A minor car accident drives two rival aluminum-siding salesmen to the ridiculous extremes of man versus man in 1963 Baltimore.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
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One step short of larceny, the aluminum siding salesmen in this movie sell their wares, compete with each other, and engage in a lot of great dialog. Tin Men focuses on the rivalry between BB Babowsky and Ernest Tilley. At the same time, the end of small world of which they are kings looms near as a government probe investigates their industry. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Year - 1963. Selling the American Dream is a risky, funny business - you could wind up paying with your wife! See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les filous  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)


$25,411,386 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second feature film in which Barry Levinson acted as both sole writer and director. See more »


In this Baltimore-based story, during a scene in the bar, there is a Busch promotional light on the wall. The movie is set in the 1960s, but Busch beer was not licensed for sale in Maryland until the late 1970s. See more »


Sam: You know when I saw 'Bonanza' the other day, something occurred to me.
Ernest Tilley: Eh?
Sam: Ya got these four guys living on the Ponderosa and ya never hear them say anything about wanting to get laid.
Ernest Tilley: Huh.
Sam: I mean ya never hear Hoss say to Little Joe, "I had such a hard-on when I woke up this morning."
Ernest Tilley: No, no, no...
Sam: They don't talk about broads - nothing. Ya never hear Little Joe say, "Hey, Hoss, I went to Virginia City and I saw a girl with the greatest ass I've ever seen in my life." They just walk around the...
See more »


Featured in The Directors: The Films of Barry Levinson (2000) See more »


The Girl From Ipanema
English Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Portuguese Lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes
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User Reviews

Hilarious and touching
2 August 2003 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

Few films can be laugh-out-loud funny and ultimately as touching and deep as this film. Most people remember the dialogue, seemingly ad-libbed during the diner scenes by the cast (Danny DeVito, Jackie Gayle, Bruno Kirby)--and that looks like the same diner that Barry Levinson used for his first movie. But the characters and their quirks are totally fleshed out before the conflict (DeVito's stiff neck, Dreyfuss's ladies' man schtick), making for a few truly hilarious lines and scenes (Gayle talking to DeVito about what a great dancer Dreyfuss is comes to mind). The movie really has a sad story underneath about very unhappy people who delight in the misfortunes of others, until Barbara Hershey's character realizes what's going on. All of these characters and story points climax in a rather sweet and yes, believable final sequence. This movie came out during a spate of late '80s blockbusters and never really found its audience, I think. But it is one of the few late '80s movies I rewatch every couple of years and find more to appreciate with each viewing. I would rank it as Levinson's best film.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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