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Swimming With Sharks (Special Edition) (1995)

Kevin Spacey , Frank Whaley , George Huang  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
Price: $8.57 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro, T.E. Russell
  • Directors: George Huang
  • Writers: George Huang
  • Producers: Kevin Spacey, Buzz Hays, Jay Cohen, Joanne Moore, Kevin Reidy
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009A40EI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,503 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Swimming With Sharks (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary with actor Kevin Spacey
  • Commentary with Director George Huang
  • Commentary with Director George Huang and Actor Frank Whaley
  • Back to the Tank: Swimming Ten Years Later
  • Shark Tales: Life as a Hollywood Assistant
  • Let's Do Lunch: A Conversation with Colleagues
  • Deleted Scenes

Editorial Reviews

Kevin Spacey stars as Buddy Ackerman, "the boss from hell" who reigns over an entry-level corporate job anyone would kill for. The ambitious Guy (Frank Whaley), Buddy’s personal assistant, finds himself ducking everything from insults to paperweights as he tries to satisfy Buddy’s needs. But when those "needs" involve Guy¹s girlfriend, he snaps. In a wicked twist of personnel payback, Guy takes Buddy as his "personal hostage" for a hilarious executive-suite revenge that is every abused employee¹s dream come true!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Welcome To The Dark Side March 25, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In an upscale neighborhood near Hollywood, a covered body on a stretcher is being removed from a house while a dismayed young man named Guy (Frank Whaley) looks on. Thus begins "Swimming With Sharks," a veritable survival guide for those who would venture into the cold and often dangerous waters of film making. Guy is a recent film school graduate who has landed a job at Keystone Pictures as the gofer assistant to none other than the legendary power player Buddy Ackerman (Played exuberantly by Kevin Spacey), one of the top producers at Keystone. Guy is replacing Rex (Benicio Del Toro) who is leaving to take a position at Paramount. During Guy's orientation on his first day, Rex tells him "This in not a business, this is show business. Punching below the belt in not only alright, it's rewarded," and with that, the tone is set for much of what follows. But not everything. Buddy, we quickly learn, is the boss nobody would ever want. At his best, he is unpleasant; at his worst, which is most of the time, he is abusive in the extreme. He seems to take perverse delight in assigning Catch-22 directives to his underlings (He tells Guy to hold his calls while he is in a meeting; when Guy doesn't put the calls through he is admonished for it). His most prolific tool of management is the beguiling phrase "Shut up, listen, and learn," which he applies frequently to the hapless Guy. Of course, there is only so much one man can take, and early on we realize that Guy is in the process of exacting his revenge. Through flashbacks the story unfolds, and Guy's motivation becomes crystal clear. Read more ›
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Kevin Spacey has emerged as one of America's leading actors in the past few years: "Swimming With Sharks" is a delightful exhibition of his unique blend of sarcasm, viciousness, and versatility. Few characters could be as much fun for an actor to play as Barry Ackerman, the immoral, hedonistic, abuse-spewing film executive idealistic young Guy toils away for. Spacey takes obvious relish in lines such as "Her phone bills are more than your rent," "He's not dead; he's just . . . unavailable," and particularly, "If you were in my toilet, I wouldn't bother to flush you."
Guy, an idealistic young film graduate, has somehow landed one of the cream jobs in Hollywood as assistant to Ackerman. How he got the job is a mystery, as Guy seems to have no idea of what goes on in the movie business and has not met Ackerman before. Guy can speak movingly about the movies he watched in his youth -- maybe that's enough to become a mini-mogul in Hollywood these days. Michelle Forbes' Dawn, a producer, inexplicably falls for Guy, although we are supposed to believe that this beautiful, rich, powerful woman is attracted to Guy's honesty and naivete. Funny how those traits work on beautiful, rich, powerful women in the movies.
The movie bounces back and forth between Guy getting his revenge on Barry for the hell he's gone through as Barry's lackey and the flashback shots of Guy's humiliating experiences. Throughout the movie we are treated to little Hollywood inside jokes (for example, the "hot young director" in the movie is Foster Kane, the name of Orson Welles' infamous protagonist in "Citizen Kane").
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorites... January 6, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I chanced upon this movie by accident. I rented it at Blockbuster because it starred Kevin Spacey and I think there was some comparison to Robert Altman's The Player, which I loved. I was unprepared for what I got. First, you have Spacey, my favorite actor currently working today in one of his most brilliant performances ever. I think his turn as Mel Proffit on Wiseguy is the only job he has done that I like better. Next, you have Frank Whaley, a talented young actor who slips between extremes of timid uncertainty at the beginning of his job with Buddy, to icy cool professionalism toward the end. He also shows a warm caring side with his girlfriend (played very smartly by the sexy Michelle Forbes) as well as a psychotic off the deep end side when he takes Spacey's character hostage. I loved it on first viewing. I found a used copy of it about a month later and purchased it immediately. I have watched this film about 25 times in the last 5 years, and it never gets old. It is fresh and blackly funny every time I watch it. One thing that I have noticed on many repeat viewings is that Spacey's Buddy Ackerman character is really a much nicer guy than he appears. It is my belief after viewing this film so many times that Buddy actually does care for Guy. You can see it in the little grins that he gives after he has reamed Guy out for something, and in the way that all of his advice is based on his own personal experience. I don't think that Buddy is lying when he tells Guy that after a year with him, Guy will be ready for anything. He is deliberately cruel in a very educational way. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Awful not a comedy hard to laugh at that much mean spirited stupidity and unfortunately people put up with idiots like that
Published 5 days ago by Val Methe
2.0 out of 5 stars worst Spacey flick I've seen
confuses cliche, hyperbole, and screaming for drama
poor writing, nonsensical logic in terms of dialogue
oddly difficult to turn away from
Published 14 days ago by lol@troll
5.0 out of 5 stars raw egoism without the pretense
A cult classic look at dog eat dog raw egoism without the pretense of any polite façade. It show the real unseen attitudes of real interpersonal interaction between everyday people... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Laura Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Spacey!
I love Kevin Spacey! I like the movie overall but some parts are a bit far fetched. Definitely worth watching if you're a Spacey fan.
Published 21 days ago by Timothy Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated
It's natural that Leonard Maltin would give this film two stars, as it is a brutal expose of the financial, sexual, and business machinations that precede the making of at least... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C.A. Arthur
3.0 out of 5 stars *No English subtitles or captions*
I ordered this movie as a gift for my husband, who is deaf. The item description states that there are English subtitles/captions. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MagnoliaMama23
3.0 out of 5 stars Like a car crash, I could not look away
This movie was completely messed up, and yet I found I could not turn it off. Definitely worth watching the entire thing
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Ever Worked in Hollywood, You May Relate to this Fantasy of a...
Because the Hollywood industry is saturated with those who dream of being on the "inside", some people at the higher levels abuse their positions of power. Read more
Published 2 months ago by classicalsteve
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of movie
A little too negative for this girl. I didn't enjoy watching someone abused at work, then getting his revenge. I quit watching and moved on to something else.
Published 2 months ago by Tania D. Doran
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark
This is well worth your time if you like a dark comedy. The acting is good by all concerned. A classic Kevin Spacey film.
Published 2 months ago by Amac
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