In his last big-screen role, Gregory Peck co-starred with Danny DeVito, Piper Laurie and Penelope Ann Miller in the 1991 comedy Foreign Money. It’s an unorthodox role for Peck, who for decades has played a strong man of action or a charismatic leader, but in the twilight years of his life he mostly played wise mentors. Instead, here he plays Andrew Jorgenson, the chairman of the cable company that employs most of the people in the small town it is based in. Not the greedy corporate bigwig as one might expect, Peck sees him as a principled and old-fashioned money man who is trying to be the city’s savior.
Meanwhile, DeVito plays a more ruthless modern-day executive named Larry Garfield. A corporate raider, he comes to town on a hostile takeover, hoping to tear the company apart and sell it piece by piece for a huge profit. But Jorgenson is not going to give up and tries to use his attractive stepdaughter Kate (Miller) to thwart his plans. Representing the company, Kate and the slippery Garfield actually hit it off, and it’s up to the desperate businessman to decide if he wants the girl or the green.
A black comedy seen today as a warning about corporate greed (via Hollywood in Toto), Other People’s Money carries an important message and timeless words of caution. Unfortunately, the film itself is not memorable.