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Swimming with Sharks (1994)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  21 March 1995 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 16,541 users  
Reviews: 145 user | 35 critic

A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

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Title: Swimming with Sharks (1994)

Swimming with Sharks (1994) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Guy
...
...
Rex
...
Foster Kane
...
Cyrus Miles
Matthew Flint ...
Manny
...
Moe
...
Jack
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Storyline

A young Hollywood executive becomes the assistant to a big time movie producer who is the worst boss imaginable: abusive, abrasive and cruel. But soon things turn around when the young executive kidnaps his boss and visits all the cruelties back on him. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Hollywood all his dreams could come true... But first he has to make coffee. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of psychological/physical torture and pervasive strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swimming with Sharks  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$376,928 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy's three cronies, Manny, Moe and Jack, are named after the Pep Boys (national automotive supplies chain). See more »

Goofs

When Frank Whaley's character is speaking to Buddy Ackerman on the phone the night he has to collect all of the Time magazines he's talking to him about the "Real Life" movie. He's holding a BIC ballpoint pen in his hand. When he rights Foster Kane's name on the front of the script the sound effect is that of a Sharpie marker. In the close-up as he's writing it then shows a Sharpie, but when it goes back to a wide angle he's again holding a BIC pen while the Sharpie sound effect is being used. See more »

Quotes

Buddy: What I am concerned with is detail. I asked you go get me a packet of Sweet-N-Low. You bring me back Equal. That isn't what I asked for. That isn't what I wanted. That isn't what I needed and that shit isn't going to work around here.
Guy: I, I just thought...
Buddy: You thought. Do me a fucking favor. Shut up, listen, and learn. Look, I know that this is your first day and you don't really know how things work around here, so I will tell you. You have no brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you ...
See more »

Connections

References A Patch of Blue (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

L.A. BLUES
Written and Performed by Robert Fair
Robert Fair Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
Why is this so enjoyable?
1 June 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Swimming with Sharks sees Guy (Frank Whaley) attempt to "turn the tables" on his abusive boss Buddy (Kevin Spacey), and while this makes the film simple and unoriginal in terms of plot, it is a cut above the rest thanks to the performances of its small cast.

One would assume that we would root for Guy, the innocent graduate demeaned by his aggressive boss, but the way the film tells the story prevents us from empathizing with him (as does his awful haircut); knowing that he tortures Buddy physically for his mental abuse complicates our response, and puts us on Buddy's side, allowing us to enjoy the games Buddy plays with Guy. This is something that's made very easy to do by the acting. Kevin Spacey is typically excellent as Buddy Ackerman and is the most engaging character in the film, remaining funny and manipulative throughout, even while being tortured and held hostage, as well as handling the more serious emotional aspects of his character expertly. Frank Whaley is also brilliant, playing the overwhelmed lapdog who is eventually pushed over the edge by Buddy's abuse. Importantly however, despite his plans for revenge, he remains under Buddy's spell right up until the end, and is eventually broken.

The film's conclusion further complicates our responses to both characters. The hostage situation revelations pull the audience between the impassioned-now-heartless Buddy and the desperate and confused Guy, but ultimately good does not prevail, and the shooting and Buddy's manipulation of the situation remove us from both characters as the film ends.

All in all, Swimming with Sharks is an enjoyable film. The simple plot and small cast are compensated for by some fine performances; it's funny , well-acted, and definitely worth watching.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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