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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 May 2005 (USA)
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 & 10 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)
... Himself - President, Kynikos Associates (as Jim Chanos)
... 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:

PBS

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Magic  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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. The former Global Exchange activist founded CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict), which worked to help the victims of the war in Iraq. She died in Iraq on April 16, 2005, the victim of a suicide bombing. See more »

Quotes

Analyst: You are the only financial institution that can't produce a balance sheet or cash flow statement with their earnings...
Jeffrey Skilling: You, you, you... Well, uh... thank you very much. We appreciate it... asshole.
See more »

Connections

References Chicago (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

God Bless the Child
Written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. (as Arthur Herzog)
Edward B. Marks Music Company
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Holy Cow! You don't have to be the smartest guy to understand this.
24 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

OK. I remember when this came out, I thought that business stuff is not my forte, and so I never bothered to watch it. But tonight my boyfriend was watching it on PBS, and the filmmakers and people being interviewed totally make it understandable. And I am totally appalled. It boggles my head that these people, not just Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, but also just the common traders on the floor, were so scarily insane and greedy. Some of the clips of traders talking on the floor or phones about events in California, etc., were the scariest and (I know I said it before, but...) appalling! I highly recommend this film. I feel terribly sorry for all of those people who got caught up in the maelstrom. Somehow, I find this documentary about corporate finance gone bad creepier than any horror film... cause it is real!


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