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  • Swimming With Sharks [1996] [DVD]
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Swimming With Sharks [1996] [DVD]


Price: £7.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 9 left in stock.
Sold by Jasuli and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
9 new from £4.98 20 used from £0.01 1 collectible from £6.23

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Product details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro, T.E. Russell
  • Directors: George Huang
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Prism Leisure Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00015N5UQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,760 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Crime comedy starring Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley. Guy (Whaley) is a film graduate who has just started working as an assistant to influential Hollywood executive Buddy Ackerman (Spacey). Despite ignoring his predecessor's warnings, Guy soon discovers Buddy is indeed the forewarned sadistic when he loses control and humiliates Guy by giving him a particularly vicious dressing down. The witnessing producer, Dawn (Michelle Forbes), takes pity on Guy, and brings him in on one of her productions, which they then proceed to sell to Buddy. But this is only the beginning of the double dealings, deception and revenge that leads Guy to kidnap his once abusive boss...

From Amazon.co.uk

Swimming with Sharks is a worthwhile contribution to the extensive list of films in which Hollywood savages itself and its local manners. In flashbacks we watch junior executive Guy remorselessly humiliated by his boss Buddy; in the film's present time, Guy breaks into Buddy's house and brutalises and tortures him in return.

What makes the film work is inevitably Kevin Spacey's savage performance as Buddy, a bully and a toady who had a heart once but gave it up to his career producing schlock; though Buddy rants and raves and delivers killer one-liners, much of the strength of the performance is in subtle work with his eyes. Frank Whaley is almost equally fine as Guy in all the two-hander scenes; while Michelle Forbes is convincing as the woman director who forms a tentative alliance with Guy. George Huang's direction is perfectly competent: it never gets in the way of his fine script and the extraordinary performances.

On the DVD: Swimming with Sharks comes to DVD in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1. There's an extensive commentary by George Huang in which he talks us through his years of misery in a junior studio job and is entertaining about all the horrid bosses whose bad behaviour--abuse, exploitation, pretending to praise him to a dead phone--he has combined into Buddy. He is also charmingly modest about the major if abrasive contribution Kevin Spacey made to the film, not only as actor but also as someone who would always tell a director if he did something less than brilliant. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. C. Clubb VINE VOICE on 15 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
This film is far more influential than many realize. First off it is the inspiration for the novel (and subsequent movie) The Devil Wears Prada. Secondly it was made into an international stage play starring Christian Slater over a decade later.

There is a lot more to it than what most people appreciate. Anyone who has been involved in showbusiness for a long time will be able to appreciate the idea behind "earning your dues" or the repeated question of "what is it that you really want?" I recommend it to anyone who is seriously interested in entering showbusiness. There is a Faustian deal to be struck and nothing is going to come easy.

Spacey plays the role of ruthless movie mogul, Buddy Ackerman. He is the man who knows how to get to the top in showbusiness and working for him will ensure a certain pedigree. This presents itself as the opportunity of a lifetime for young Guy, Buddy's new executive, a lover of films with naive ambitions of untainted success in the movie industry.

What follows is a year of Guy enduring a whole range of psychological and physical abuse, as he tries to fit the hard world he is living in with the ideal he tries to live up to. In the end though, he will discover far more about the nature of showbusiness than he could have ever imagined and a choice will have to be made. Guy will have to decide what it is that he really wants?

Part hostage drama, part white collar fable, part black comedy reality check, Swimming with Sharks is a very original piece that is worth watching again and again. The DVD is disappointingly low on extras. Kevin Spacey's interview does not really lend much to the film's content and only sheds light on how tight the filming schedule was.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alex Mandel on 3 Dec. 2002
Format: DVD
Swimming With Sharks brilliantly shuns the habitual overly complex camera work that plagues a large proportion of films made in the last ten years. There is much more reliance on the strong performences from the small but impressive cast. Leading the show is Kevin Spacey at the top of his game, the subtle nuances of his portrail of a highly complex character leads to a far more rounded and realistic character coming across. The chemistry between Spacey and Frank Whaley really makes this film what it is. thier scenes together give an insight into a world where it is impossible to notice any acting at all. The story envolves a movie executive (Spacey) and his downtrodden assistant (Whaley). whaley soon realises the level of nepotism and slight of hand at work in the industry and has to decide what his reaction to his insights is going to be. the pace and tone of the film at all times perfectly mirrors the emotions being displayed. this is a film not only for die hard spacey fans but also anyone looking for something to stand out from all the overly comersialised and emotionless films available.
The dvd has a very good profile of spacey which really shows his devotion to his art.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 10 July 2004
Format: DVD
Now and then it's still possible to be surprised by a film. This one was made as long ago as 1994 without achieving a widespread reputation except among the cognoscenti. Yes, despite the budget price this is an absolute humdinger of a film, a fact attested by the presence of that most virtuous of actors, Kevin Spacey, a man who will not appear in any film that fails to appeal to his noble and worthy instincts (in fact he says as much in the interesting but rather limited biography included among the extras on this DVD.)
Swimming with Sharks is a film designed to bite the hand that fed it. It attacks the vicious system that enables, indeed encourages studio executives to behave like spoiled children in tyrannical control of their own private fiefdoms, much as Altman's The Player did in the 80s (no surprise to see Spacey's film studio VP launch into a seething attack on Altman, then!), and rewards them for using and abusing those poor wretches over who they clambered to the top. "This is not like running a business," says Rex (Benicio del Toro), the previous incumbent of assistant to the Senior Executive Vice President of Keystone Pictures, "this is showbusiness."
"I paid my dues," says the VP, Buddy Ackerman, to Guy, the unfortunate assistant turning the tables on his torturer, as if that suddenly justifies the vicious treatment meted out to all and sundry, just as senior doctors resent any change to the system to prevent junior doctors having to work 120 hour weeks on the grounds that they had to do it and it didn't do them any harm, did it?
But does Guy change the world when he has the power to do so?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. William Oxley VINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
What a great cast and what a great film. Never heard of it? Do not let that put you off. Some of the scenes in this film are just utterly brilliant and unforgettable. Pure genius.

Overall the film is an entertaining look at a rookie movie mogul trying to climb the greasy ladder to the top of the industry. How far will he let his boss (Kevin Spacey) push him? What humiliation will he endure to ensure he gets noticed?

Find out now.
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