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Deal of the Century (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Crime | 4 November 1983 (USA)
A small time arms dealer in South America to sell weapons to the revolutionaries, winds up negotiating the sale of an experimental plane to the nation's dictator.

Director:

William Friedkin

Writers:

Paul Brickman, Bernard Edelman (book)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevy Chase ... Eddie Muntz
Sigourney Weaver ... Catherine DeVoto
Gregory Hines ... Ray Kasternak
Vince Edwards ... Frank Stryker
William Marquez William Marquez ... Gen. Cordosa
Eduardo Ricard Eduardo Ricard ... Col. Salgado
Richard Herd ... Lyle
Graham Jarvis ... Babers
Wallace Shawn ... Harold DeVoto
Randi Brooks ... Ms. Della Rosa
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Bob
Richard Libertini ... Masaggi
J.W. Smith J.W. Smith ... Will
Carmencristina Moreno Carmencristina Moreno ... Woman Singer (as Carmen Moreno)
Charles Levin ... Dr. Rechtin
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Storyline

Arms dealers from several companies vie to sell the most expensive and highest tech weapons to a South American dictator. There are complications; understanding the exact nature of how 'gifts' are used to grease the wheels of a sale, a religious conversion from one of the salesman and a romance that begins to grow between two competitors, not to mention the imminient financial collapse of one of the companies if they don't make this sale. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chevy Chase and his partners are arms dealers. They sell second-rate weapons to third world nations. But they're not out to stick it to anyone.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Bombengeschäft See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,520,605, 6 November 1983

Gross USA:

$10,369,581

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,369,581
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Libertini: As arms-dealer Masaggi. See more »

Goofs

Catherine DeVoto is shown wearing the same clothes (black skirt, white top, leather boots) on consecutive days of the Arms Show. See more »

Quotes

Ray Kasternak: You got a nice flame job there, Becha. I'm gon' gi'ya a lil' touchup! A lil' touchup! Just a lil' touchup for ya!
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 5 minutes from this film for its 1988 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Shine
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Lyrics by Cynthia Morrow
Sung by Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Clydene Jackson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You got me sold!
23 March 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

Eddie Muntz is a pervasive black market arms dealer who after a missed sale, meets a fellow salesman Harold in the same field for the US Luckup Corporation while in South America. After he commits suicide with the stress of waiting by the phone for the government dictator to ring him back to complete the deal. Eddie answers and takes over the deal which involves a new high-tech, non-pilot plane known as the Peacemaker. Soon enough everybody wants to get on this multi-million dollar deal. Eddie's work pal Ray has found god, and he's doing his best trying to keep him on the job and Harold's icy widow Catherine wants her share of the prize.

William Friedkin's "Deal Of the Century" is somewhere in between a black comedy and frank pot-shot on the international arms trade. It never distinguishes itself either way, but I think that's the point. Especially how nervously bizarre this turns out to be. I certainly enjoyed this misunderstood satirical item on an interestingly flavorers topic and the sardonically dark humour was neat treat to the senses. Those looking for a laugh-out-loud affair will only get humour that's rather broadly downbeat in tone, despite how over-blown they turn out to be. While, it didn't constantly make me laugh, it got some grimaces out of me. It can feel like a Chevy Chase vehicle most of the time, as the rest of the cast do pale in comparison. That's not their fault, because their characters don't have the material to lift them out of Chase's shadow. Chase is one of my favourite iconic 80's comedians and he immediately fits the role with his causally dry and quick-witted personality. Sigourney Weaver is there to look good in her steely firebrand performance and Gregory Hines doesn't look too interested throughout. There's a short comic performance by Wallace Shawn too.

The freshly ammo-packed story by Paul Bickerman is complicatedly knotty and obvious with its attacks. Creeping in were oddball situations and a surrealistic air on the worrying subject at hand. The snappy script works up a creative novelty, smearing it with sneering gags, spicy irony and that of Chase's slyly gruff voice-over narration to string scenes together. Super weapons to ensure peace, nicely put. As for William Friedkin's direction, well at first I didn't even know that this was on his resume. His style is extremely random and kinetic in just what's going to happen, but this unfocused mark goes on to morph its way into the premise. The interestingly high octane climax springs to mind. The production does look cheap, but the sweeping musical score creates the right vibe and there's strikingly framed camera-work. Explosions make there way in and the effects for the plane look rather hokey when its up in the air, but decent enough when on the ground.

While, I don't see too much love for this offering. It isn't significantly great and it can be clumsy, but I don't see it as a piece of absurd garbage that it's made out to be. Simply a delightful, if farcical romp that kept me highly entertained.


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