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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

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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:

Come see where all your money went. 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

Features The Simpsons: Special Edna (2003) See more »

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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
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User Reviews

 
corporate fraud reigns supreme
19 January 2010 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

When Enron filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2001, it was a shock to most Americans. But as "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" shows, it shouldn't have been. The documentary, narrated by Peter Coyote, traces the energy giant's origins - including CEO Ken Lay's childhood - to its rise as one of the largest corporations in the United States.

What's really interesting is the intricacy of Enron's actions around the world, and how it pulled off all its shenanigans (aided, of course, by Kenny Boy's contributions to George W. Bush's first presidential campaign). Among Enron's more vicious acts was its manipulation of California's electricity in summer, 2001, and how Arnold Schwarzenegger let the company off the hook. Not to mention that Enron's collapse was accompanied by Lay's draining of the employees' retirement.

Enron's downfall - followed over the next year by the implosions of Adelphia, WorldCom and Tyco - just goes to show the dangers of letting corporations run rampant. The whole way through, the documentary manages to be funny, just at the sight of what Enron was doing, abetted by Arthur Andersen.

All in all, I definitely recommend "E:TSGITR".

PS: In "Bowling for Columbine", Michael Moore proposed a TV show called "Corporate Cops" (based on "Cops!"), in which people like Ken Lay would get strip-searched.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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