Cruise back to Baltimore 1963, to the time and turf of a rare American breed: the "tin man" (aluminum siding salesman). Two less-than-honest rivals in the tin game (Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito) meet in a fender bende... more »r, but their bruised egos and quick tempers turn the minor accident into a major vendetta against each other's symbols of success -- their prized Cadillacs. In what would seem to be a coup de grace, Dreyfuss decides to seduce DeVito's neglected wife (Barbara Hershey), but this romantic maneuver causes nonstop twists and turns to both the heart and the funnybone. With a supporting cast that's absolutely classic and music by The Fine Young Cannibals, TIN MEN sounds as good as it looks!« less
Lorraine S. (rainey) from WOODLAND HLS, CA Reviewed on 12/24/2007...
I loved Levinson's whole Baltimore Trilogy.
In this movie the characters are sharply drawn and fit an egotistical salesman's profile to a T. The dynamic between Danny DeVito's Tilley and Richard Dreyfuss' Babowski is delicous. And in the background the jockeying for place and one-ups-manship is a hoot.
When I need a laugh I think of the desperate DeVito looking to find God at a salad bar. Hysterical! And the music stayed with me for, I think, a couple years before The Fine Young Canibals finally got a hit with those songs.
There was a time when Levinson could find the soul of his characters, make them nothing short of fascinating and let you inhabit them briefly. The Baltimore Trilogy this film is part of was his finest hour!
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"Hold on, I'll check my notebook"
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 11/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After a minor fender bender and a heated argument, two men become locked in a battle of 'one upping' each other in a quest for revenge. Written and directed by Barry Levinson (Diner, Avalon, Rain Man, Wag the Dog), Tin Men stars Richard Dreyfuss as Bill "BB" Babowsky and Danny DeVito as Ernest Tilley. Set around 1962, the title, Tin Men, refers to aluminum siding salesmen. This is the profession of both BB and Tiley, although they work for rival companies. Throughout the movie, we are treated to different shady tactics employed by these salesmen to peddle their wares. A wonderfully funny movie, Dreyfuss and DeVito play their parts so well, taking two fairly unscrupulous characters and making them somewhat likable. They are supported by an excellent cast including Barbara Hersey as Tilley's wife, John Mahoney, Jackie Gayle, Seymour Cassel, and Bruno Kirby. The main crux of the movie revolves around BB and Tilley going back and forth, supported by subplots involving a failing marriage, an investigation by a governmental agency into improper business tactics, and a budding romance. The film did slow down a little near the end in tying up the various plot threads, but that mattered little to me, as it's a treat to see so much talent properly utilized. The casting is dead on, the dialog truly quotable and seemingly appropriate for the time, and the direction very professional. The musical score was well chosen, but I did wonder about the use of the band Fine Young Cannibals. Their signature song, Good Thing, fit the scene it was in nicely, but I've always had a bit of an issue with the use of contemporary music in movies set in the past. I'd rather see music of the period incorporated, with credit going to the artists of the time.The movie is presented in wide screen, and extras include a trailer, a deleted scene, and a commentary with most all major contributors to this movie, except Danny DeVito. I haven't had a chance to listen to the commentary, but given the people involved, I'll venture to bet it's pretty entertaining and informative."
Hey Hon, Here's a Great Movie From Bal'mr
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 08/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For many years, I was outraged that this classic entry in director, Barry Levinson's Baltimore series of films, was out of print.Well I'm glad to report that this hilarious, nostalgic comedy has been brought to light in the DVD format.The film takes place in Baltimore, (Circa 1963), where we are introduced to the world of the 'Tin Men'. These are notorius, aluminum siding salesmen, who will use any con or scheme to get customers to sign on the dotted line of a contract. We are intoduced to two such 'tin men'(wonderfully played by Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito) when they both accidentally hit each other in their Cadillacs. From then on a war of words and pranks begins. This escalates to the point that the Dreyfuss character has an affair with DeVito's wife (well played by Barbra Hershey). Eventually the affair, which started out as a form of revenge, blossoms into love.While this film is very funny it plays out against a melancholic background, because the story gives you the feeling, that the days of the 'tin men' have come and gone.Their livelyhood's days are numbered and in order for these men to survive they will have to move on.The acting in this movie is great.All three lead actors in this film (Dreyfuss, DeVito, Hershey)play their roles to perfection.This is an ensemble that really works. Barry Levinson has written and directed a story that is both humorus and touching.We really care about these characters.The dialogue is also first rate. In the tradition of the other Baltimore films, many of the characters have hilarious conversations about the smallest details in life.My personal favorite scene is when one of the salesmen obsessively keeps going on and on about how unrealistic the TV show 'Bonanza' is ("Who ever heard of a 50 year old guy with three 47 year old sons?").The DVD to this film is clear and crisp. It has trailers, deleted scenes, and a wonderful commentary track which includes Levinson and many of the priciple players.All in all this is a great movie, where the writing,directing,acting all gel together to make marvelous entertainment.Get this DVD!"
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | 02/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why this hasn't been re-released on dvd is beyond my comprehension. This was truly one of the best comedies I've seen and I watch my copy on VHS sparingly as the quality of the print is degraded with use. If they don't come out with a dvd print I am afraid I'll be forced to look for a bootleg copy."
John S. Harris | Memphis, TN | 04/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite movies from the late 80's, TIN MEN is about two rival aluminum siding salesmen (Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito) who plot to get even with each other after a fender-bender escalates into an all-out war. But the plot runs second, however, to the delightful supporting characters that writer/director Barry Levinson has created to provide the film with most of its comic zest. The film also features one of the late, great J.T. Walsh's finest performances in a small but typically-Walsh role, and a pre-"Frasier" John Mahoney as another "tin man". This would be Richard Dreyfuss' finest comic role until "Let It Ride" a mere two years later. You'll NEVER trust salesmen again after seeing this movie, not that you do now."
It's nearly not a movie...
Mr Russell S. Wollman | Fairfield, Iowa United States | 11/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...it's truly a slice of life, contrasting its two main characters, one who moves his life forward (Babowsky/Dreyfuss) and one who virtually regresses (Tilley/DeVito) in response to the increasing challenges which time and life always bring to us all. And the collection of supporting characters adds such a fine flavor that the resulting stew is savory indeed. Its fleet of wonderful tail-finned Cadillacs is fascinating, perfectly symbolic, and truly beautiful to behold.
Never when watching this film do I get the feeling that anyone's acting, so natural are all the players, each with his or her own unique appeal. You'll love them all from the start.
Funny? I've never thought it was particularly funny. It's simply too genuine, so engrossing that you may forget all about laughter, as I did, but you'll find comedy here if you wish. Tin Men's direction is marvelous-charming, easy, and utterly economical-with a fine sound track of carefully chosen material.