Tin Men

1987 | Comedy | 112 minutes


In 1963 Baltimore, two aluminum siding salesmen, Ernest Tilley and Bill “BB” Babowsky are fierce rivals. The  rivalry escalates when “BB” crashes his brand new Cadillac into Tilley’s Cadillac. These con-artist salesmen now look to destroy each other. It starts when “BB” seduces Tilley’s wife, Nora, and later tells Tilley about it. “BB” is shocked when Tilley laughs it off and tells “BB the marriage is on the rocks and he can have Nora. The two men decide to play a game of pool to decide who can have Nora. “BB” loses, but he’s unhappy. He’s beginning to fall for Nora. The two men use shady sales practices, conning vulnerable homeowners. They are currently being investigated by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and are immediately fired. Jobless, Tilley and “BB” drive away together as they plan a new con they can do together. 

Richard Dreyfuss (Bill “BB” Babowsky) / Danny DeVito (Ernest Tilley) / Barbara Hershey (Nora Tilley)
Why Stream This Film?
Can you ever imagine being charmed by two hustling salesmen who con vulnerable homeowners to buy aluminum siding  they don’t need? Barry Levinson pulls it big time in this hilarious film.   
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 77%
  • Metacritic Score: 75
  • The film earned more than $4 million in its first weekend of wide release


Because TIN MEN is based on fundamental truth, it is able to be funny even in some of its quieter moments. The good jokes always hurt a little.
Roger Ebert


TIN MEN is packed with laughs, thanks to taut scripting and superb character depictions by Richard Dreyfuss, Danny DeVito and a fascinating troupe of sidekicks. These fast-buck hustlers fashion a portrait of superficial greed so pathetic it soars to a level of black humor.


Toe to toe, eyeball to eyeball, fin to fin—when the two feuding aluminum siding salesmen in TIN MEN square off, they use every means available, Cadillacs included. Their battle alone would be enough to sustain a comedy, but Barry Levinson’s richly textured new film also has rueful nostalgia, a fine-tuned streak of con artistry, and the same hilarious nit-picking small talk that colored DINER.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

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