Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Barbarians at the Gate (film)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
7.4/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Glenn Jordan
First episode date  March 20, 1993
Language  English
7.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Biography, Comedy, Drama
Network  HBO
Country  United States
Barbarians at the Gate (film) movie poster
Release date  March 20, 1993
Based on  Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco  by Bryan Burrough John Helyar
Writer  Bryan Burrough (book), John Helyar (book), Larry Gelbart (teleplay)
Cast  James Garner (F. Ross Johnson), Jonathan Pryce (Henry Kravis), Peter Riegert (Peter Cohen), Joanna Cassidy (Linda Robinson)
Similar movies  Coherence, Earthsea, Descending Angel, Obsession, The Image, The Dead

Barbarians at the gate trailer 1993

Barbarians at the Gate is a television movie based upon the book by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, about the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco.


Barbarians at the Gate (film) movie scenes

The film was directed by Glenn Jordan and written by Larry Gelbart. It stars James Garner as F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, and Jonathan Pryce as Henry Kravis, his chief rival for the company. It also features Peter Riegert, Joanna Cassidy and Fred Dalton Thompson.

Barbarians at the gate


Self-made multimillionaire F. Ross Johnson decides to take the tobacco and food conglomerate RJR Nabisco private in 1988 after receiving advance news of the likely market failure of the company's smokeless cigarette called Premier, 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, the Shearson Lehman Hutton division of American Express.

Other bidders emerge, including Ted Forstmann and his company, Forstmann Little, after Kravis and Johnson are unable to reconcile their differences. The bidding goes to unprecedented heights, and when executive Charles Hugel becomes aware of how much Johnson stands to profit in a transaction that will put thousands of Nabisco employees out of work, he quips, "Now I know what the 'F' in F. Ross Johnson stands for." The greed was so evident, Kravis's final bid is declared the winner, even though Johnson's was higher.

The title of the book and 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 to stop raiders like Kravis: "We need to push the barbarians back from the city gates."


  • Tom Aldredge as Charles Hugel
  • Graham Beckel as Don Kelly
  • Joanna Cassidy as Linda Robinson
  • Matt Clark as Edward A. Horrigan, Jr.
  • Jeffrey DeMunn as H. John Greeniaus
  • Peter Dvorsky as George R. Roberts
  • James Garner as F. Ross Johnson
  • Mark Harelik as Peter Atkins
  • Joseph Kell as Nick Forstmann
  • Jonathan Pryce as Henry Kravis
  • David Rasche as Ted Forstmann
  • Peter Riegert as Peter Cohen
  • Leilani Sarelle as Laurie Johnson
  • Fred Dalton Thompson as Jim Robinson
  • Rita Wilson as Carolyne Roehm-Kravis
  • In popular culture

    In the podcast Comedy Bang Bang, comedian Paul Rust refers to the film in the prologue to his popular segment "New No-Nos", while discussing a run-in with Nabisco concerning Chex Mix.


    Barbarians at the Gate (film) Wikipedia
    Barbarians at the Gate (film) IMDb Barbarians at the Gate (film)

    Similar Topics
    Descending Angel
    Bryan Burrough