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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jackie Gayle ...
Sam
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Gil
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Cheese
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Mouse
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Wing
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Carly
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Looney
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Stanley
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Masters
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Bagel
...
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les filous  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second film in writer-director Barry Levinson's series of four "Baltimore Films" . The others are Diner (1982), Avalon (1990) and Liberty Heights (1999). However, Allmovie states that Tin Men (1987) is "the second [film] of director Barry Levinson's Baltimore Trilogy (the first was Diner (1982), the third Avalon (1990)". See more »

Goofs

When Danny DeVito comes home late one night, he pours himself a glass of orange juice from a cardboard style carton. Orange juice didn't come in cartons until the 70s. See more »

Quotes

Ernest Tilley: [about to smash BB's car windows] OK, Mr. Merengue... let's dance!
See more »


Soundtracks

Wishin' and Hopin'
Words by Hal David
Music by Burt Bacharach
Performed by Dusty Springfield
Courtesy of Polygram Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

'Tin Men' is the most underrated comedy in film history!
29 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

'Tin Men' is the most underrated comedy in film history. How's that for a bold statement? I'm sure you've heard of this movie. Many of you probably saw it. Then turned it off, and said, 'That was cute.' In fact, most will remember it more for launching the brief career of the Fine Young Cannibals. (A couple of their songs were featured in the film) I very well might have been one of you, if it hadn't been for my father's devotion to this film. It was because of him I saw it a half dozen times growing up, and much like 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Sherlock Jr.', the more I saw this film, the more I fell in love with it. 'Tin Men' is about two aluminum siding salesmen (working for competing companies) who get into a car accident, and both believing the other is to blame, decide to get revenge on one another. Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Devito (two of the more underrated actors around) deliver some of the funniest scenes you'll ever see. Things get complicated when Dreyfuss attempts to infuriate Devito by sleeping with his wife, only to fall in love with her. DeVito plays an emotional and financial disaster, struggling to keep his head above water, while tidal waves are crashing down all around him. (And does so, with the efficiency of a Third World sweatshop) Dreyfuss, a slick, fast- talking 'nickel and dime' hustler, whose ideas about life and love change when he discovers the truth about himself and his business through his own vindictive behavior. If you actors out there are wondering how to play 'quiet desperation' funny, rent this movie. 'Tin Men' uses a clever vernacular. Including several seemingly unnecessary dialogue driven scenes done way before dialogue driven scenes became commonplace. (See, Pulp Fiction 1994, and pretty much every movie to follow) With topics ranging from 'Bonanza' not being an accurate depiction of the West, to finding God at the smorgasborg. It also displays a devotion to detail, unparralleled by any big-budget movie of today. Everything feels real. The people, the conversation, the decor, everything.

When I watched this movie again recently I came up with an hypothesis regarding its lack of real success, or longevity. It's quite simple, and when you first say it, feels lame. But the more I think about it, I believe it may be true: Like most great movies that are under-appreciated, they aren't trying to impress us. They don't have to.


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