A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Now out of prison but still disgraced by his peers, Gordon Gekko works his future son-in-law, an idealistic stock broker, when he sees an opportunity to take down a Wall Street enemy and rebuild his empire.
On the Wall Street of the 1980s, Bud Fox is a stockbroker full of ambition, doing whatever he can to make his way to the top. Admiring the power of the unsparing corporate raider Gordon Gekko, Fox entices Gekko into mentoring him by providing insider trading. As Fox becomes embroiled in greed and underhanded schemes, his decisions eventually threaten the livelihood of his scrupulous father. Faced with this dilemma, Fox questions his loyalties.Written by
Oliver Stone had been thinking about this kind of a movie as early as 1981 and was inspired by his father, Lou Stone, a broker during the Great Depression at Hayden Stone. He originally pitched the premise of two investment partners getting involved in questionable financial dealings, using each other, and they are tailed by a prosecutor as in Crime and Punishment. See more »
Various characters make a hash of the description of the occurrence that gives Bud his entree to Gekko, that being the not-yet-public news about Bluestar that Bud passes on to Gekko and Gekko trades on. According to Bud's father it was a ruling by the FAA in the course of the investigation of an accident (Bud later calls it a crash). The FAA doesn't investigate airplane crashes: the NTSB does. It's an independent agency, not part of the FAA. Also, when he's talking to Gekko, Bud says it's a lawsuit, not an investigation, and refers to plaintiffs. Neither the FAA nor the NTSB makes rulings in lawsuits: judges do. Finally, both Bud and Gekko clearly imply that Gekko trading on the tip from Bud is wildly illegal. Under the Supreme Court's Dirks decision (1983), Gekko's trading would appear to be legal, as Bud's dad had no intention (or even a thought) of gaining some benefit by mentioning the ruling to Bud. See more »
[a crowd of businessmen stampede into an elevator]
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Michael Douglas deservedly won an Oscar for his portrayal of the ruthless, chain-smoking capitalist guru, Gordon Gekko, who leads Charlie Sheen's Bud Fox down the garden path to Wall Street's hidden abyss. Good supporting cast includes Sean Young, James Spader, reliable Hal Holbrook, and the wonderful Sylvia Miles. Tight direction, perceptive script with realistic techno-lingo, fabulous production design, dazzling cinematography of the Manhattan skyline, and hip 80's music rev up the technical quality of this Oliver Stone "message" film. If only the message had been more reassuring.
Gekko is a villain and an outlaw, but mostly he comes across to viewers as a worldly tough guy, a charming bully with a glamorous lifestyle. We see his high-class mega-office, his plush home and chic wife, his expensive paintings, his rapid-fire commands to his robotic lieutenants, his snazzy clothes and "in vogue" friends. Here and there we see his frustrations, but that only accentuates his toughness. We do not see him suffer, nor do we see the consequences of his selfish, Machiavellian behavior.
As a result, to viewers, especially to those youthful, bright, materialistic Americans with a smug, "can do" attitude, and disdain for ethics, Gekko is, unfortunately, someone to admire, a Wall Street role model.
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