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Owning Mahowny (2003)

A bank manager with: (a) a gambling problem and (b) access to a multimillion dollar account gets into a messy situation. Based on the story of the largest one-man bank fraud in Canadian history.

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Belinda
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Frank Perlin
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Det. Ben Lock
Sonja Smits ...
Dana Selkirk
...
Bernie (as Chris Collins)
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Dave Quinson
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Doug (as Vincent Corazza)
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Bill Gooden
Eric Fink ...
Psychologist
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Parking Attendant
Tanya Henley ...
Teller
Brona Brown ...
Teller
...
Briggs
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Storyline

Dan Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a mild mannered banker and his magnificent obsession. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 2003 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

A Queda de um Jogador  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$33,287 (USA) (2 May 2003)

Gross:

$1,011,054 (USA) (17 October 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real person Dan Mahowny is based on is now a consultant for a company that investigates fraud. See more »

Goofs

The distance Dan's green car is from the curb when he stalls out changes between camera shots. See more »

Quotes

Investigator #1: You've got a gambling problem, right?
Dan Mahowny: No...
[chuckles]
Dan Mahowny: No, sir.
Investigator #1: Come on. You didn't get a buzz out of it?
Dan Mahowny: I have a... financial problem. A shortfall.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits you'll see the strongroom door from the start again and hear the sound of the ball in a roulette wheel. Rien ne vas plus. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Best of 2003 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Actor's Film
1 February 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

For anyone in Dan Mahowny's life who cared to look, all the signs were there. Bad hair, disheveled clothes, no overcoat in Toronto in winter, empty apartment and a '74 Dodge Dart. He should have had more but did not. He had everything the addict needs - a source of income, a source of his addiction and several "enablers" in his life.

Owning Mahowny tells the famous and true story of a mid-level bank manager at the CIBC, who in the early 80s, stole $10,000,000 from several high profile clients, and a few non-existent ones. All the funds were lost in Atlantic City and Vegas. But this is not a con movie, it is far more clever than that. It is a detailed and devastating study of a gambling addiction.

We all know that Mahowny will get caught, but how and when. He has no record, is not a criminal and he is well respected at his job. What this film does almost better than anything is reveals how the day to day events allows the protagonist to prolong his inevitable collapse.

As the film progresses, Mahowny becomes more and more paranoid. Every open file, every meeting and every phone call represents his potential downfall. Note how he maneuvers through key meetings and audits. But he is not afraid of getting caught, he is afraid of losing his lifeline to the thrill of the bet.

You just simply cannot say enough about both the leads in this film. Philip Seymour Hoffman is spot on perfect as Mahowny, focused on the next hand, rarely raising his eyes to the camera. John Hurt is also wonderful as the malevolent casino boss who is all too happy to take Mahowny's money and not care where it came from.

Had this film received better backing, Hoffman may well have received his first Oscar nomination. As it stands, you will have to seek this out on DVD. It is an edgy and well directed study in to the mind of an addict. Not perfect, but I loved this from start to finish. ***1/2 out of ****.


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