6.5/10
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45 user 23 critic

Tin Men (1987)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 13 March 1987 (USA)
A minor car accident drives two rival aluminum-siding salesmen to the ridiculous extremes of man versus man in 1963 Baltimore.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writer:

Barry Levinson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Bill 'BB' Babowsky
Danny DeVito ... Ernest Tilley
Barbara Hershey ... Nora Tilley
John Mahoney ... Moe Adams
Jackie Gayle Jackie Gayle ... Sam
Stanley Brock ... Gil
Seymour Cassel ... Cheese
Bruno Kirby ... Mouse
J.T. Walsh ... Wing
Richard Portnow ... Carly
Matt Craven ... Looney
Alan Blumenfeld ... Stanley
Brad Sullivan ... Masters
Michael Tucker ... Bagel
Deirdre O'Connell ... Nellie
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Storyline

One step short of larceny, the aluminum siding salesmen in this movie sell their wares, compete with each other, and engage in a lot of great dialog. Tin Men focuses on the rivalry between BB Babowsky and Ernest Tilley. At the same time, the end of small world of which they are kings looms near as a government probe investigates their industry. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Year - 1963. Selling the American Dream is a risky, funny business - you could wind up paying with your wife! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les filous See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$187,381, 8 March 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,411,386
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

After becoming frustrated with professional performance in his 20s, Rodney Dangerfield quit comedy for several years, got married and moved to the suburbs where he claimed to have made a living as an aluminum siding salesman. According to "The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy" by Kliph Nesteroff, Dangerfield was, in fact, a real life "tin man" and was investigated by the FBI for unethical, fraudulent sales practices; which was even reported in the newspaper under his birth name (Jake Cohen) and initial stage name (Jack Roy). Although he avoided jail time or sentencing, Nesteroff speculates that his return to comedy and name change were both at least partially motivated to distance himself from the investigation. See more »

Goofs

Two of the "tin men" are waiting at a traffic light in a '59 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. However, when we switch to a view of the two guys through the windshield, the vehicle becomes a hardtop. Switching back to a longer shot, the car is again a ragtop. See more »

Quotes

Bill Babowsky: Are you a Lunatic? Are you tellin' me that you didn't see me comin' out of this lot? There's a red light there for cryin' out loud! You're supposed to stop!
See more »


Soundtracks

The Girl From Ipanema
English Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Portuguese Lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes
Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Performed by Freddy Stevens
See more »

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User Reviews

Hilarious and touching
2 August 2003 | by drosse67See all my reviews

Few films can be laugh-out-loud funny and ultimately as touching and deep as this film. Most people remember the dialogue, seemingly ad-libbed during the diner scenes by the cast (Danny DeVito, Jackie Gayle, Bruno Kirby)--and that looks like the same diner that Barry Levinson used for his first movie. But the characters and their quirks are totally fleshed out before the conflict (DeVito's stiff neck, Dreyfuss's ladies' man schtick), making for a few truly hilarious lines and scenes (Gayle talking to DeVito about what a great dancer Dreyfuss is comes to mind). The movie really has a sad story underneath about very unhappy people who delight in the misfortunes of others, until Barbara Hershey's character realizes what's going on. All of these characters and story points climax in a rather sweet and yes, believable final sequence. This movie came out during a spate of late '80s blockbusters and never really found its audience, I think. But it is one of the few late '80s movies I rewatch every couple of years and find more to appreciate with each viewing. I would rank it as Levinson's best film.


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