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Likeable heist comedy that makes good on the funny

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Once a seemingly regular fixture on TV but absent without leave from the schedules for years, Who's Minding the Mint? is one of those comedies that for much of its first half seems to be getting by more on its good nature than laughs - in many ways it's a bit reminiscent in style and look to many of Disney's live-action comedies of the 60s - but genuinely does deliver the funny in the second half. Jim Hutton is the Federal Mint employee (okay, it's really the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but try getting a title out of that) who is already under suspicion from his boss because of his lavish lifestyle, which he funds by taking advantage on 60-day free approval offers on cars and condos, and who finds himself facing a potential 10-year stretch when he accidentally destroys $50,000. His only hope is to print up another $50,000 before anyone can discover the loss, which means breaking into the mint with Walter Brennan's wannabe printer, but naturally it's not quite as easy as that, and soon he finds himself with a small army of partners all in on the action for a larger slice as greed increasingly takes hold - Jack Gilford's deaf safecracker, Milton Berle's pawnbroker, Joey Bishop's compulsive gambling sewer man, Victor Buono's would-be seadog, Bob Denver's ice cream man, Jamie Farr's non-English speaking lookout and Dorothy Provine's infatuated paper cutter. Naturally further complications ensue that see the break-in rushed forward so that half of them are in fancy dress and Brennan's pregnant dog is along for the ride, which could smack of desperation but which turns out to be surprisingly funny, especially since director Howard Morris just lets the comedy happen with a light touch rather than constantly nudging you in the ribs and loudly telegraphing all the jokes. A fun movie, nothing more, nothing less.
Added by Electrophorus Dragon
5 years ago on 7 February 2013 05:07

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