Barbarians at the Gate (1993)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  20 March 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,144 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

The president of a major tobacco company decides to buy the company himself, but a bidding war ensues as other companies make their own offers.



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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Cohen
Linda Robinson
Jim Robinson
Laurie Johnson
H. John Greeniaus
Ted Forstmann
Don Kelly
Peter Dvorsky ...
Robert Allegro
Judy Altman ...
Robinson's Aide
Anthony the Pizza Man


F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco decides that the time is ripe to take over his own company and enlists American Express. This kicks off a tide of other firms swarming in to tender offers. The outline of the film follows the actual takeover of the RJR Nabisco empire in a tongue in cheek way. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 March 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A füstbement terv  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the golf course, Ross mentions giving away free Gucci watches and Polaroids. James Garner, who plays Ross, starred in Polaroid's TV commercials in the 70s and 80s. See more »


The film is set in 1988, but a post-1991 Chevrolet Caprice taxi is visible during a street scene. See more »


Henry Kravis: He got the art of the double cross down real fast.
See more »


Mo Money
Written by Chuck Cymone, Cassandra Reed, Kimberly Wallace
See more »

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User Reviews

Spot On!
15 October 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I don't know if there's been a more perfect made-for-TV movie than this one! If you've ever been involved in a corporate takeover, and I have, you know how perfect this film is. This was the largest corporate takeover in history at the time and the personalities involved are no different today than they were back then. In fact, many of them, particularly Henry Kravis, are still involved in this sort of thing. (I wouldn't want to have to go up against Kravis in a takeover, as few have ever won when KKR was in the mix.) One other reviewer said this film was the "zenith of greed" and it was in the '80s but this sort of greed is exactly what has led to the downfall of Wall Street here in the late-'2000s too! James Garner is perfect in this film, as he is in most anything he acts in, and he truly steals this film from the other actors. Jonathan Pryce is exactly what Henry Kravis is, conniving, brilliant and evil. What really makes this worth watching is the writing skill of Larry Gelbart - a real genius at verbal machinations of all sorts. My favorite line from the film is about the "healthy" cigarette and James Garner delivers! "This cigarette tastes like a turd!" - still cracks me up! If you haven't seen this film, please do sit back and enjoy a priceless bit of entertainment. If you haven't read the book, please find it and read it. Both the film and the book are worth every minute you will spend!

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

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Recent Posts
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful... bhodgman
caught this on late night bbc one night Dicky_Hart
Johnson's friend who introduces him to Kravis aegisthus
Fascinated by this film... oscarflix
Wrong Movie Image! jonhoyle-1
The epitome of Americn business dc63
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