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Deal of the Century (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  4 November 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 2,898 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 8 critic

A small time arms dealer in South America to sell weapons to the revolutionaries, winds up negotiating the sale of an experimental plane to the nation's dictator.


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Title: Deal of the Century (1983)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Muntz
Catherine DeVoto
Ray Kasternak
Frank Stryker
William Marquez ...
Gen. Cordosa
Eduardo Ricard ...
Col. Salgado
Graham Jarvis ...
Harold DeVoto
Randi Brooks ...
Ms. Della Rosa
J.W. Smith ...
Carmencristina Moreno ...
Woman Singer (as Carmen Moreno)
Charles Levin ...
Dr. Rechtin


Arms dealers from several companies vie to sell the most expensive and highest tech weapons to a South American dictator. There are complications; understanding the exact nature of how 'gifts' are used to grease the wheels of a sale, a religious conversion from one of the salesman and a romance that begins to grow between two competitors, not to mention the imminient financial collapse of one of the companies if they don't make this sale. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Chevy Chase and his partners are arms dealers. They sell second-rate weapons to third world nations. But they're not out to stick it to anyone.


Comedy | Crime


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Bombengeschäft  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Wallace Shawn:  As Harold DeVoto. See more »


When Harold DeVoto punches the wall outside his hotel room, the entire wall shakes (obvious fake wall). See more »


Ray Kasternak: For I do not do the good that I want. But the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want it is no longer I that do it but sin which dwells within me.
Eddie Muntz: That's beautiful, Ray.
See more »


Referenced in Exterminator 2 (1984) See more »


Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
Sung by Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Clydene Jackson
See more »

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User Reviews

You got me sold!
23 March 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Eddie Muntz is a pervasive black market arms dealer who after a missed sale, meets a fellow salesman Harold in the same field for the US Luckup Corporation while in South America. After he commits suicide with the stress of waiting by the phone for the government dictator to ring him back to complete the deal. Eddie answers and takes over the deal which involves a new high-tech, non-pilot plane known as the Peacemaker. Soon enough everybody wants to get on this multi-million dollar deal. Eddie's work pal Ray has found god, and he's doing his best trying to keep him on the job and Harold's icy widow Catherine wants her share of the prize.

William Friedkin's "Deal Of the Century" is somewhere in between a black comedy and frank pot-shot on the international arms trade. It never distinguishes itself either way, but I think that's the point. Especially how nervously bizarre this turns out to be. I certainly enjoyed this misunderstood satirical item on an interestingly flavorers topic and the sardonically dark humour was neat treat to the senses. Those looking for a laugh-out-loud affair will only get humour that's rather broadly downbeat in tone, despite how over-blown they turn out to be. While, it didn't constantly make me laugh, it got some grimaces out of me. It can feel like a Chevy Chase vehicle most of the time, as the rest of the cast do pale in comparison. That's not their fault, because their characters don't have the material to lift them out of Chase's shadow. Chase is one of my favourite iconic 80's comedians and he immediately fits the role with his causally dry and quick-witted personality. Sigourney Weaver is there to look good in her steely firebrand performance and Gregory Hines doesn't look too interested throughout. There's a short comic performance by Wallace Shawn too.

The freshly ammo-packed story by Paul Bickerman is complicatedly knotty and obvious with its attacks. Creeping in were oddball situations and a surrealistic air on the worrying subject at hand. The snappy script works up a creative novelty, smearing it with sneering gags, spicy irony and that of Chase's slyly gruff voice-over narration to string scenes together. Super weapons to ensure peace, nicely put. As for William Friedkin's direction, well at first I didn't even know that this was on his resume. His style is extremely random and kinetic in just what's going to happen, but this unfocused mark goes on to morph its way into the premise. The interestingly high octane climax springs to mind. The production does look cheap, but the sweeping musical score creates the right vibe and there's strikingly framed camera-work. Explosions make there way in and the effects for the plane look rather hokey when its up in the air, but decent enough when on the ground.

While, I don't see too much love for this offering. It isn't significantly great and it can be clumsy, but I don't see it as a piece of absurd garbage that it's made out to be. Simply a delightful, if farcical romp that kept me highly entertained.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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political jabs ruined DaveDude12
I love Friedkin and Chevy but this movie us unwatchable.. motley6
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