Independent Lens: Season 8, Episode 22

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (13 Oct. 2005)

TV Episode  |  R  |   |  Documentary
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Corporate audio and videotapes tell the inside story of the scandal involving one company's manipulation of California's energy supply and its, and how its executives wrung a billion dollars out of the resulting crisis.



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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Beard ...
Herself (archive footage)
Jim Chanos ...
Dick Cheney ...
Himself (archive footage)
Carol Coale ...
Reggie Dees II ...
Young man the stripper dances in front of (as Reggie Deets II)
Joseph Dunn ...
Max Eberts ...
Peter Elkind ...
Andrew Fastow ...
David Freeman ...


Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a multidimensional study of one of the biggest business scandals in American history. The chronicle takes a look at one of the greatest corporate disasters in history, in which top executives from the 7th largest company in this country walked away with over one billion dollars, leaving investors and employees with nothing. The film features insider accounts and rare corporate audio and video tapes that reveal colossal personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The human drama that unfolds within Enron's walls resembles a Greek tragedy and produces a domino effect that could shape the face of our economy and ethical code for years to come. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's Just Business



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 October 2005 (Australia)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$76,639 (USA) (22 April 2005)


$4,064,421 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Among the protesters who disrupt the meeting with Jeff Skilling at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club is Marla Ruzicka, who was killed on 16 April 2005 in Iraq by a suicide bomber. She founded CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict) which worked to help the victims of the war in Iraq and she was a former Global Exchange activist. See more »


Gray Davis: [upon being asked whether the rumors that he was responsible for the black outs in California are just a plot by the Republican party to get him recalled]
Gray Davis: Hello!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks includes "all the `Deep Throats' - you know who you are!" See more »


Features Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) See more »


Written by Sting and Joyce Silveira P. De Jesus
Used by permission of EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. Feminina Music USA Division
Performed by The Black Eyed Peas
Courtesy of A&M Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

Wow - gotta see it again to believe it!
27 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I caught this documentary by chance on HDNET. I was VERY surprised and riveted for the two hours. Finance is my life. I am astounded at the massive amount of apparent complicity on parade with this story. The tremendous greed and bold face lies demonstrated as the story took its turns are the makings of the best thriller novels (sadly, this brings new meaning to "Reality TV"). I've been thinking about this since Friday: these are some of our best and brightest - what ever happened to their ethics, their honesty? It appears that too many were compromised get get their piece of the action. Big Action!~ I have the feeling this is only the tip of the iceberg at Enron - however, the movie is a tremendous collection of some VERY interesting events. Hats off to Bethany, Peter and Alex for a great movie.

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