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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  20 May 2005 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 10,765 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 45 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 & 5 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:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Magic  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

Kenneth Lay: [Q&A session with employees] All right, we are down to questions. And I got a few up here.
[reads question from the floor]
Kenneth Lay: 'I would like to know if you are on crack, if so that would explain a lot. If not, you may want to start because it's going to be a long time before we trust you again.'
See more »

Connections

References Chicago (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Dear Mr. Fantasy
Written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood (as Stevie Winwood) and Chris Wood
Universal - Songs Of Polygram Int., Inc./Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co.
Performed by Traffic
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd. 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!


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