Picks and Pans Review: Dealers

updated 11/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Rebecca DeMornay, Paul McGann

It no doubt says something profound about Western civilization that there are so few Westerns these days and so many movies whose heroes are investment traders of one kind or another. (One thing it says, of course, is that it's a good thing John Wayne isn't around to see this. Can you imagine: "Consarn it, Duke. Which way do we go?" "Well, a broker's gotta do what a broker's gotta do, but if'n I were in your Guccis, Pilgrim, I'd circle the computers and not go any further into T-bills than I had to.")

But this British import, a kind of Working Girl-Wall Street with an English accent, has something to offer for those who get their kicks from a dramatic short sell or a junk-bond showdown—from the excitement, in other words, of greed on the hoof.

Director Colin (The McGuffin) Bucksey and writer Andrew Maclear were sensible enough to toss in some sexy scenes to keep DeMornay occupied. Though she is supposed to be playing a high-powered money-market trader, she is much more convincing when flouncing around the office in a very short skirt and going coquettish with McGann.

McGann, whose stiff-upper-lippish charm was used to good effect in The Rainbow, is a wild and crazy trader who's out to recoup a $100 million loss his company has incurred—the hapless trader who made that deal commits suicide in the opening scene—make a lot of money and woo DeMornay away from his boss.

Neither the love story nor the financial machinations bear a whole lot of scrutiny as far as realism goes, but McGann and DeMornay, perhaps because they're such an unlikely pair, are fun to watch. Derrick O'Connor, as McGann's grizzled mentor, who really wants to go back to being a restaurant chef, does a nice turn too, decrying the obsessions of the investment business even as he compulsively smokes cigars, snorts cocaine, guzzles booze and chases women.

It's best not to try to make too much sense out of the financial crises that the plot revolves around. It's enough to know when McGann and DeMornay want a price to go up and when they want it to go down. Anyway, you never had to know much about the history of the frontier to enjoy a Western either. (R)

From Our Partners