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
Production designer Peter Jamison was having trouble finding the right kind of house to match Barry Levinson's exact specifications, namely a three-storey wooden structure with a little lawn, set back from the road, and in need of a new frame. Levinson told him to go to 4211 Springdale Avenue, Baltimore, which was the house where he grew up. 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 »
I grew up with characters like Dreyfus and DeVito, hustlers out there selling anything. Somewhere between 1963 and the time the film came out, they disappeared from our streets, only to move into six story office buildings that dot the suburbs of Northeastern cities. Now they spend their time on the phone, trying to interest prospects that new windows will surely cut their fuel bills.
I came to realize this great truth one day in 1988 when I went to rent a car and was told to come to Executive Plaza 5, Suite 414. As I walked the halls, all I could see in open offices were the Tin Men of 1963 at it again.
The movie crackles and sets off sparks. You don't know who to root for, and for good reason. This is not a buddy movie, but I suspect a remembrance by Levinson of people he knew growing up.
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