6.7/10
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38 user 16 critic

A Shock to the System (1990)

When you think you're at the top of the corporate ladder and then discover they have managed to pull that ladder away, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to 'level' the playing ... See full summary »

Director:

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(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Graham Marshall
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Stella Anderson
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Robert Benham
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Leslie Marshall
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Lt. Laker
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Melanie O'Conner
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George Brewster
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Lillian
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Tara Liston
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Henry Park
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Executive #1
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Executive #2
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Executive #3
Sam Schacht ...
David Jones
Christopher Durang ...
Convention Speaker
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Storyline

When you think you're at the top of the corporate ladder and then discover they have managed to pull that ladder away, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to 'level' the playing field, both professionally and personally. Michael Caine delivers an electrifying performance as Graham Marshall, who quickly catches onto the possibilities as he clears all the hurdles to occupy the corner office. Written by Edgy01

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Climbing the corporate ladder can be murder. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abrakadabra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,417,056 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel L. Jackson: Appears very briefly as a three-card Monte dealer, on the street, with one quick line of dialogue. See more »

Goofs

A detective questions Michael Caine's secretary and writes down his telephone number on a piece of notepad paper for her. Later, when she decides to call him, she has his business card. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Graham Marshall: It all began one night when the lights went out.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Ax (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Michael Caine Classic
22 April 2004 | by (Malmesbury, UK) – See all my reviews

Little-noticed on release and little-seen thereafter, the annoying thing is that this has to rate as one of Caine's better films; yet trying to find a copy of/transmission of it (at least in the UK) can be quite difficult.

Caine's portrayal of the central character, Graham Marshall, an advertising executive sidelined and humiliated during a corporate restructuring, is deliciously wicked (even down to his devilish facial expressions), both in its comedy and thriller components. Elizabeth McGovern, playing the role of Stella, Marshall's PA, is sweetly convincing as the innocent dupe in Marshall's subsequent plotting.

Part of the (admittedly dark) fun with this film is that, thanks to the monumental unpleasantness of the characters which Marshall comes up against, you really want him to do terrible things and to get away with them. Enjoy!!


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