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Owning Mahowny [DVD]

10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver, John Hurt, Maury Chaykin, Ian Tracey
  • Directors: Richard Kwietniowski
  • Writers: Gary Stephen Ross, Maurice Chauvet
  • Producers: Alessandro Camon, Andras Hamori, Bradley Adams, Damon Bryant, Edward R. Pressman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Momentum Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011FXQE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,091 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Dan Mahowney [Philip Seymour Hoffman] has a secret life. At his work in the bank he is known as a quiet employee with a modest lifestyle and a sweet but plain girlfriend called Belinda [Minnie Driver]. But Dan is a compulsive gambler, who has plunged himself into debt with no way out. When he is promoted to asssistant manager his new responsibilities give him the authority to transfer funds in and out of the bank. As Dan is struggling to cover his debts, he starts to abuse his position and move huge sums of money to non-existent accounts and into his own casino account. When his debts hit seven figures his deception is hard to hide - from the authorities and from Belinda. 'Owning Mahowney' is based on a true story.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 May 2004
Format: DVD
Like William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman might not fit the usual preconception of cinematic Leading Man. Yet, in 2003, both have the lead in movies about gambling or the gambling industry. For Macy, it was THE COOLER, for which he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination. For Hoffman, it was OWNING MAHOWNY. In their respective films, the character portrayed by each loses his job because he's either embraced or shunned by Lady Luck.
In OWNING MAHOWNY, based on a true story, Hoffman is cast in the title role as the high ranking executive in charge of loans for a Toronto bank. Mahowny also has a gambling addiction, and is indebted to his bookie (Maury Chakin) for slightly over ten grand. To cover his marker, Mahowny creates a fictional loan account, and draws cash from it. Going a step further, he approves cash loans to an existing but unsuspecting customer with a large credit limit, and takes the money on weekend trips to Atlantic City, where he consistently loses at dice, cards, and roulette. By the time he's found out, Mahowny has embezzled over $10 million.
The creators of this film made no attempt whatsoever to render the Mahowny persona attractive to the audience, and it's a wonder he even has a fiancee, Lisa (Minnie Driver). Indeed, Mahowny is so focused on gambling that when the casino manager, Mr. Foss (John Hurt), sends to his suite a complimentary courtesan, who sheds her fur coat to reveal not inconsiderable charms, Mahowny only tells her "You've made a mistake." And he really means it; he only courts Lady Luck. Our hero is so indifferent to anything other than playing the odds that he isn't even somebody with whom you'd consider having a friendly beer. He's single-minded to the point of boorishness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meecymoo on 26 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
PSH puts in a credible performance. His addicted gambler was believable and at times painful to watch in terms of the absolute denial of the addict. The gambling scenes are well shot and overall the director does a good job of slowly building the tension which accentuates the end of seat dynamic. Worth watching if you are a PSH fan and enjoy a jaunt into the mind of an addict.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ian Millard on 4 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
..must be what drives the protagonist here, a bank exec from Toronto who only comes half alive when gambling. His losses start to require an unauthorized withdrawal or three, firstly when his local Mafia bookie slob leans on him for about $10K, then, after a trip to Atlantic City, for $100K and up. John Hurt plays the Atlantic City casino director, who tries to give the new high roller anything he desires (a fantastic suite, champagne, a sexy woman naked save for lingerie under her long fur coat...even a private jet) only to find that Mahowny wants nothing but to gamble, save for the odd "spare rib --no sauce-- and a Coca Cola". At one point this terminally boring man is actually UP by about $9 million and Hurt's Mafia boss warns him not to let him walk with it...Hurt has a plan to stop that, but it is never put into effect, because Mahowny loses the lot and his, I think it was, $5 million stake money from the bank. In the end he is arrested, long suffering girlfriend Minnie Driver sticks with him (puzzlingly, for he has less personality than a spare rib, no sauce) and after arrest and release he explains to a psychiatrist that gambling gives him 100% excitement whereas the most excitement he has from anything else is 20%. Pity they did not ask the girlfriend! I expect she would say she only got 2% excitement out of this character! Unfortunately the film is too faithful to its dull subject. Not something one would want to see more than once, but well done for what it is, anyway.
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By DONNA WHITE on 22 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As always Philip Seymour Hoffmnan stole every scene ,I didn't realise that it was based on a true story ,thoroughly enjoyable .
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By J klimbie on 4 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great movie, truly a forgotten classic. For those of us who miss the briljant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman....
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