Tin Men

Tin Men

5.0 1
Director: Barry Levinson

Cast: Barry Levinson, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito, Barbara Hershey

     
 

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The second of director Barry Levinson's Baltimore Trilogy (the first was Diner, the third Avalon), Tin Men seems at first glance to be much ado about nothing. Set in 1963, the story begins when two aluminum siding salesmen, played by Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito, are involved in a traffic accident. Fueled by their own individual

Overview

The second of director Barry Levinson's Baltimore Trilogy (the first was Diner, the third Avalon), Tin Men seems at first glance to be much ado about nothing. Set in 1963, the story begins when two aluminum siding salesmen, played by Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito, are involved in a traffic accident. Fueled by their own individual frustrations--Dreyfuss dislikes the phonier aspects of his profession, while DeVito is unhappily married to Barbara Hershey--the two men begin an all-out war of harassment against one another. DeVito goes on a destructive rampage against Dreyfuss' material possessions, while Dreyfuss contrives to steal away DeVito's wife. An ironic twist of fate ironically, brings the two men to common ground at the finale. As with the earlier Diner, Levinson spends a great deal of screen time showing small minds obsessed with small things: counterpointing the snow-balling hostilities between Dreyfuss and DeVito is Jackie Gayle as DeVito's partner, who can talk of nothing but the TV series Bonanza. Michael Tucker, who like Barry Levinson was Baltimore born and bred, repeats his Diner role as "Bagel." Listen for director Levinson's voice as a baseball stadium announcer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Barry Levinson's episodic comedy on the feud of a couple of aluminum-siding hustlers is often a very funny outing which never meshes convincingly. Returning to the Baltimore of the early '60s, the site of his classic Diner, the director focuses on some older but hardly wiser characters, a pair of "tin men" whose pride in the fraudulence of their sales techniques makes the film something of a Glengarry Glen Ross "lite." Levinson underscores the insecurities of this tribe of capitalist warriors who enjoy bragging about the size of their Caddys and the stupidity of the marks they've just scammed. Danny DeVito, who long ago cornered the market on maniacally petty characters, plays the loudest of the lot, a man so on edge that a simple fender-bender can ignite an escalating orgy of mutual property destruction. The irascible and more successful Richard Dreyfuss character he battles is slightly less crazy, and it is he who finally begins to connect his unhappiness with the dishonesty of his livelihood. If Levinson misses the mark in reaching for a weightier conclusion than the loosely structured script can bear, the film yields at least one immortal comic turn in stand-up Jackie Gayle's running schtick on the more dubious aspects of television's then-popular Bonanza.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert

Because Tin Men is based on fundamental truth, it is able to be funny even in some of its quieter moments. The good jokes always hurt a little. This movie isn't slapstick and it's not a farce; it's the kind of comedy the guy was thinking about when he wrote, "We laugh, that we may not cry."

Product Details

Release Date:
04/02/2002
UPC:
0786936170184
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Dreyfuss Bill "BB" Babowsky
Danny DeVito Ernest Tilley
Barbara Hershey Nora Tilley
John Mahoney Moe, Partner to "BB"
Jackie Gayle Sam, Tilley's Partner
Stanley Brock Gil
Seymour Cassel Cheese
Bruno Kirby Mouse
J.T. Walsh Wing
Richard Portnow Carly
Matt Craven Looney
Alan Blumenfeld Stanley
Brad Sullivan Master
Michael Tucker Bagel
Myron Citrenbaum Murray
Deirdre O'Connell Nellie
Sheila McCauley Ada
Michael S. Willis Mr. Shubner
Penny Nichols Mrs. Shubner
Susan Duvall Suburban Housewife
David de Boy Suburban Husband
Florence Moody Diner Waitress
Ralph Tabakin Mr. Hudson
Norma Posner Mrs. Hudson
Walt MacPherson Cadillac salesman
William C. Godsey Belvedere Hotel Barman
Roland Gift Band Member
David Steele Band Member
Andy Cox Band Member
Sharon Ziman Mason Dixon Operator
Lois Raymond Munchel Mason Dixon Operator
Kathy Jones Mason Dixon Operator
Cindy Geppi Social Security Girl
Ellen Sills Social Security Girl
Mary Morgan Social Security Girl
Marcia Herr Sonial Securtiy Girl
Joshua Billings Man At Crash
Jeffrey Moser Man At Crash
Freddie Stevens Piano Bar Crooner
Bill Danoff Police Officer
Katherine Ellis Ruthie
Eva Jean Berg Woman At Smorgasbord
Todd Jackson Young Boy
Barbara Rappaport Coffee shop waitress
Theodore Goldman Pool Hall Worker
Kathleen Goldpaugh Arguing Wife
Brian Costantini Arguing Husband

Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director,Screenwriter
Phillip Abramson Set Decoration/Design
Irving Buchman Makeup
Andy Cox Score Composer
Fine Young Cannibals Score Composer
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
Peter Jamison Production Designer
Mark Johnson Producer
Kim Kurumada Associate Producer
Stu Linder Editor
Bill Phillips Sound/Sound Designer
Steven Saxton Associate Producer
Albert M. Shapiro Asst. Director
Peter Sova Cinematographer
David Steele Score Composer

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Tin Men 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is an overlooked gem. The script is a superior one and the DVD version has a fascinating commentary by the director/writer, the actors and even an interesting observation by the costume designer. An example of how good a comedy can be when script, acting and story are all of the highest order.