A to Z Challege 2015 - Day 23 - Wall Street


W Is For Wall Street


Preamble: OK, I literally only discovered this movie because another one of my favorite movies was inspired by it and had the characters worshiping this movie, that movie was Boiler Room. It's crazy how this movie was made in 1987 and yet the dialog and spirit of the film reflected the times of when I was in high school (the early 2000's) and even more so right now in 2015. This movie is the equivalent of George Carlin's 1970's comedic routines aka ALWAYS relevant. Eerily, so. I actually know a ton of people my age who have never seen this film and it blows my mind. This movie is Oliver Stone at his peak in my opinion. Seeing how great Charlie Sheen was makes a little sad for what he has become now.
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Year: 1987

Rated: R

Summary - On the Wall Street of the 1980s, Bud Fox  is a stockbroker full of ambition, doing whatever he can to make his way to the top. Admiring the power of the unsparing corporate raider Gordon Gekko, Fox entices Gekko into mentoring him by providing insider trading. As Fox becomes embroiled in greed and underhanded schemes, his decisions eventually threaten the livelihood of his scrupulous father. Faced with this dilemma, Fox questions his loyalties.

Director: Oliver Stone

Written by: Oliver Stone & Stanley Weiser

Starring:
  • Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko
  • Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox
  • Daryl Hannah as Darien Taylor
  • Martin Sheen as Carl Fox
  • John C. McGinley as Marvin
  • Terence Stamp as Sir Larry Wildman
  • James Karen as Harry Lynch
  • Hal Holbrook as Lou Mannheim
  • Sean Young as Kate Gekko
  • James Spader as Roger Barnes

The Review
Wall Street is a serious movie about a serious topic. A poses a curious question, who really controls America? As we saw with Enron and with the subprime fiasco, it is the super rich, many of whom seem content with putting profit before people. Oliver Stone picked a subject of extreme importance for America both past and present.

But honestly, the 90's kid in me just loves seeing '80's tech. You know, cell phones the size of bricks, portable TVs, and ancient desktops!

I love the passion and conviction of the message that Stone delivered about greed, selling out and materialism. I will say it's probably one of his most accessible films, though. The story is straightforward, about as comprehensible as any story about Wall Street is there probably ever will be.

A little dated but still totally relevant.
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Grade: A+

Aces for Acting
  • Michael Douglas

MVP
  • Charlie Sheen

Favorite Character
  • Roger Barnes

Best Character Interactions
  • Gordon and Bud

Best Scene
Gordon Gekko: [at the Teldar Paper stockholder's meeting] Well, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me Mr. Cromwell as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak. Well, ladies and gentlemen we're not here to indulge in fantasy but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right, you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.

Cromwell: This is an outrage! You're out of line Gekko!

Gordon Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

Notable Quotable
Gordon Gekko: The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you.

Most Memorable Moment
Bud Fox: Did mom give you fish for dinner?

Carl Fox: Spaghetti! Your mother still makes lousy spaghetti.

Bud Fox: It's called "pasta" now, dad. "Spaghetti" is out of date.

Carl Fox: So am I.

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Did I whet your appetite to watch Wall Street for the first time or maybe just the first time in a long time?

Be sure to come back tomorrow because I'm discussing X-Men.

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