Free Enterprise (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  4 June 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,876 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 34 critic

Two less than successful film producers, approaching mid-life crisis and clinging to their nerdy sci-fi obsessions, suddenly meet their idol: William Shatner.

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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mort Berg
Ethan Glazer ...
Young Mark
Phyllis Franklin ...
Ticket Taker
Young Kevin
Marilyn Kentz ...
Gail - Mark's Mom
Spencer Klein ...
Young Robert
Rafer Weigel ...
Tricia (as Jennifer Sommerfield)
Tricia Cruz ...
Mexican Waitress (as Letricia Cruz)
Annika Brindley ...
Michael Altman ...
Eden Waiter


Young filmmakers (Rafer Weigel, Eric McCormack) trying to hawk a movie titled "Bradykillers" about a serial killer who goes after victims Marcia, Jan, and Cindy meet their screen idol, William Shatner. Shatner, appearing as himself, has fun poking fun at his own image. The two young men, who idolize him and in their fantasies have seen him as a shadowy fairy godfather figure, are alarmed at the reality of the middle-aged non-Captain Kirk man that they meet. However, their relationship helps anchor the two more into reality. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love long and party See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Свободна инициатива  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,086 (USA) (4 June 1999)


$30,193 (USA) (25 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


William Shatner originally turned down the role as himself. In the original script, Shatner was written as an imaginary mentor who would appear to Mark in times of trouble. But Shatner requested his character to be flawed and more human which is why he portrays himself as a pompous, lonely drunk in the film. The writers used several anecdotes told by Shatner. The original idea was kept in one scene in which appears to Mark as a child. See more »


The movie takes place in 1998 just before Mark's 30th birthday party, putting his birthday in 1968. However, in the flashback scene of Mark trying to get into Star Trek: The Motion Picture Mark says his age is 12 when asked by the women in the ticket stand, despite the fact that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in 1979 and the movie itself says 19 years earlier. This would make Mark already 30 by the time the film is taking place in 1998. See more »


Robert: I *hate* the fact that women do not give a shit how anything looks or sounds, as long as they can sing along with the lyrics.
Leila: [disgusted little noise]
Robert: All right, I'm sorry - I get a little carried away sometimes. But you know what, I can say the exact same thing about women and their obsession with their shoes.
Leila: That's a sexist comment.
Robert: Is it?
Leila: Yeah.
Robert: How many pairs of shoes do you have in your closet?
Leila: I don't know. Maybe, um...
Robert: I'm sorry, I didn't hear that. What was that?
Leila: Fifty-three.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Moaning Girl - ? See more »


References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »


Written by John Baker, Mr. Cat E. Daddy and James K. Moore
Performed by The Collective
Artist Courtesy of Ground Zero
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User Reviews

an Absolutely, Positively Brilliant movie for Trekkies
12 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you aren't a hard core Trek/sci fi fan, you'll be bored to limbo by this film, so don't even bother reading on. But if you are, there isn't a better fan movie for you than this. Right from the beginning, the jokes and references fly so fast and furious (from young Mark's flying leg kick and "no, I won't kill him!" line, straight to the end) that you'll be kept on your toes all the way through. The writing is very clever for the entire film, including Robert's set-up for the surprise at the end. The interactions are witty and excellent. And even if you think the jokes get a bit repetitive at some point, that's not all this film has to offer. You can look it also as a semi-serious autobiography (which it partly is) about two sci fi nerds very much like the rest of us with faults very much like our faults (though played to the extreme) trying to fulfill their dreams; Robert is a brash womanizer, but living too deeply in his fantasy world and irresponsible to the point where he leeches off friends more shamefully than any of us would dare (the scene where he meets Claire a prime example), and chooses to go without telephone or electricity so he can line his shelves with mucho expensive collectors' action figures. Mark is responsible and loyal to his friends, yet his narcissus complex (he won't even talk to people in his office unless they're sitting down!) and fear prevents him from dating any woman he cares about. While the film is packed with our favorite geek humor, their problems are very real, as are their deeper interactions and how they are affected by them. Free Enterprise is a wonderful story of friendship, struggle and ultimate achievement that people like us can all very strongly relate and aspire to, with important lessons underneath the jokes.

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