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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 »

Filming Locations:

Santa Barbara, California, USA

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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

Chevy Chase's character's full name is Edward T. Muntz, which is seen on his business card. He's only referred to as Eddie, Ed (briefly by Vince Edwards' character) or Mr. Muntz throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie is in the trailer talking to Ray on the radio, he's wearing the headset with the microphone on the left side. In the next shot, it's on the right side. 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

References Deep Throat (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Someone To Watch Over Me
Music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Nikka Costa
Courtesy of Renquet Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Tries To Be Another "Dr. Strangelove" But Doesn't Make It
10 August 2003 | by sdlitvinSee all my reviews

"Deal Of The Century" was director William Friedkin's attempt to create a "black comedy" satirizing the armaments industry, in much the same way as Stanley Kubrick satirized the nuclear balance of power in "Dr. Strangelove." Unfortunately, it falls short of that ambitious goal.

The movie concerns an arms dealer, Eddie Muntz (Chevy Chase), who gets an opportunity to take over the sale of an ultra-advanced pilotless combat aircraft to a dumb South American dictator when the original salesperson dies unexpectedly.

Friedkin clearly thought he was making a great movie here, in the way he diligently employed many of the same elements as "Strangelove": verisimilitude in the names of arms companies and weapon systems, blatant phallic symbolism, sex-obsessed characters, sight gags, and a basically bizarre, unreal plot.

Unfortunately, all Friedkin ends up doing is showing that he is no Kubrick (at least not after "The French Connection" anyway), Chevy Chase is no Peter Sellers, and in general those associated with this movie just aren't in the same league as those who made "Strangelove." Many of the lines and sight gags just aren't that funny, and the satirical point about the armaments industry gets lost in a meandering plot with an irrelevant subplot about Muntz' romance with the dead salesman's widow (Sigourney Weaver). An actual romance tended to dilute the satirical effectiveness of the sexual obsessions of the major characters.


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