Barbarians at the Gate (film)

Barbarians at the Gate (film)

Overview
Barbarians at the Gate is a television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

 based upon the book by Bryan Burrough
Bryan Burrough
Bryan Burrough is an American author and correspondent for Vanity Fair. He has written five books: Barbarians at the Gate , Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra , Dragonfly , Public Enemies and The Big Rich...

 and John Helyar, about the leveraged buyout
Leveraged buyout
A leveraged buyout occurs when an investor, typically financial sponsor, acquires a controlling interest in a company's equity and where a significant percentage of the purchase price is financed through leverage...

 (LBO) of RJR Nabisco
RJR Nabisco
RJR Nabisco, Inc., was an American conglomerate formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco Brands and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. RJR Nabisco was purchased in 1988 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co...

.

The film was directed by Glenn Jordan and written by Larry Gelbart
Larry Gelbart
Larry Simon Gelbart was an American television writer, playwright, screenwriter and author.-Early life:...

. It stars James Garner
James Garner
James Garner is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades...

 as F. Ross Johnson
F. Ross Johnson
-Biography:Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a lower-middle-class family, he used a military cadet scholarship program to attend the University of Manitoba where he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta. He went on to earn an M.B.A....

, the CEO
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 of RJR Nabisco, and Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

 as Henry Kravis
Henry Kravis
Henry R. Kravis is an American businessman and private equity investor. He is the co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm with over $62 billion in assets as of 2011. He has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion as of September 2011, ranked by Forbes as the 88th richest...

, his chief rival for the company.

Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy is an American film and television actress. She is known for her role as the replicant Zhora in the Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner...

, Peter Riegert
Peter Riegert
Peter Riegert is an American actor, screenwriter, and film director, best known for his role as Boon from Animal House and crooked New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman on the HBO original series The Sopranos.-Early life:...

 and Fred Dalton Thompson
Fred Dalton Thompson
Fred Dalton Thompson , is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. He served as a Republican U.S...

 co-star.

F. Ross Johnson decides to take the tobacco and food conglomerate RJR Nabisco private after receiving advance news of the likely market failure of the company's smokeless cigarette
Cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

 called Premier
Premier (cigarette)
Premier was a smokeless cigarette released in the United States in 1988 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. It worked by heating and aerosolizing tobacco flavour and was intended to reduce or eliminate the unhealthy side effects associated with smoking, both to the smoker and to the people around...

, the development of which had been intended to finally boost the company's stock price.

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.
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Encyclopedia
Barbarians at the Gate is a television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

 based upon the book by Bryan Burrough
Bryan Burrough
Bryan Burrough is an American author and correspondent for Vanity Fair. He has written five books: Barbarians at the Gate , Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra , Dragonfly , Public Enemies and The Big Rich...

 and John Helyar, about the leveraged buyout
Leveraged buyout
A leveraged buyout occurs when an investor, typically financial sponsor, acquires a controlling interest in a company's equity and where a significant percentage of the purchase price is financed through leverage...

 (LBO) of RJR Nabisco
RJR Nabisco
RJR Nabisco, Inc., was an American conglomerate formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco Brands and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. RJR Nabisco was purchased in 1988 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co...

.

The film was directed by Glenn Jordan and written by Larry Gelbart
Larry Gelbart
Larry Simon Gelbart was an American television writer, playwright, screenwriter and author.-Early life:...

. It stars James Garner
James Garner
James Garner is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades...

 as F. Ross Johnson
F. Ross Johnson
-Biography:Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a lower-middle-class family, he used a military cadet scholarship program to attend the University of Manitoba where he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta. He went on to earn an M.B.A....

, the CEO
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 of RJR Nabisco, and Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

 as Henry Kravis
Henry Kravis
Henry R. Kravis is an American businessman and private equity investor. He is the co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm with over $62 billion in assets as of 2011. He has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion as of September 2011, ranked by Forbes as the 88th richest...

, his chief rival for the company.

Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy is an American film and television actress. She is known for her role as the replicant Zhora in the Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner...

, Peter Riegert
Peter Riegert
Peter Riegert is an American actor, screenwriter, and film director, best known for his role as Boon from Animal House and crooked New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman on the HBO original series The Sopranos.-Early life:...

 and Fred Dalton Thompson
Fred Dalton Thompson
Fred Dalton Thompson , is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. He served as a Republican U.S...

 co-star.

Plot


F. Ross Johnson decides to take the tobacco and food conglomerate RJR Nabisco private after receiving advance news of the likely market failure of the company's smokeless cigarette
Cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

 called Premier
Premier (cigarette)
Premier was a smokeless cigarette released in the United States in 1988 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. It worked by heating and aerosolizing tobacco flavour and was intended to reduce or eliminate the unhealthy side effects associated with smoking, both to the smoker and to the people around...

, the development of which had been intended to finally boost the company's stock price.

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, American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

' former Shearson Lehman Hutton division.

Other bidders emerge, including Ted Forstmann
Theodore J. Forstmann
Theodore Joseph "Ted" Forstmann   was one of the founding partners of Forstmann Little & Company, a private equity firm, and chairman and CEO of IMG, a global sports and media company. A member of the Republican Party, Forstman was a philanthropist...

 and his company, Forstmann Little
Forstmann Little & Company
Forstmann, Little & Company is a private equity firm, specializing in leveraged buyouts . At its peak in the late 1990s, Forstmann Little was among the largest private equity firms globally...

, after Kravis and Johnson are unable to reconcile their differences. The title of the movie comes from a statement by Forstmann in which he calls that Kravis' money "phoney junk bond crap" and how he and his brother are "real people with real money," and that it's necessary to stop raiders like Kravis: "we need to push the barbarians back from the city gates."

The bids for RJR Nabisco rise astronomically into the billions as the company's board encourages the competition, which Kravis ultimately wins, even though Johnson's final bid is higher.

An unfortunate side effect of the greatly increased buyout price is the creation of an initially unforeseen and distinctly troubling level of debt
Debt
A debt is an obligation owed by one party to a second party, the creditor; usually this refers to assets granted by the creditor to the debtor, but the term can also be used metaphorically to cover moral obligations and other interactions not based on economic value.A debt is created when a...

 for the company.

Cast

  • Tom Aldredge
    Tom Aldredge
    Thomas Ernest "Tom" Aldredge was an American television, film and stage actor.-Life and career:Aldredge was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Lucienne Juliet and W. J. Aldredge, a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps...

     as Charles Hugel
  • Graham Beckel
    Graham Beckel
    Graham S. Beckel is an American character actor. He is known for his prolific guest appearances on television but has had prominent roles in several major films as well. Most recently he played Jack Fisk on Battlestar Galactica and Hal Sanders on Heroes...

     as Don Kelly
  • Joanna Cassidy
    Joanna Cassidy
    Joanna Cassidy is an American film and television actress. She is known for her role as the replicant Zhora in the Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner...

     as Linda Robinson
  • Matt Clark
    Matt Clark (actor)
    Matt Clark is an American actor and director with credits in both film and television. Clark has played diverse character roles in Westerns, comedies, and dramas....

     as Edward A. Horrigan, Jr.
  • Jeffrey DeMunn
    Jeffrey DeMunn
    Jeffrey DeMunn is an American theatre, film and television actor.-Life and career:DeMunn was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Violet and James DeMunn. Stepson of noted actress Betty Lutes DeMunn...

     as H. John Greeniaus
  • Peter Dvorsky as George R. Roberts
    George R. Roberts
    George R. Roberts is an American financier and was one of the three original partners of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. , which he co-founded alongside Jerome Kohlberg and first cousin Henry Kravis in 1976.-Biography:...

  • James Garner
    James Garner
    James Garner is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades...

     as F. Ross Johnson
    F. Ross Johnson
    -Biography:Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a lower-middle-class family, he used a military cadet scholarship program to attend the University of Manitoba where he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was a member of the fraternity Phi Delta Theta. He went on to earn an M.B.A....

  • Mark Harelik
    Mark Harelik
    Mark Harelik is an American television, film, and stage actor, as well as a playwright.-Career:Harelik has appeared in the films Election, Jurassic Park III and For Your Consideration; He was the voice of Rogers in The Swan Princess, and he has played parts on the television sitcoms Seinfeld,...

     as Peter Atkins
  • Joseph Kell as Nick Forstmann
    Nicholas C. Forstmann
    Nicholas C. "Nick" Forstmann was one of the founding partners of Forstmann Little & Company, a private equity firm.After attending The Lawrenceville School, Nicholas Forstmann graduated from Georgetown University in 1969, and began working at the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company...

  • Jonathan Pryce
    Jonathan Pryce
    Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

     as Henry Kravis
    Henry Kravis
    Henry R. Kravis is an American businessman and private equity investor. He is the co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm with over $62 billion in assets as of 2011. He has an estimated net worth of $3.7 billion as of September 2011, ranked by Forbes as the 88th richest...

  • David Rasche
    David Rasche
    -Early life and career:Rasche was born in St. Louis, Missouri. His father was a minister and farmer. Rasche started in theatre, but also has appeared on numerous movies and television series. He became a member of the Chicago Second City, after John Belushi moved on to Saturday Night Live...

     as Ted Forstmann
    Theodore J. Forstmann
    Theodore Joseph "Ted" Forstmann   was one of the founding partners of Forstmann Little & Company, a private equity firm, and chairman and CEO of IMG, a global sports and media company. A member of the Republican Party, Forstman was a philanthropist...

  • Peter Riegert
    Peter Riegert
    Peter Riegert is an American actor, screenwriter, and film director, best known for his role as Boon from Animal House and crooked New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman on the HBO original series The Sopranos.-Early life:...

     as Peter Cohen
    Peter A. Cohen
    Peter A. Cohen was the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shearson Lehman Brothers, later known as Shearson Lehman Hutton from 1983 through 1990. Today, Cohen serves as Chairman and CEO of Cowen Group, formerly known as Cowen & Company.-Career:...

  • Leilani Sarelle
    Leilani Sarelle
    Leilani Sarelle is an American actress whose most notable role to date has been the character Roxy in Basic Instinct.-Personal life:...

     as Laurie Johnson
  • Fred Dalton Thompson
    Fred Dalton Thompson
    Fred Dalton Thompson , is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. He served as a Republican U.S...

     as Jim Robinson
    James D. Robinson III
    James Dixon Robinson III was the chief executive officer of American Express Co. from 1977 until his retirement in 1993.-Education:...

  • Rita Wilson
    Rita Wilson
    -Early life:Wilson was born Margarita Ibrahimoff in Los Angeles, California.Her father, a Bulgarian who worked at a racetrack, was born in Greece. Before immigrating to the US, he had lived in Bulgaria and Turkey....

    as Carolyne Roehm-Kravis

External links