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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,911 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 44 critic

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Beard ...
Himself - Former Enron Accountant
Tim Belden ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Chanos ...
Himself - President, Kynikos Associates
Dick Cheney ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Carol Coale ...
Herself - Ex-Stock Analyst, Prudential Securities
...
Narrator
...
Himself - Former Governor of California
Reggie Dees II ...
Himself - Young man the stripper dances in front of (as Reggie Deets II)
Joseph Dunn ...
Himself - California State Senator
Max Eberts ...
Himself - Former Spokesman, Enron Energy Services
Peter Elkind ...
Himself - Co-Author, 'The Smartest Guys in the Room'
Andrew Fastow ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California's deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron's rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's just business. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 2006 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Black Magic  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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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

Jeffrey Skilling: Oh I can't help myself. You know what the difference between the state of California and Titanic? And this is being webcast, and I know I'm going to regret this - at least when the Titanic went down, the lights were on.
See more »

Connections

Features Global Addiction (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovefool
Written by Peter Svensson and Nina Persson
Universal - Songs Of Polygram Int., Inc.
Performed by The Cardigans
Courtesy of Stockholm Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Holy Cow! You don't have to be the smartest guy to understand this.
24 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK. I remember when this came out, I thought that business stuff is not my forte, and so I never bothered to watch it. But tonight my boyfriend was watching it on PBS, and the filmmakers and people being interviewed totally make it understandable. And I am totally appalled. It boggles my head that these people, not just Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, but also just the common traders on the floor, were so scarily insane and greedy. Some of the clips of traders talking on the floor or phones about events in California, etc., were the scariest and (I know I said it before, but...) appalling! I highly recommend this film. I feel terribly sorry for all of those people who got caught up in the maelstrom. Somehow, I find this documentary about corporate finance gone bad creepier than any horror film... cause it is real!


30 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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