6.7/10
3,782
45 user 19 critic

A Shock to the System (1990)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

When you think you're at the top of the corporate ladder and then discover they have managed to pull that ladder away, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to "level" the playing ... See full summary »

Director:

Jan Egleson

Writers:

Simon Brett (novel), Andrew Klavan (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems to be impenetrable.

Director: Simon Langton
Stars: Michael Caine, James Fox, Nigel Havers
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective, Dr. Watson.

Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones
Blue Ice (1992)
Action | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A former British Secret Service Agent falls for an American woman, and becomes entangled in a web of espionage.

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Michael Caine, Sean Young, Ian Holm
Shiner (2000)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The past catches up with a ruthlessly ambitious boxing promoter.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Michael Caine, Martin Landau, Frances Barber
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Preston is a British Agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty
Magic Sticks (1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Felix is a down-and-out young drummer who obtains a pair of magic drumsticks from a street vendor. He soon finds out the sticks are able to make native New Yorkers dance uncontrollably.

Director: Peter Keglevic
Stars: George Kranz, Kelly Curtis, Chico Hamilton
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Manny tries to get his crack addict brother, Danny, to clean up.

Director: Jeff Stanzler
Stars: Tim Roth, Alexis Arquette, Danitra Vance
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Public Enemy performs in the music video "911 is a Joke" from the album "Fear of a Black Planet" recorded for Def Jam Records. The music video opens with Flavor Flav awakening in bed. He ... See full summary »

Stars: Public Enemy, Chuck D, Flavor Flav
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When a U.S. Intelligence Agent is unable to bring a ruthless drug baron to justice, he resorts to hiring a contract killer. But the man with whom he is put in contact turns out to be an old friend.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, James Mason
Dead Man Out (TV Movie 1989)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A psychiatrist is sent to evaluate if a convicted multiple murderer who's awaiting execution on Death Row for eighth year now and whose behavior during that time got more and more erratic is still mentally fit to be executed.

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Danny Glover, Tom Atkins, Rubén Blades
Shadow Run (1998)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Haskell (Sir Michael Caine) is assigned a job by his boss, the aristocratic Landon-Higgins (James Fox), to highjack a high-security van in broad daylight while it's in the shadow run (out ... See full summary »

Director: Geoffrey Reeve
Stars: Michael Caine, James Fox, Matthew Pochin
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A brilliant researcher in London who works as a high-class hooker in her spare time, becomes a pawn in a dangerous political game, when her latest client, a nobleman who is negotiating an Arab-Israeli peace treaty, falls for her.

Director: Bob Swaim
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Caine, Patrick Kavanagh
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Graham Marshall
Elizabeth McGovern ... Stella Anderson
Peter Riegert ... Robert Benham
Swoosie Kurtz ... Leslie Marshall
Will Patton ... Lt. Laker
Jenny Wright ... Melanie O'Conner
John McMartin ... George Brewster
Barbara Baxley ... Lillian
Haviland Morris ... Tara Liston
Philip Moon ... Henry Park
Kent Broadhurst ... Executive #1
Zach Grenier ... Executive #2
David Schramm ... Executive #3
Sam Schacht Sam Schacht ... David Jones
Christopher Durang Christopher Durang ... Convention Speaker
Edit

Storyline

When you think you're at the top of the corporate ladder and then discover they have managed to pull that ladder away, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to "level" the playing field, both professionally and personally. Sir Michael Caine delivers an electrifying performance as Graham Marshall, who quickly catches onto the possibilities as he clears all the hurdles to occupy the corner office. Written by Edgy01

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Killing is easy... Getting away with it is murder. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abrakadabra See more »

Filming Locations:

Essex Fells, New Jersey, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,002,158, 25 March 1990

Gross USA:

$3,417,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,417,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brigand Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is considered to be a black comedy. See more »

Goofs

A detective questions Michael Caine's secretary and writes down his telephone number on a piece of notepad paper for her. Later, when she decides to call him, she has his business card. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Graham Marshall: It all began one night when the lights went out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Premio Donostia a Michael Caine (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Michael Caine Classic
22 April 2004 | by G-R-LeaSee all my reviews

Little-noticed on release and little-seen thereafter, the annoying thing is that this has to rate as one of Caine's better films; yet trying to find a copy of/transmission of it (at least in the UK) can be quite difficult.

Caine's portrayal of the central character, Graham Marshall, an advertising executive sidelined and humiliated during a corporate restructuring, is deliciously wicked (even down to his devilish facial expressions), both in its comedy and thriller components. Elizabeth McGovern, playing the role of Stella, Marshall's PA, is sweetly convincing as the innocent dupe in Marshall's subsequent plotting.

Part of the (admittedly dark) fun with this film is that, thanks to the monumental unpleasantness of the characters which Marshall comes up against, you really want him to do terrible things and to get away with them. Enjoy!!


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed