Swimming With Sharks 1995 R CC

(169) IMDb 7.1/10
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Gullible Guy (Frank Whaley) lands a job as personal assistant to Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey), a repulsive, cutthroat studio exec. Guy is eager to climb the ladder of success, but Buddy stops at nothing to grab credit and foil Guy's plans. What Buddy doesn't know is that the tables are about to turn -- in a big way.

Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley
1 hour, 34 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy
Director George Huang
Starring Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley
Supporting actors Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro, T.E. Russell, Roy Dotrice, Matthew Flint, Patrick Fischler, Jerry Levine, Sabryn Genet, Kyle Reed
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on 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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thaddeus Marcum on June 21, 2005
Format: DVD
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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on July 27, 2000
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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