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The Prime Gig (2000)

Vince Vaughn , Julia Ormond , Gregory Mosher  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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The Prime Gig + Glengarry Glen Ross + Boiler Room
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Product Details

  • Actors: Vince Vaughn, Julia Ormond, Ed Harris, Rory Cochrane, Wallace Shawn
  • Directors: Gregory Mosher
  • Writers: William Wheeler
  • Producers: Cary Woods, Elliot Lewis Rosenblatt, Gina Mingacci, Jennifer Lane, William Wheeler
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Independent Pictures (II)
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2002
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UQ9J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,433 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Prime Gig" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Vince Vaughn stars in this story of high-pressure boiler room telemarketing scams. Vaughn plays Pendelton "Penny" Wise (get it?), a small-time operator who's looking for a bigger score. He takes a "prime gig" with Kelly Grant (Ed Harris), a high-stakes player with a shady gold mine to sell. Prime Gig sets up an unusual tension: you want to root for Penny even though you know he may be bilking people out of their life savings and is most definitely a sleazebag. Harris does well, making what could have been a typical Gordon Gekko knockoff character a little more internalized and interesting, and Julia Ormond does a fine job of fleshing out a character who very well may have been named "Romantic Interest." Vaughn uses his onscreen persona well here--he deftly maintains the hero-scumball balance, never quite letting go of either. Prime Gig is not a perfectly realized movie, but a compelling watch nonetheless. --Ali Davis

Product Description

Featuring great performances by an all-star cast, The Prime Gig is a moody and suspenseful thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. With greed, sex and betrayal at its core, this story about the scam of a lifetime exposes the evil that people and money can do.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff January 22, 2002
The Prime Gig, directed by Gregory Mosher and written by Bill Wheeler, is good stuff. A sort of Mamet-esque tale of telemarketing and betrayal. Vince Vaughn and Julia Ormond do very good work together. Ed Harris, a favorite of mine, is not up to his usual standard here ... but is still delivers an acceptable performance.
Overall, the film works. It's quirky and suspenseful simultaneously, and although the plot seems familiar at first, Wheeler takes it in unexpected directions. Mosher's direction is also good, without pompously drawing attention to itself. A well-made film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In truth, I didn't expect much from "Prime Gig" and that lowered expectation probably served my viewing experience well. For overall, I did end up enjoying this film in a mild way. The beginning of the film is set within the confines of a failing telemarketing firm with a staff of sad sacks played by great character actors like Wallace Shawn, George Wendt, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Jeanetta Arnette. This was probably my favorite bit of the film and I thought it captured the desperation and shadiness incumbent in the typical telemarketing operation.

The opening establishes Penny, played by Vince Vaughn, as the alpha dog seller and self proclaimed "Norma Rae" of the office. After an all too brief interlude in this intriguing environment, however, Penny is recruited by a mysterious new operation. Led by Julia Ormond and Ed Harris, this new job is a high stakes, high dollar market for selling shares of a gold mine. We quickly move into familiar territory as we meet the ruthless sales staff and are introduced to high pressure telemarketing. Covered many times before, "Prime Gig" lacks the poetry and dynamics of "Glengarry Glen Ross" and the glitz and energy of "Boiler Room." It's not badly done, it's just a paler imitation of more noteworthy movies.

Ultimately, as in movies of this type, there are no heroes. Everyone is pretty much a scumbag looking to make it rich. This film is a bit disingenuous, though, it wants to have it both ways. We're meant to care about Penny too. Hey, he's basically a good guy because he takes care of a handicapped friend. Well, that notion didn't particularly work for me. The movie moves toward the inevitable, predictable and still somewhat unconvincing ending.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I almost cared about this movie. Almost. I mean, you can't go wrong with Vince Vaughn and Ed Harris, right?


The Prime Gig offers slices of entertainment that keep you modestly plugged into the movie, but ultimately, those slices are not enough to suffice. Characters come and go without us caring, and the main characters look as bored as we do. Vaughn plays a conman who goes to work for a master con-artist and ultimately meets his match. There's some attempts to make us care along the way, and some dialogue that tries to assert itself, but at the end of the day, we still don't care and strike 'The Prime Gig' from the first cut at the "Could Have Been a Cool Movie" tryouts.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Con's on You May 22, 2007
There are certainly worse ways to spend 93 minutes -- just check out your local multiplex. Shellgames are never boring, and the ensemble cast is great (as they nearly always tend to be, in con movies). But, as others have pointed out, this one has more holes in it than a shower head. Shares in a gold mine? Pur-lease! Where is any telemarketer supposed to find marks dumb enough to buy those? Why would any telemarketer worth his salt waste his time trying? And, given that the Vince Vaughan character makes it quite clear he's only marrying the girl to help her get a green card (and therefore presumably wouldn't have dreamed of putting his money in a joint account and giving her sole signature over it), what bank would be inept enough to let her clean out his account just because she could show she was his wife?
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moving On Up May 28, 2003
An average movie about a small-time high-talent phone con man who gets a break and chance at the 'big time' in his professions. No more squeezing out twenty-five and fifty dollar orders after he joins on as a salesman at new firm hocking the next big investment deal to widows, retirees, and anyone with enough in the bank.
Filled with quirky characters and stereotypes the office is the battlefield where only the best can hack it.
A few rolls in the hay with the boss's chick and a couple of sales later the end comes crashing down.
Nice idea, kind of cute, would not rent it again though.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good film April 1, 2004
if you're looking for a pure heist film, this one is only average; i'd recommend the argentinian "nine queens." i think the prime gig goes somewhat deeper. the relationship between penny and the old lady is realized very gracefully in just a few minutes. vince vaughn shows some really impressive range here. the ending leaves you a little flat, but i think it's fitting. why spend 5 bucks to rent the movie when you can buy it for just 10? it's definitely worth it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing November 2, 2006
By dd
I'm not sure if anyone got what I think is the real underlying message here. That is, nice guys finish last. Althought Vince Vaughn's character, Penny, chose a job that involved the sleazy business of telemarketing, he was a nice guy who generally liked and trusted people, at least in person. He had an unfailing yet somewhat naive ethic that assumed people deserve to be treated fairly, and should be defended when confronted by injustice. The movie suggests that these qualities, although noble, are ultimately the cause of Penny's undoing.

Penny's likability was a magnet for desperate people (i.e. 1) his gutless co-workers: Penny was the one on whom they depended to stand up against bully employers who either didn't pay or was threatening blackmail; 2) his self-pitying brother: who used his handicap to prey on his good will, freeloading when he was more than capable of getting a job and taking care of himself; and of course, 3) Julia Ormond's character, who manipulated him into an arranged marriage.) Finally, at the end, he weighed his life's actions against their consequences, and decided to do what he thought was right for him.

Although the film failed to explain clearly why a person with such compassion and a strong sense of right and wrong would decide to work in such a sleazy environment in the first place, it nevertheless presented a disturbing essay on how good people can be taken advantage of.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie especially if you have ever done sales
I know this movie didn't get great reviews by many but I really enjoyed it. I can't go into details but there are many funny and incredibly ironic twists. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bill White
5.0 out of 5 stars A cruel and nasty mean situation that works
I rented this in the late '90's and I thought it was riveting. I love the way Vince Vaughn thinks he is the prime hustler and so slick. Read more
Published 3 months ago by judy
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but disappointing indie
Never heard of this 2001 con man film. Watched it recently on the Sundance Channel. The Prime Gig is better than Boiler Room, which I found glitzy yet empty, but miles from the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jason Kirkfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Gig
This is one of the BEST movies in regards to the phone sales industry.....As a 30 year professional in this business, Yes I have been in rooms like this, and yes they have ripped... Read more
Published 20 months ago by THC
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Indy flick with real actors in it...
A typical Indie flick.... no happy endings, but fun & unpredictable content. Obviously if you have spent time in or around the sales "profession" you will have more appreciation... Read more
Published on February 8, 2011 by B_Dizzle_Fo_Shizzle
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant, Kind of, Surprise
I just watched this little film last night and I was entertained by the quirky supporting characters and intrigued by the fairly mellow journey of deceit laid down. Read more
Published on December 14, 2009 by Noir Man
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor man's Glen Garry Glenn Ross
A passable conman flick. Vince Vaughn plays telemarketing scammer Pendelton "Penny" Wise who sells phony vacations to unsuspecting callers. Read more
Published on November 14, 2008 by Allison
4.0 out of 5 stars An adrenaline packed, emotionally charged story about sales in USA
THE PRIME GIG, showcasing the acting talent of veteran

actors Vince Vaughn, the lovely Julia Ormond, and the

charismatic, head honcho Ed Harris, is more than... Read more
Published on February 2, 2007 by Pork Chop
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but poor ending
The hook in these grifter/con man movies is to see which of the con men gets conned at the end, and how. All movies in this genre seem to follow that same plot structure. Read more
Published on April 17, 2006 by David C. Read
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