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No. of Recommendations: 30
Spent some time with Pub 550 earlier today, hoping the movie is better.

Unfortunately, no. It's worse.

At first, getting John Houseman to do the narration seemed like a good move. But all they did was have him sit there in a maroon wingback chair and read the thing. Of course, his reading was brilliant.

His reading of the line
Generally, a sale or trade of a capital asset (defined next) results in a capital gain or loss. A sale or trade of a noncapital asset generally results in ordinary gain or loss.
brought tears to my eyes with its powerful simplicity.

Still, that wasn't enough to overcome the poor directing and set design. In the end, it was a movie that just shouldn't have been made.

And the box office bore out the lackluster filmmaking. It grossed only $70 in domestic release, with another $29.95 in overseas sales. Reportedly, former IRS commissioner Egger saw it twice, hence the disporportionatly large US gross.

The John Houseman action figures were a complete flop - they couldn't give them away and ended up just dumping them off the Florida coast as an artificial reef.

I don't believe it was ever released on DVD or video, so your only chance to see it now is on late night infomercials from the IRS. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending on your point of view), they completely cut out chapter 2 - covering tax shelters - in these broadcasts. I think they needed to do that to get it to fit the usual 1/2 hour increments of US TV broadcasting. The original ran 98 minutes, so something had to give to make it fit.

All in all, I have to give the movie a thumbs down. The book was much better.

--Peter
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