• Publication date: December 26, 2009

For The Love Of Money Cash Makes People Do Peculiar Things

�Barbarians at the Gate� (1993) is an account of the 1988 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, based upon the bestselling book by the same name. The focal character is Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson, depicted by James Garner most widely know from 70s detective series �The Rockford Files� (1974-1980).

�Barbarians at the Gate� (1993) is an account of the 1988 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, based upon the bestselling book by the same name. The focal character is Nabisco CEO F. Ross Johnson, depicted by James Garner most widely know from 70s detective series �The Rockford Files� (1974-1980). Johnson, spotting an irresistible investment opportunity, manages to secure the interest of Shearson Lehman Hutton, a now defunct investment branch of American Express.

As word spreads, however, the real story begins. Henry Kravis (Jonathan Pryce) hears of Johnson�s plans and the two jetsetters enter into a fierce, no holds barred battle for Nabisco�s ownership. Inadvertently the men�s greed sends the company into debt, and thousands of Nabisco employees lose their jobs in the process. Yet more is at stake between Johnson and Kravis than money: each man must prove their superior financial prowess in a world of cutthroat, corporate executives.

While corporate takeovers and Wall Street may initially conjure up visions of boring offices, suits, and briefcases �Barbarians at the Gate� provides a different, and often amusing inside view of America�s economic bigwigs. Despite possessing characteristics that are usually deemed repulsive, audiences may at many points sympathize with Johnson and Kravis, two individuals who treat $2 million as if it were merely $2 hundred.

For those confused by the complexities of Enron�s scandals and Bernie Madoff�s Ponzi schemes �Barbarians at the Gate� might be best described as �Financial Greed and Dirty Tactics For Dummies.� The film humanizes Wall Street and helps, to some extent, explain why ridiculously wealthy men still yearn for more. It is not so much greed that motivates ruthless corporate executives into immorality, but something that even the poorest man can understand: protecting one�s pride.

Though a made for TV movie, �Barbarians at the Gate� performed like and earned the critical acclaim of a big screen production. The picture was awarded an Emmy and Golden Globe, in addition to more than 10 other major nominations.

�Barbarians at the Gate� is rated R with a runtime of 107 minutes.