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Barbarians at the Gate (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barbarians at the Gate
DVD cover
Based on
Barbarians at the Gate
Written byLarry Gelbart
Directed byGlenn Jordan
ComposerRichard Gibbs
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
  • Thomas M. Hammel
  • Glenn Jordan
ProducerRay Stark
EditorPatrick Kennedy
Production companies
Original networkHBO
Original release
  • March 20, 1993 (1993-03-20)

Barbarians at the Gate is a 1993 American biographical comedy-drama television film directed by Glenn Jordan and written by Larry Gelbart, based on the 1989 book of the same name by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. The film stars James Garner, Jonathan Pryce, and Peter Riegert. It tells the true story of F. Ross Johnson, who was the president and CEO of RJR Nabisco.

Barbarians at the Gate received generally positive reviews from critics. The film earned nine nominations at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards, winning one for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. It also won Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for Garner at the 51st Golden Globe Awards.

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Self-made multimillionaire F. Ross Johnson, CEO of RJR Nabisco, decides to take the tobacco and food conglomerate company private in 1988 after receiving advance news of the likely market failure of the company's smokeless cigarette called Premier, the development of which had been intended to finally boost the company's stock price.[1]

The free-spending Johnson's bid for the company is opposed by two of the pioneers of the leveraged buyout, Henry Kravis and his cousin. Kravis feels betrayed when, after Johnson initially discusses doing the LBO with Kravis, he takes the potentially enormous deal to another firm, the Shearson Lehman Hutton division of American Express.

Other bidders emerge, including Ted Forstmann and his company, Forstmann Little, after Kravis and Johnson are unable to reconcile their differences. The bidding goes to unprecedented heights, and when executive Charles Hugel becomes aware of how much Johnson stands to profit in a transaction that will put thousands of Nabisco employees out of work, he quips, "Now I know what the 'F' in F. Ross Johnson stands for." The greed is so evident, Kravis's final bid is declared the winner, even though Johnson's was higher.

The title of the book and movie comes from a statement by Forstmann in which he calls Kravis' money "phoney junk bond crap" and how he and his brother are "real people with real money," and that to stop raiders like Kravis: "We need to push the barbarians back from the city gates."


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
1993 9th TCA Awards Program of the Year Barbarians at the Gate Won
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated
45th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Made for Television Movie Thomas M. Hammel
Glenn Jordan
Marykay Powell
Ray Stark
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special James Garner Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special Jonathan Pryce Nominated
Peter Riegert Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing for a Miniseries or a Special Glenn Jordan Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing for a Miniseries or a Special Larry Gelbart Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or a Special Michael Armani
Jan K. Bergstrom
Karen O'Hara
Linda Pearl
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Special Patrick Kennedy Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Special Jacob Goldstein
Tim Philben
Ken S. Polk
James A. Williams
9th Artios Awards Best Casting for Movie of the Week Marsha Kleinman Nominated
1994 16th CableACE Awards Best Movie or Miniseries Larry Gelbart
Thomas M. Hammel
Glenn Jordan
Marykay Powell
Ray Stark
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Jonathan Pryce Nominated
Best Directing for a Movie or Miniseries Glenn Jordan Nominated
Best Writing for a Movie or Miniseries Larry Gelbart Won
Best Art Direction in a Dramatic Special or Series/Theatrical Special/Movie or Miniseries Linda Pearl Won
51st Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film Barbarians at the Gate Won
Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film James Garner Won
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film Jonathan Pryce Nominated
46th Writers Guild of America Awards Adapted Long Form (Television) Larry Gelbart Won
44th ACE Eddie Awards Best Edited Motion Picture for Non-Commercial Television Patrick Kennedy Nominated


  1. ^ "Those Good Old Takeover Days". The New York Times. March 18, 1993.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 March 2023, at 13:30
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