Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, Gregory Hines, Vince Edwards, William Marquez, Eduardo Ricard, Wallace Shawn, Miguel Pinero, Tracey Walter (uncredited)
Written by: Paul Brickman, based on a book by Bernard Edelman
Directed by: William Friedkin
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 99
Date: 11/04/1983

Deal of the Century (1983)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Up in Arms

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Maverick director William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) takes on this film, for which he was not particularly suited.

A black comedy about black market arms dealers, Deal of the Century could have been a sharp satire in other hands, but Friedkin approached it with his trademark factual reporting and fascination with methods and process. We see the deals going on as they might actually happen, but the comedy is lost.

It doesn't help that Chevy Chase was miscast as the lead salesman, mugging and joking throughout what should have been a deadpan role. Sigourney Weaver and Gregory Hines co-star, but likewise can't make much out of what they're given.

Paul Brickman (Risky Business) adapted the screenplay and Robert Towne reportedly wrote one scene without credit.

Warner Home Video's 2006 DVD release comes with the theatrical trailer.

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