7.1/10
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152 user 39 critic

Swimming with Sharks (1994)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 21 April 1995 (USA)
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2:10 | Trailer

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A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

Director:

George Huang

Writer:

George Huang
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kevin Spacey ... Buddy Ackerman
Frank Whaley ... Guy
Michelle Forbes ... Dawn Lockard
Benicio Del Toro ... Rex
T.E. Russell ... Foster Kane
Roy Dotrice ... Cyrus Miles
Matthew Flint Matthew Flint ... Manny
Patrick Fischler ... Moe
Jerry Levine ... Jack
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Storyline

A young Hollywood executive becomes the assistant to a big time movie producer who is the worst boss imaginable: abusive, abrasive and cruel. But soon things turn around when the young executive kidnaps his boss and visits all the cruelties back on him. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is not a movie See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some scenes of psychological/physical torture and pervasive strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boss See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$376,928
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

'Michelle Forbes' said she got cast in the film during a time when she was frustrated by the entertainment industry and considering another career, feelings which fit perfectly with the nature of the film. See more »

Goofs

Buddy Ackerman has a binder with a piece of paper on top. When he throws it to the desk and talks to Guy, the paper falls off the binder, but re-appears in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

[Buddy has just chewed Guy out for giving him a packet of Equal when he asked for Sweet 'N' Low]
Guy: Fuck! Fuck! That's it, I'm screwed. It's over.
Rex: Ah, relax. He always does that. That's his thing. Tomorrow, he'll ask you for an Equal. You can't win. It's a lose-lose situation. The trick is to have everything ready.
See more »

Connections

References A Patch of Blue (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

GOOD ENOUGH
Written by Sarah McLachlan
Performed by Sarah McLachlan
Published by Sony Songs, Inc. On Behalf Of Itself And Tyde Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why is this so enjoyable?
1 June 2006 | by snow0rSee all my reviews

Swimming with Sharks sees Guy (Frank Whaley) attempt to "turn the tables" on his abusive boss Buddy (Kevin Spacey), and while this makes the film simple and unoriginal in terms of plot, it is a cut above the rest thanks to the performances of its small cast.

One would assume that we would root for Guy, the innocent graduate demeaned by his aggressive boss, but the way the film tells the story prevents us from empathizing with him (as does his awful haircut); knowing that he tortures Buddy physically for his mental abuse complicates our response, and puts us on Buddy's side, allowing us to enjoy the games Buddy plays with Guy. This is something that's made very easy to do by the acting. Kevin Spacey is typically excellent as Buddy Ackerman and is the most engaging character in the film, remaining funny and manipulative throughout, even while being tortured and held hostage, as well as handling the more serious emotional aspects of his character expertly. Frank Whaley is also brilliant, playing the overwhelmed lapdog who is eventually pushed over the edge by Buddy's abuse. Importantly however, despite his plans for revenge, he remains under Buddy's spell right up until the end, and is eventually broken.

The film's conclusion further complicates our responses to both characters. The hostage situation revelations pull the audience between the impassioned-now-heartless Buddy and the desperate and confused Guy, but ultimately good does not prevail, and the shooting and Buddy's manipulation of the situation remove us from both characters as the film ends.

All in all, Swimming with Sharks is an enjoyable film. The simple plot and small cast are compensated for by some fine performances; it's funny , well-acted, and definitely worth watching.


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