Wall Street (1987) Poster


Michael Douglas: Gordon Gekko



  • Gordon Gekko : The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. You've got that killer instinct. Stick around pal, I've still got a lot to teach you.

  • Gordon Gekko : If you need a friend, get a dog.

  • Gordon Gekko : [at the Teldar Paper stockholder's meeting]  Well, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me Mr. Cromwell as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak. Well, ladies and gentlemen we're not here to indulge in fantasy but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right, you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.

    Cromwell : This is an outrage! You're out of line, Gekko!

    Gordon Gekko : Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

  • Gordon Gekko : I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought.

  • [Blue Star has gone from 24 to 16 1/2 in a very short time] 

    Gordon Gekko : Fox, where the hell are you? I am losing MILLIONS! You got me into this airline and you sure as hell better get me out or the only job you'll ever have on the Street is SWEEPING IT! You hear me, Fox?

    Bud Fox : You once told me, don't get emotional about stock. Don't! The bid is 16 1/2 and going down. As your broker, I advise you to take it.

    Gordon Gekko : Yeah. Well you TAKE IT!


    Gordon Gekko : *Right in the ass you fucking scumbag cocksucker!*

    Bud Fox : It's two minutes to closing, Gordon. What do you want to do? Decide.

    Gordon Gekko : [calms down]  Dump it.

  • [Early in the morning, Bud's phone rings] 

    Bud Fox : [answers the phone]  Yeah.

    Gordon Gekko : Money never sleeps, pal. Just made 800,000 in Hong Kong gold. It's been wired to you. Play with it. You've done good, but you gotta keep doing good. I've showed you how the game works. Now School's out.

    Bud Fox : Mr, Gekko, I'm there for you 110%.

    Gordon Gekko : No, no, no, no. You don't understand. I wanna be surprised. Astonish me, pal. New info. I don't care where or how you get it, just get it. My wife tells me you made a move on Darien. Well, here some inside info for you: That euro-flash G.Q.-type she's going out with has got big bucks, but he's putting her feet to sleep. Exit Visas are imminent, so I don't want you losing your place in line.

    [take a look at the sunrise] 

    Gordon Gekko : Ah, Jesus. I wish you could see this. Light's coming up. I've never seen a painting that captures the beauty of the ocean at a moment like this. I'm gonna make you rich, Bud Fox. Yeah. Rich enough, you can afford a girl like Darien. This is your wake-up call, pal. Go to work.

  • Gordon Gekko : The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.

  • Gordon Gekko : [meeting alone together in Central Park]  Hiya, Buddy.

    Bud Fox : [nods as the both walk up to face one another]  Gordon.

    Gordon Gekko : [with a smirk on his face]  Sand bagged me on Bluestar huh? I guess you think you taught the teacher a lesson that the tail can wag the dog huh? Well let me clue you in, pal. The ice is melting right underneath your feet.

    [punches Bud and grabs him by the coattails] 

    Gordon Gekko : Did you think you could've gotten this far this fast with anyone else, huh? That you'd be out there dicking someone like Darien? No. You'd still be cold calling widows and dentists tryin' to sell 'em 20 shares of some dog shit stock. I took you in.

    [hits him again] 

    Gordon Gekko : A NOBODY!

    [and again] 

    Gordon Gekko : I opened the doors for you! Showed you how the system works! The value of information! How to *get it*! Fulham oil! Brant resources! Geodynamics! And this is how you fucking pay me back you COCKROACH?

    [hits him once again and Bud falls to the ground] 

    Gordon Gekko : I GAVE you Darien. I GAVE you your manhood. I gave you EVERYTHING!

    [calms down, then takes out his handkerchief and throws it to Bud to clean off the blood] 

    Gordon Gekko : You could've been one of the great ones Buddy. I looked at you and saw myself. Why?

    Bud Fox : [getting up]  I don't know. I guess I realized that I'm just Bud Fox.


    Bud Fox : As much as I wanted to be Gordon Gekko, I'll *always* be Bud Fox.

    [tosses back the handkerchief and walks away] 

  • Gordon Gekko : The most valuable commodity I know of is information.

  • Gordon Gekko : It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.

  • Gordon Gekko : Jesus, if this guy owned a funeral parlor nobody would die!

  • Gordon Gekko : That's the one thing you have to remember about WASPs: they love animals and hate people.

  • Gordon Gekko : What's worth doing is worth doing for money.

  • Gordon Gekko : When I get a hold of the son of a bitch who leaked this, I'm gonna tear his eyeballs out and I'm gonna suck his fucking skull.

  • Carl Fox : "There came into Egypt a Pharaoh who did not know."

    Gordon Gekko : I beg your pardon, is that a proverb?

    Carl Fox : No, a prophecy. The rich have been doing it to the poor since the beginning of time. The only difference between the Pyramids and the Empire State Building is the Egyptians didn't allow unions. I know what this guy is all about, greed. He don't give a damn about Bluestar or the unions. He's in and out for the buck and he don't take prisoners.

  • Gordon Gekko : Ever wonder why fund managers can't beat the S&P 500? 'Cause they're sheep, and sheep get slaughtered.

  • Gordon Gekko : Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

  • Gordon Gekko : You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.

  • Gordon Gekko : You see that building? I bought that building ten years ago. My first real estate deal. Sold it two years later, made an $800,000 profit. It was better than sex. At the time I thought that was all the money in the world. Now it's a day's pay.

  • Gordon Gekko : You stop sending me information, and you start getting me some.

  • Gordon Gekko : If you're not inside, you're *outside*!

  • Gordon Gekko : Sir Larry Wildman. Like all Brits, he thinks he was born with a better pot to piss in.

  • Darien Taylor : I don't want him to ever know, you understand?

    Gordon Gekko : Mum's the word.

    [after a pause] 

    Gordon Gekko : You and I are the same, Darien. We are smart enough not to buy in to the oldest myth running; love. A fiction created by people to keep them from jumping out of windows.


    Darien Taylor : You know sometimes I miss you, Gordon; you're really twisted.

  • Gordon Gekko : Lunch is for wimps.

  • Bud Fox : How much is enough?

    Gordon Gekko : It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game, somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another.

  • Gordon Gekko : I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

  • Gordon Gekko : This is the kid, calls me 59 days in a row, wants to be a player. There ought to be a picture of you in the dictionary under persistence kid.

  • [after Bud lost $100,000 on a 'dog' stock] 

    Gordon Gekko : I guess your Dad isn't on the Board of Directors of *that* company, is he?

  • Gordon Gekko : What the hell do you want?

    Bud Fox : I just found out about the garage sale down at Bluestar. Why?

    Gordon Gekko : [GG looks surprised for a split second, then quietly chuckles]  Last night, I was reading Rudy the story of Winnie-the-Pooh and the honeypot... You know what happened: he stuck his nose in the pot once too often, and he got stuck.

    [GG lights a cigarette] 

    Bud Fox : Maybe you oughta read him Pinocchio, Gordon.

    [GG chuckles while exhaling smoke] 

    Bud Fox : I thought that you were gonna turn Bluestar around, not upside-down! You fucking used me.

    Gordon Gekko : Well, you're walkin' around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place.

    Bud Fox : But why do you need to wreck this company?

    Gordon Gekko : Because it's *wreckable*, all right? I took another look at it, and I changed my mind.

    Bud Fox : If these people lose their jobs, they got nowhere to go! My father has worked there for 24 years! I gave him my word.

    Gordon Gekko : It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation... Hey, Buddy, you're still gonna be president, all right? And when the time comes, you're gonna parachute out, a rich man. With the money you're gonna make, your dad's never gonna have to work another day in his life.

    Bud Fox : So tell me, Gordon: when does it all end, huh? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough?

    Gordon Gekko : It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero-sum game: somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply, uh, transferred from one perception to another. Like magic.

  • Gordon Gekko : You gonna tell me the difference between this guy and that guy is luck?

    [points at a bum and businessman] 

  • Bud Fox : Why do you have to wreck this company...

    Gordon Gekko : Because it's WRECKABLE, that's why!

  • Gordon Gekko : Mixed emotions, buddy. Like Larry Wildman going off a cliff in my new Maserati.

  • Gordon Gekko : I look at a hundred deals a day. I pick one.

  • Bud Fox : This is really a nice club, Mr. Gekko.

    Gordon Gekko : Yeah, not bad for a City College boy. I bought my way in, now all these Ivy league schmucks are sucking my kneecaps.

  • Gordon Gekko : Well you take it, right in the ass you scumbag cocksucker.

  • Gordon Gekko : It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.

  • Gordon Gekko : [awed by the morning light]  I've never seen a painting that captures the beauty of the ocean, at a moment like this.

  • Bud Fox : What about hard work?

    Gordon Gekko : What about it? You work hard?

    [Bud nods] 

    Gordon Gekko : Bet you worked all night researching that dog stock you sold me, and look where it got you? My father worked like an elephant selling electrical equipment until he keeled over at 49 from a massive heart attack and tax bills.

  • Gordon Gekko : I'm gonna make you rich, Bud Fox.

  • Gordon Gekko : I want to know where he goes, what he sees, I want you to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

See also

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