Film Review

BARRY LEVINSON’S TIN MEN — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Barry Levinson has made so many great, underrated little gems. Tin Men is one of those. Released in 1987 and starring Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito as rival and eternally battling door-to door aluminum siding salesman and the always terrific Barbara Hershey as their mutual love interest, the film is part of Levinson’s quartet of Baltimore set stories, with other entires including the classic ensemble comedy Diner, the masterful Jewish-American experience drama Avalon, and the absurdly underrated Liberty Heights. Tin Men shows real and honest affection for its characters, with Levinson finding all sorts of humor, big and small, loud and soft, to factor into almost every scene, even during the more quieter moments. The plot moves in ways that don’t seem initially obvious, and the way that the love affair blossoms between Hershey and Dreyfuss unfolds in some unexpected directions, with the material taking on shades from Glengarry Glenn Ross in numerous instances. A terrific supporting cast was on hand, including Bruno Kirby, John Mahoney, Jackie Gayle, Michael Tucker, Seymour Cassel, and J.T. Walsh. Featuring an awesome score by Fine Young Cannibals(!) and smooth and silky camerawork by Peter Sova, this is a film that really, really deserves a higher profile.

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