with oily finesse by Christopher Plummer, is a priggish hypocrite who is deep in debt and works the board to curry favor. (Plummer won an Emmy for the role.)

As this is a four-part miniseries of just under four hours, there are many subplots and an array of characters — including the women in Douglas' life, a mentally ill wife and a lover who is an activist with a strong moral sensibility. Another dominant storyline has Timothy Bottoms as an embezzler sent to prison, eventually joining a gang of counterfeiters.

Others in the cast are Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Joan Collins, Robert Loggia, Jean Peters and James Shigeta.