The story behind the leveraged buyout of US tobacco company RJR Nabisco in 1988. James Garner plays F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of the corporation who fronts a bid to buy the company and Jonathan Pryce plays Henry Kravis, a businessman who forms a rival bid. The price war quickly escalates and the affair becomes the focus of a lot of media attention.
This is a potentially stuffy and dull tale told in a funny and accessible way. Fans of The Big Short will be on familiar turf, although this isn’t quite as flash. The two leads are solid though - James Garner’s rural-kid-come-good is the perfect counterpoint to Pryce’s uptight businessman.
Barbarians at the Gate is surprisingly good for what is a bargain bucket TV movie about a company buyout. Worth a look, especially for those interested the mechanics of business.