Owning Mahowny film poster
|Directed by||Richard Kwietniowski|
|Produced by||Andras Hamori,
|Written by||Gary Stephen Ross (book),
|Starring||Philip Seymour Hoffman
|Music by||The Insects
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics (US)
Alliance Atlantis (CAN)
|Release dates||23 January 2003|
|Running time||104 minutes|
In 1982, Toronto bank employee Dan Mahowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is given access to bigger and bigger accounts with his promotion to assistant branch manager. His boss trusts him but is unaware that Mahowny is a compulsive gambler. Mahowny is soon skimming larger and larger amounts for his own use and making weekly trips to Atlantic City, where he is treated like a king by a greedy casino manager (John Hurt). Mahowny's girlfriend, fellow bank employee Belinda (Minnie Driver), can't understand what is happening. Mahowny's criminal acts come to light when Toronto police begin to investigate his longtime bookie (Maury Chaykin).
The movie's focus is on Mahowny as a character—how his compulsion drives him and all the domino effects it has on the rest of his life. The love story between Mahowny and Belinda and the inclusion of other finely drawn characters such as hapless casino employee Bernie (Chris Collins) put the emphasis squarely on the gambling addiction, not on the flash and sizzle of big casinos or multi-million-dollar frauds.
The real-life story
Owning Mahowny is based on a real-life incident: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce clerk Brian Molony embezzled over $10 million from his employers in just 18 months to support his gambling habit. Molony's story was told in the best-selling 1987 book Stung by journalist Gary Ross, which formed the basis for the screenplay.
In an interview on the web site of Stung publishers McClelland and Stewart, Ross says he has kept in touch with Molony and updated what happened to him after the events portrayed in the movie. Molony served six years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud. He has not gambled since his arrest, has married his girlfriend (Belinda in the movie), has three sons and works as a financial consultant.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dan Mahowny
- Minnie Driver as Belinda
- Maury Chaykin as Frank Perlin
- John Hurt as Victor Foss
- Sonja Smits as Dana Selkirk
- Ian Tracey as Detective Ben Lock
- Jason Blicker as Dave Quinson
- Chris Collins as Bernie
- Matthew Ferguson as Martin
- Janine Theriault as Maggie
- Conrad Dunn as Edgar
- Mike "Nug" Nahrgang as Parking Attendant
- Philip Craig as Briggs
- Tony Munch as Observer #2
- M. J. Kang as Secretary