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Owning Mahowny (2003)

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A bank manager with: (a) a gambling problem and (b) access to a multimillion dollar account gets into a messy situation. Based on the story of the largest one-man bank fraud in Canadian history.

Writers:

Gary Stephen Ross (book), Maurice Chauvet (screenplay)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Dan Mahowny
Minnie Driver ... Belinda
John Hurt ... Victor Foss
Maury Chaykin ... Frank Perlin
Ian Tracey ... Det. Ben Lock
Sonja Smits ... Dana Selkirk
K.C. Collins ... Bernie (as Chris Collins)
Jason Blicker ... Dave Quinson
Vince Corazza ... Doug (as Vincent Corazza)
Roger Dunn ... Bill Gooden
Eric Fink Eric Fink ... Psychologist
Mike 'Nug' Nahrgang ... Parking Attendant
Tanya Henley Tanya Henley ... Teller
Brona Brown Brona Brown ... Teller
Philip Craig ... Briggs
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Storyline

Dan Mahowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman) was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four, he was Assistant Manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues, he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive, and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny, the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over ten million dollars in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To some it's a game. To others it's a habit. But to Dan Mahowny -- beating the odds is everything See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 2003 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

A Queda de um Jogador See more »

Filming Locations:

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,287, 4 May 2003

Gross USA:

$1,011,871

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,271,244
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character's name was changed to Dan Mahowny, in part because his real name (Brian Molony) was very similar to the name of the Canadian Prime Minister at the time (Brian Mulroney). See more »

Goofs

In the scenes where several yellow Metro Toronto Police cars appear together, at least three different shades of yellow paint are visible. (The police changed to white and blue cars a few years after the period of the movie because the yellow paint they'd been using was withdrawn; presumably the filmmakers could not find enough cars of the right shade.) See more »

Quotes

Investigator #1: You've got a gambling problem, right?
Dan Mahowny: No...
[chuckles]
Dan Mahowny: No, sir.
Investigator #1: Come on. You didn't get a buzz out of it?
Dan Mahowny: I have a... financial problem. A shortfall.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits you'll see the strongroom door from the start again and hear the sound of the ball in a roulette wheel. Rien ne vas plus. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Actor's Film
1 February 2004 | by DanB-4See all my reviews

For anyone in Dan Mahowny's life who cared to look, all the signs were there. Bad hair, disheveled clothes, no overcoat in Toronto in winter, empty apartment and a '74 Dodge Dart. He should have had more but did not. He had everything the addict needs - a source of income, a source of his addiction and several "enablers" in his life.

Owning Mahowny tells the famous and true story of a mid-level bank manager at the CIBC, who in the early 80s, stole $10,000,000 from several high profile clients, and a few non-existent ones. All the funds were lost in Atlantic City and Vegas. But this is not a con movie, it is far more clever than that. It is a detailed and devastating study of a gambling addiction.

We all know that Mahowny will get caught, but how and when. He has no record, is not a criminal and he is well respected at his job. What this film does almost better than anything is reveals how the day to day events allows the protagonist to prolong his inevitable collapse.

As the film progresses, Mahowny becomes more and more paranoid. Every open file, every meeting and every phone call represents his potential downfall. Note how he maneuvers through key meetings and audits. But he is not afraid of getting caught, he is afraid of losing his lifeline to the thrill of the bet.

You just simply cannot say enough about both the leads in this film. Philip Seymour Hoffman is spot on perfect as Mahowny, focused on the next hand, rarely raising his eyes to the camera. John Hurt is also wonderful as the malevolent casino boss who is all too happy to take Mahowny's money and not care where it came from.

Had this film received better backing, Hoffman may well have received his first Oscar nomination. As it stands, you will have to seek this out on DVD. It is an edgy and well directed study in to the mind of an addict. Not perfect, but I loved this from start to finish. ***1/2 out of ****.


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