Two untalented singers are mistaken for a pair of major league safe crackers in Providence, Rhode Island. The two are pressed into service by the local hoodlums and quickly find themselves ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Big Fat Bernie Gayle
Michael Schmidt ...
Bernie Jr.
Raymond Serra ...


Two untalented singers are mistaken for a pair of major league safe crackers in Providence, Rhode Island. The two are pressed into service by the local hoodlums and quickly find themselves in conflict with their professional colleagues. Romantic interest is added by the daughter of the underworld leader who won't date the men she knows are gangsters. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome to the world of disorganised crime.


Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anorganoto eglima  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,210 (USA) (7 August 1998)


$21,210 (USA) (7 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director John Hamburg and actor Michael Showalter were college roommates. See more »


Bernie: I know that daughter I tried to set Veal Chop on a date with her.
Veal Chop: I tried to put my tongue in her mouth and she punched me in the penis.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits, there's a brief scene showing Big Fat Bernie Gayle and Leflore meeting in a men's restroom. See more »


Features Knight Rider (1982) See more »


Written by Allan Parsons and Eric Woolfson
Performed by The Alan Parsons Project
See more »

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User Reviews

Appealing low-key comedy.
6 April 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Safe Men" is an overall rather slight but engaging farce that goes a long way on the strength of its many colourful characterizations. It might not necessarily give the viewer many belly laughs, but it's still guaranteed to put a smile on their faces. Thankfully it does have a nicely offbeat nature (thanks to writer / director John Hamburg and a talented cast) that helps to make it consistently watchable.

Sam Rockwell and Steve Zahn play Sam and Eddie, a not terribly gifted singing duo whose gigs are somewhat less than prestigious. But their lives take an incredible, bizarre turn when they're mistaken for professional safecrackers by "Veal Chop" (Paul Giamatti), the flunky of local Jewish mobster Bernie Gayle (Michael Lerner). They actually go along with this idea, although predictably they're not exactly good at the job. Sam falls for Hannah (Christina Kirk), the daughter of a local fence (Harvey Fierstein), and the *real* safecrackers (Mark Ruffalo and Josh Pais) go about their business with their customary efficiency.

The actors all play this so well that you can't help but get sucked in. Rockwell, playing a lovable loser, and Zahn have fine comic chemistry, and the supporting cast is a joy to watch. Lerner is fun as the zesty mobster, Ruffalo is amusing as a lovesick sap, Fierstein is a revelation as the fence, and Giamatti is particularly delicious as the low level mobster who's loyal to the core.

Overall there's a fair amount of heart and charm to this simple little film. Some of its scenes, like the bar mitzvah, are just priceless. It's mostly a low-key affair, but is just funny and quirky enough to make it well worth ones' time. You genuinely like the characters - even Lerner - and hopefully become curious to see how it will all resolve itself.

Seven out of 10.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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