Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary  |  20 May 2005 (USA)
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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 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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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 (archive footage)
Carol Coale ...
Herself - Ex-Stock Analyst, Prudential Securities
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)


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


Come see where all your money went. See more »




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Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Magic  »

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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 »


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 »


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

Insightfully informative
17 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on and named after the bestseller book Smartest Guys in the Room, this documentary provides an insightful look into the scandalous fall of Enron Corp. There are no actors in this documentary and yet it is dramatic. Such were the factors leading to the 'amazing rise and scandalous fall' of Enron that even a documentary featuring events preceding that historic day in December 2001, when Enron filed for the largest bankruptcy in the corporate US history, seems like a tale of epic imagination.

This documentary is neither as detailed nor as insightful as the book, but it does a great job of providing an insightful and reasonably detailed account of the Enron saga. Overall, it is not of any incremental value for the people who have read the book. However, if you can't go through 464 pages, this does a great job of enlightening you on the drama that Enron was.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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