7.1/10
21,897
158 user 40 critic

Swimming with Sharks (1994)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 21 April 1995 (USA)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
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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Photos

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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:

He's been humiliated, kicked and spat on... and it's only 10:00 am. 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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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

When Dawn loads Guy's washing machines at the Laundromat, we never see either of them put quarters into the slots. Then, when Dawn shoves the handles in to start the cycle, we hear that there are no quarters dropping into the bin. See more »

Quotes

Buddy: You're happy. I hate that!
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Connections

Spoofs Broadway Danny Rose (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

L.A. BLUES
Written and Performed by Robert Fair
Robert Fair Music (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

 
For anyone who's ever had a vindictive boss - or a job at all, for that matter
12 July 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

"Swimming with Sharks" was made right around the time Kevin Spacey was becoming a rising star - his name was becoming well known enough that he could help finance low budget movies. Along with "The Usual Suspects" he helped "Swimming with Sharks" get off the ground, and now ten years later (it was given wide release in 1995) it still holds up well as a very, very dark comedy.

In fact, comedy isn't the right word. This shouldn't really be classified as comedy. It's not that funny. It works better as a dark satire - I expected something like "War of the Roses," but instead I got a Tarantino version of "Office Space" (complete with torture, violence, revenge and mayhem!).

Frank Whaley stars as Guy, a typical nobody who dreams of being a somebody. (Even his name confines him to anonymity.) When he lands a job working for world-famous producer Buddy Ackerman (Spacey), his future looks bright...until he realizes what he's in for.

Spacey delivers the best performance of the film, yelling, screaming, and throwing hissy fits practically every time he's on screen. But he never pushes the limits. He's always believable as a self-absorbed, ego-maniacal, ruthless producer; the director claims on the DVD commentary track and documentaries that he based the character and many scenes on actual things that happened to him while he worked for unnamed producers in Hollywood. Joel Silver is rumored to have been the basis for Ackerman.

The movie isn't great and never really achieves the amount of laughs I wanted but if you view it as a very dark drama-comedy you're more likely to enjoy it. I still found myself quite entertained and taken aback by how daring and unique this movie actually is - no one can condemn it for resorting to clichés. The ending is a punch in the stomach, I never expected it.

Whaley is good at playing the over/underwhelmed everyman and the direction is OK (if just so). The best aspects are the witty script and Kevin Spacey's scene-stealing performance; together he has good chemistry with Whaley and the movie succeeds based on the actors' success in their roles.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swimming with Sharks See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,703, 23 April 1995

Gross USA:

$382,928

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$382,928
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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