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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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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: Multiple Formats, 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: #60,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Prime Gig" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff January 22, 2002
Format:DVD
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I almost cared about this movie. Almost. I mean, you can't go wrong with Vince Vaughn and Ed Harris, right?

Wrong.

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 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Con's on You May 22, 2007
Format:DVD
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but poor ending April 17, 2006
Format:DVD
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. This movie does too, but it suffers by comparison with two other recent movies in the genre, "Matchstick Men" and "Confidence."

What made those movies better, and this one worse, is that in those movies we can totally believe the ending, whereas here we can't. Although the set up is believable, the mechanics of the final rip-off do not seem possible. If they had spent just a bit more time and effort making us believe in the scenario whereby the con man finally gets conned himself, the movie would have been better. Instead, it ends with a whimper, not a bang.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor man's Glen Garry Glenn Ross November 14, 2008
By Allison
Format:DVD
A passable conman flick. Vince Vaughn plays telemarketing scammer Pendelton "Penny" Wise who sells phony vacations to unsuspecting callers. The firm he works for is about to go under. He takes care of his crippled friend, Joel (Rory Cochrane). When the firm goes out of business, Vaughn hooks up with infamous conman Kelly Grant (Ed Harris) and his gal pal Caitlin (Julia Ormond).

The film starts out with colorful, interesting characters played by Stephen Tobolowsky, George Wendt, Wallace Shawn, and Kathy Baker, but it jettisons them completely once Vaughn's Penny goes to work for Harris' Kelly Grant.

The performances by Vaughn, Cochrane, Harris, and Ormond are topnotch but the screenplay is pretty lackluster. First, the relationship between Penny and his childhood friend, Joel, is poorly developed. Why is Joel on crutches? Was he injured in an accident or is he handicapped? Why is Penny so devoted to his friend, who, quite frankly, is an immature loser and freeloader? Halfway through the film, Joel just seems to disappear. This character could have been completely cut out of the film, and it would not have made much of a difference. I give Cochrane credit for giving such an interesting performance despite the fact that his role is so woefully underwritten.

Also, it's pretty obvious that Kelly and Caitlin are up to no good and should not be trusted, and yet, Penny works for them anyway. He seems smarter than that. I thought this stretched the credibility of the film.

I also felt let down by the ending. It seemed too ambiguous. It left loose ends.

I would recommend this for rental. You would be better off buying a much better film about conmen, Glen Garry Glenn Ross.
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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 9 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 9 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 23 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 on August 26, 2012 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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
I'm not sure if anyone got what I think is the real underlying message here. That is, nice guys finish last. Read more
Published on November 2, 2006 by dd
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