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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,213 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 & 4 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

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

Son of a Preacher Man
Written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins
Sony/ATV Tree Publishing
Performed by Dusty Springfield
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating documentary - never a dull moment - too bad the trial results are missing
25 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A very interesting expose on the greed, hubris, lies, etc. that brought Enron down. This film is well-done and digs up a lot of dirt. The PBS viewing showed a little clip after the film which discussed the strange trial results, which was probably the biggest problem with the film - it pretty much ends with the bankruptcy of enron and doesn't show much about the trials, since they took place later, although they would make for a great inclusion. To me, the most incredible part of the film is that fact that these guys would stand up every day and tell bold-faced lies to the employees, the government, the investors, and make it all sound good. They had to be thinking in the back of their head "it's all going to come crashing down someday"...


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