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People I Know (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  21 November 2002 (Peru)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 9,532 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 81 user | 43 critic | 20 from

A New York press agent must scramble when his major client becomes embroiled in a huge scandal.


(as Dan Algrant)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Sandy Napier
Eldon Bullock ...
Washroom Attendant
Juliet Papa ...
Radio Announcer (voice)
David Fielding
Brian McConnachie ...
Jamie Hoff
Michael Wormly
Rex Reed ...
Lewis Dodley ...


Eli Wurman is a decadent drug addicted New Yorker public relation, who is promoting a social event on behalf of Afro-Americans. Along two days of his crazy life, the day of the event and the day before, he makes contacts and favors, 'kissing asses', using drugs etc. Victoria Gray is his widow sister-in-law and passion in the past. Cary Launer is an Oscar winner actor and principal client of Eli. On the day before of the event, Eli finds out secrets that evolve powerful men of America. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He thought he'd seen it all, until the night he saw too much


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and brief sexual images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 November 2002 (Peru)  »

Also Known As:

Influences  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$64,785 (Brazil) (27 September 2002)


$401,472 (Europe) (30 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Loosely based on the life of NYC press agent Bobby Zarem. See more »


Eli Wurman: I look like Dracula's Uncle Morty from Kiev. Oh man, I should be embalmed.
See more »


Features Crossfire (1982) See more »


Bye Bye Blackbird
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Mort Dixon
Performed by Jon Hendricks
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Al Pacino's best roles, better then Michael Corleone in both "Godfather" movies.
29 July 2004 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** Brutally honest and shocking movie about those in power and how they use that power to control the lives of millions of people from top elected politicians and Wall Street executives to the rank and file working man and women and how far they would go to keep and hold on to their power.

Eli Wurman, Al Pacino, is a top publicity agent in New York City. Having graduated from Harvard Law School #4 in his class he found out that doing publicity for his favorite cause, improving race relations, was more effective then being a top flight civil lawyer or advocate. One night Eli bails out one of his client's actor Cary Launer, Ryan O'Neal,lover who came to see him from California TV star Jill Hopper, Tea Leoni. Instead of driving back to Jill's hotel room she tells the limo driver to take her and Eli to Wall Street.

Going into this secret club thats a cross between a high-class bordello and opium den Eli sees who he's not supposed to see, the makers and shakers in the world of power in both politics and big business, and doing what there not supposed to be doing :drugs sex and making under the table deals that affects countless lives.

Jill's thrown out of the club for going there with an uninvited guest, Eli, but she also secretly took photos of the club and the people there with a hidden camera. The next morning Jill is found dead in her hotel room from an apparent drug overdose. Eli who was there with her out cold in her bathtub, and who her killer didn't see, saw what happened.

Eli is really not a danger to those in power since he's obsessed with his benefit show that he has planned the next day for the improvement of race relations in the city of New York. Trying to get people of fame and power to attend his benefit gives some of them, who Eli saw at that secret club, the idea that he's blackmailing them even though Eli only wanted them to show up and make the benefit be a success. It should have dawned on Eli that his life was in danger by what and who he saw at the club the night before and the death of Jill the next morning but he's so wrapped up with his dream of racial harmony that he didn't realize just how really dangerous things were for him. Still those in power can't take any chances with him blowing their cover and exposing them and in the end they took things into their own hands and that spells D-E-A-T-H for Eli.

Al Pacino's performance in "People I Know" is what I think is one the best of his career on par if not better the his fine work in both "Godfather" movies as well as his roles in "GlenGarry Glen Ross" and "Scent Of A woman" for which he won an Academy Award for best actor. For some strange reason "People I Know" has never been released theatricality but went straight to the video and DVD market like some B-Movie you would see on an airplane for free?

Besides Al Pacino there's fine performances in the movie by it top-rate cast of Kim Basinger Ryan O'Neal Richard Schiff Tea Leoni Robert Kline and Bill Nunn as a fiery Al Sharpton-like Reverend Lyle Blunt who stole almost every scene that he was in. It's Al Pacino who really carried the movie "People I Know" with his both sensitive and tragic role of Eli Wurman who was so absorbed in the good that he was trying to do that he didn't see the evil that was all around him for years that he only noticed when it was too late.

I have to warn you that "People I Know" is a very dark and depressing film and it has no happy ending but it's so "ON" to whats happening in the world of politics and business today that it should be a must for every serious movie goer.

21 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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