7.3/10
2,368
17 user 3 critic

Barbarians at the Gate (1993)

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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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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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
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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

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Release Date:

20 March 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A füstbement terv  »

Company Credits

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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

F. Ross Johnson: We're not talkin' fuck you money. We're talkin' fuck EVERYBODY'S money.
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Soundtracks

G-String
Written and Performed by Elmer Sheffield
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User Reviews

 
Guilty pleasure of greed
15 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

A story of greed, F. Ross Johnson's attempt to rid himself of troublesome shareholders who bug him with cries to curb his excessive management and lifestyle ignites a bidding war for ownership of RJR-Nabisco. Through sessions of number-crunching, men's room meetings, and personal loyalties and competitions, the fate of the company and those involved is decided and standards set for what will be allowed or punished by the captains of industry of the 1980's heyday.

For a movie dealing with such despicable and probably in real life boring characters, the final product is delightful, entertaining, and almost educational. While the level of greed and excess is appalling, you can't help getting caught up in the wheeling and dealing and the competition, rooting for one side or the other while knowing you shouldn't like either one. The greedy CEO or the heartless junk-bond trader (Henry Kravis), take your pick and enjoy. No one is immune to the satire of the film, down to the trophy wives and their manicurists who know more about Wall Street than they do. Still, the comic tone is maintained; as much as you want to hate them, the film avoids moralizing, content just to ridicule and make the audience laugh.

The attention to detail in the movie is simply brilliant. Whenever there is a TV screen or someone lighting a cigarette in the background, pay attention or you may miss a good laugh. It boasts clearly the best costumes of any Wall Street movie, from costume parties to Bush-Quayle hoedowns. Witty and satirical dialogue is accompanied by a well-chosen score. Details and incidents with little to do with the actual plot add to the entertainment value while not distracting from the story. Overall a great movie, funny and cool, makes you think a little: would you really want to be one of them?


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