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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 (157 customer reviews)

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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: Multiple Formats, 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 (157 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009A40EI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,809 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
33 of 39 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 21 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More sadistic than funny. June 21, 2005
Kevin Spacey. I'll write it again. Kevin Spacey. Whether he's playing Keiser Soze, a pyschopath in Seven, or an alien in K-PAX, any film he touches seems to sizzle. Swimming With Sharks is no exception; in fact, we get to see Kevin in a role that resembles the one he portrayed in Glengary Glen Ross, only magnified thirty of forty levels on the pompousity chart.

Frank Whaley plays his underling in the corporate world. You might remember him as the victim of Samuel L. Jacksons rant in Pulp Fiction right before he gets his head blown off or as the young kid from Field of Dreams - playing a young Burt Lancaster. Well, as goofy as it might sound, Whaley does a WONDERFUL job in Swimming With Sharks. You emphathize with his character, even when he turns from naive victim to unflinching nut-case at the end.

As for premise, Kevin Spacey plays a corporate boss who is showing his yes man, played by Whaley, the tricks to moving ahead. In the mean time, however, he does everything he can to make his employee's life a living hell, thus driving the young worker into......

The last segment of this film is the most amazing. I loved the twist. Many, I imagine, will not. The film quickly moves from humor to dark drama in a matter of minutes, and the twist may upset many, especially Spacey's delivery in the last clutch scenes.

This movie is basically the director's rant and rave come to full life. It's based on his own experience in the corporate world and be warned, untold buckets of foul language await you, so be ready.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it and laugh while plotting your revenge
Phenomenal flick. Watch it and laugh while plotting your revenge!
Published 15 days ago by JPW
A must Have Movie,,,one of the best ever Made
Published 1 month ago by Emilio
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie
Published 1 month ago by ridenby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a good movie!
Published 1 month ago by C. Tylar
2.0 out of 5 stars Power corrupts.
Everyone says this movie is great to get a taste for Hollywood movie making politics but it was just too dark and negative for me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SmokingChicken
3.0 out of 5 stars The twist at the end of this film was taken from an episode in Boris...
The twist at the end of this film was taken from an episode in Boris Karloff's Thriller TV series.
Watch the episode entitled "Man of Mystery", and see what I mean.
Published 2 months ago by Avid Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Spacey at his best worst boss ever
Love Kevin Spacey's work - he was over the top as the horrible boss. Really loved the payback when his PA had finally had enough.
Published 3 months ago by Terry Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Way Up.
At the moment, Kevin Spacey is at the artistic top of his profession. This film exemplifies that observation. Go buy it.
Published 3 months ago by Roy Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars Started Out Interesting But Went Downhill
Lets see, how can I give my main objection to this without spoiling the ending? Lets just say I was disappointed in the pessimistic conclusion and think it would have been a better... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Horn
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea for a plot - lousy execution (no pun intended)
Great potential - the plot was positively pregnant with possibilities. Unfortunately the actual ending was cliche and full of holes. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kat
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