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Barbarians at the Gate (1993)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Comedy | Drama  -  20 March 1993 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,038 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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Title: Barbarians at the Gate (TV Movie 1993)

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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 6 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Peter Cohen
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Linda Robinson
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Jim Robinson
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Laurie Johnson
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H. John Greeniaus
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Ted Forstmann
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Don Kelly
Peter Dvorsky ...
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Robert Allegro
Judy Altman ...
Robinson's Aide
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Anthony the Pizza Man
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A füstbement terv  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When the private jet takes off from Charlie Brown Airport, Atlanta (now Fulton County Airport) with only the dog on board (at around 33min into the film), the runway is clearly marked "12L". There is no such runway at that airport (the three runways are 8/26, 14/32 and 9/27). In addition, the use of "L" indicates there is more than one runway with the same bearing, suggesting a larger airport. See more »

Quotes

1st Scientist: [talking about the smokeless Premier cigarette survey] Well of all the people we surveyed the results were just about uniform
F. Ross Johnson: Uh huh.
Edward A. Horrigan Jr.: They all said they tasted like shit.
F. Ross Johnson: Like shit?
2nd Scientist: Shit was the consensus, yes sir.
F. Ross Johnson: They all said that? Nobody liked them?
2nd Scientist: Fewer than 5%
F. Ross Johnson: You said the results were gonna be terrific
Edward A. Horrigan Jr.: Well there's nothing wrong with 5%, Ross, I'll take 5% of the market anytime of the week
F. Ross Johnson: How much are we into right now?
[...]
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Soundtracks

Shakin'
Written and Performed by Elmer Sheffield
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User Reviews

 
"They make money the hard way -- they steal it."
7 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Barbarians at the Gates" is the insane true story of the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. The stars are James Garner, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Riegert, Joanna Cassidy, Fred Dalton Thompson, Jeffrey DeMunn, Tom Aldredge, and David Rasche.

Upset that the stock price for RJR Nabisco isn't rising, and realizing that new item that was to raise it, Premier Cigarettes, taste and smell horrible, F. Ross Johnson (Garner), the CEO, decides to buy the company at $75 a share, which is $4 more than the stock's highest price. He gets the idea after talking to an expert in the LBO field, Henry Kravis (Pryce). When Kravis finds out that he's not involved in this LBO, he becomes upset. Soon, thanks to press releases that come out too soon, and embarrassing information hitting the papers, there are not only many players in the field, but the price being bid has gone up to $112 a share, meaning that the company will be put into billions and billions of dollars in debt.

The battle of egos is outrageous and all too believable in this story of what became a gigantic takeover contest. The film compresses some of the incidents, but the characters and behind the scenes happenings make it an intriguing, entertaining, and ultimately depressing story. Outside the New York office, one is shown countless homeless people while inside, people are talking about billions of dollars. A true '80s story of greed.

James Garner is fantastic and funny as good old boy, F. Ross Johnson, who gets into a game of oneupmanship with the elegant, quietly intense Kravis - Jonathan Pryce gives a tremendous performance as a man seething underneath while speaking very softly. Peter Riegert, as the man trying to put together the deal for Shearson Lehman is wonderful, as are two actors I've had the privilege of seeing on stage, Tom Aldredge as the head of the board of RJR Nabisco, and David Rasche, as a banker trying to get in on the deal. Fred Dalton Thompson and Joanna Cassidy are a married couple - she's the publicist for the LBO, and he's the CEO of American Express.

After seeing the documentary about Enron, I really thought nothing could top it. This does. If you want to be appalled by corporate behavior, don't miss it.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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