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"Independent Lens: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (#8.22)"
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"Independent Lens" Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room: Season 8: Episode 22 -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   4,494 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
Bethany McLean (book) and
Peter Elkind (book) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
January 2005 (Season 8, Episode 22)
Genre:
Tagline:
It's Just Business
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Energetic Hubris. See more (74 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Peter Coyote ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Beard ... Himself

Barbara Boxer ... Herself (archive footage)

George W. Bush ... Himself
Jim Chanos ... Himself
Dick Cheney ... Himself

Bill Clinton ... Himself (archive footage)
Carol Coale ... Herself

Gray Davis ... Himself
Reggie Dees II ... Young man the stripper dances in front of (as Reggie Deets II)
Joseph Dunn ... Himself
Max Eberts ... Himself
Peter Elkind ... Himself
Andrew Fastow ... Himself
David Freeman ... Himself
Philip Hilder ... Himself
Al Kaseweter ... Himself
Kenneth Lay ... Himself

Jay Leno ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Lerach ... Himself
Loretta Lynch ... Herself
Amanda Martin-Brock ... Herself
Bethany McLean ... Herself
Mike Muckleroy ... Himself
James Nutter ... Himself (as Reverend James Nutter)
John Olson ... Himself
Lou L. Pai ... Himself
Kevin Phillips ... Himself

David V. Porter ... "David" a Quoted Enron Trader
Nancy Rapoport ... Herself
Harvey Rosenfield ... Himself
Marla Ruzicka ... Herself (archive footage)

Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Himself (archive footage)

Maria Shriver ... Herself (archive footage)
Jeff Skilling ... Himself
Mimi Swartz ... Herself
Robert Traband ... Himself
Sherron Watkins ... Herself
Henry Waxman ... Himself
Andrew Weissman ... Himself
Colin Whitehead ... Himself
Charles Wickman ... Himself
Michael Lugenbuehl ... J. Clifford Baxter (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Alex Gibney 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Bethany McLean (book "The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron") and
Peter Elkind (book "The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron")

Alex Gibney (written by)

Produced by
Mark Cuban .... executive producer
Alex Gibney .... producer
Craig Harris .... supervising producer
Jason Kliot .... producer
Kate McMahon .... associate producer
Susan Motamed .... producer
Joana Vicente .... executive producer
Todd Wagner .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Matthew Hauser  (as Matt Hauser)
 
Cinematography by
Maryse Alberti 
 
Film Editing by
Alison Ellwood 
 
Casting by
Carol Grant 
 
Production Management
Kendall McCarthy .... post-production supervisor
Gretchen McGowan .... executive in charge of production
 
Art Department
Sanford Kinney .... additional graphic artist
 
Sound Department
Lee Adkison .... location sound mixer
Felix Andrew .... location sound mixer
Martin Czembor .... sound re-recording mixer
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... dialogue editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... supervising sound editor
Steve Osmon .... sound mixer
Mark Roy .... location sound mixer
Steve F.B. Smith .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Ira Spiegel .... sound effects editor
Shane Stoneback .... sound recordist
Bill Ward .... location sound mixer
Morgan Worth .... location sound mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Ben Fine .... animation
Ben Fine .... digital artist
Christian Zak .... film recording producer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Greg Andracke .... additional cinematographer
Jennifer Blinder .... still photographer
Ben Bloodwell .... assistant camera
Don Blust .... additional cinematographer
John Casabom .... assistant camera
Mark Clark .... gaffer
Jon Else .... additional cinematographer
Anton Floquet .... additional cinematographer
Paul Goldhammer .... second electric
Mark Goodwin .... gaffer
Andrew Korner .... second electric
Dain Martin .... still photographer
George Mays .... gaffer
Alan McIntyre Smith .... gaffer (as Alan Smith)
Wyatt McSpadden .... still photographer
Lyle Morgan .... additional cinematographer
Kyle Rooney .... assistant camera
Justin Seyb .... best boy grip
Dan Strauss .... assistant camera (as Dan Strauss)
Sherron Watkins .... still photographer
 
Casting Department
Carol Grant .... extras casting
 
Editorial Department
Aljernon Tunsil .... assistant editor
Don Wyllie .... editor: HDTV
David Kuther .... additional editor: HDTV (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Steven DePalo .... composer: additional music
Mariusz Glabinski .... music editor
Chris Jordao .... composer: additional music
John McCullough .... music supervisor
Tracy McKnight .... executive soundtrack producer
Ahrin Mishan .... composer: theme music
Danny Willensky .... musician: saxophone
 
Other crew
Courtney Andrialis .... assistant: Mr. Kilot and Ms. Vicente
Claudio Barrientos .... assistant: Ms. McGowan
Will Battersby .... head of development
Andrew Beard .... production assistant
Elissa Birke .... research coordinator
Julie Burstein .... production intern
Vivian Chan .... production intern
Kristen Daly .... production assistant
Shankar Desai .... production assistant
Richard Dworkin .... transcriptor
Jacqueline Eckhouse .... production counsel (as Jackie Eckhouse)
Susan Elkins .... location
Leigh Evans .... production assistant
John B. Finn .... consultant (as John Finn)
Morgan Gibney .... production intern
Nick Gibney .... production intern
Michael Hastings-Black .... production assistant
Peter Kallish .... titles: HDTV
Michael Margent .... production intern
Robbie Meckna .... production assistant
Noah Myerson .... production intern
Daniella Nied .... production intern
Eric Pilarcik .... location manager: Los Angeles
Emma Pildes .... production intern
Kristina Redick .... office manager
Errol Reichow .... location
Christopher Richardson .... production assistant
Robin Simpson .... pilot: aerial unit
Robert Stein .... counsel: E&O
Shirley Thompson .... on-air promotions
Mike Tristano .... armorer
Fernando Vallejo .... production intern
Ali Wasserstein .... production coordinator
Crystal Whelan .... researcher
 
Thanks
Gboyega Akinola .... acknowledgment: archive footage provided by
Bankole Bello .... acknowledgment: archive footage provided by
Doug Biro .... special thanks
Kathleen Brennan .... special thanks
Jim Jarmusch .... special thanks
Alexandra Milgram .... acknowledgment: archive footage provided by
Victor Orlov .... special thanks
Tom Waits .... special thanks
 

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Film Editing by
Brent E. Huffman 
 
Production Design by
Desma Murphy 
 
Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language and some nudity
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
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]
[shouts]
Gray Davis:Hello!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Get Smart" (1965)See more »
Soundtrack:
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Energetic Hubris., 11 May 2005
Author: John DeSando (jdesando@columbus.rr.com) from Columbus, Ohio

"Ask why" was the mantra of one of the most remarkable companies in the history of modern society: Enron. And not one, not even the venerable accounting firm of Arthur Anderson, asked that question. So the little energy company that could amassed billions of dollars through deceptive accounting practices, mainly by stating profit based on future earnings (HFV=hypothetical future value) and shipping losses to offshore shell companies.

Alex Gibney's absorbing documentary, based on the book co-authored by the first prominent whistle blower and Enron executive, Bethany McLean, begins with the tragic concept of the pervasive fatal flaw, hubris, and applies it meticulously to the tragic figures Ken Lay, Andrew Skilling, and Andrew Fastow. Tragic in the sense that those talented executives allowed the company to fall while they lined their pockets with the assets of its 20, 000 employees, countless investors, and the state of California, which suffered mammoth losses due to its new energy deregulation and manipulation of that energy by Enron.

The documentary succeeds in explaining the crimes while lacing the story with just enough drama to make suspenseful the outcome we all know before we view the film: Fastow is doing time, Lay and Skilling await trial, former employees work past their retirement ages because their pensions have been gobbled up by the crimes, and California now regulates its energy but still suffers from massive deficit.

The documentary fails when it manipulates its audience with background songs that dramatize the obvious ironies, e.g.' "Son of a Preacher Man" plays during Lay's biography. Such skewering is almost impossible to avoid once a documentarian picks up a camera and selects the images; what he doesn't have to do is underscore the irony—The players will do it all on their own. It also seems to hold back on the cozy relationship between Lay and the Bush family. Perhaps another time.

Meanwhile, this documentary is compelling viewing of a tragedy about a company, as one of the talking heads describes, that was "a house of cards . . . built over a pool of gasoline." It is enjoyable to see it figuratively torched like the House of Wax.

Was the above review useful to you?
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