No Small (Couch) Potatoes

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SETTLE down. Take it easy. No matter that the Dow dipped a dose, or that the Asian Tiger has no more claws. You'll still retire eventually.

Of course, that's what garrulous, gimpy ol' Ace Stamper said in Splendor in the Grass (1961), when the NY streets were lined with bodies. But by the end of the day, he's a stain on the street and cowed son Warren Beatty is finally free to ... become a rancher, sans true love Natalie Wood. It's like the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse.

Next time, do what Wood's small-investor parents did: sink the whole portfolio into mental hospitals. When times turn sour, nuthouses are like tobacco and liquor everybody needs 'em. Be warned, though: This film has the wrenching power of six full episodes of "Party of Five."

Sure, money is cool. But too much, they say, can be a burden. (Type in credit card number below.) Just ask Bill Gates letting Janet Reno bleed him for $1M a day over some monopoly thingie it looks like he's dying to get rid of it, though it'd be 18 months before he even had to dip into checking.

For Bill and others like him, the recommendation is 1953's Man with a Million, a high-concept comedy about petty cash with Gregory Peck in England. And there are five versions of Brewster's Millions, but go with the 1985 Walter Hill take, pairing Richard Pryor and John Candy. Call it a guilty pleasure.

But what of the rest of us? The unwashed, unwalleted 99 percent? Get your squeeze and play at redistribution with How to Steal a Million (1966), starring Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn at her most hand-wringingly adorable. 'Cause Janet Reno ain't Ed McMahon.