7.3/10
16,015
50 user 24 critic

Too Big to Fail (2011)

Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writers:

Peter Gould, Andrew Ross Sorkin (book)
Reviews
Popularity
3,727 ( 157)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Richard Fuld
John Heard ... Joe Gregory
William Hurt ... Henry Paulson
Erin Dilly ... Christal West
Amy Carlson ... Erin Callan
Topher Grace ... Jim Wilkinson
Ayad Akhtar ... Neel Kashkari
Cynthia Nixon ... Michele Davis
Kathy Baker ... Wendy Paulson
Edward Asner ... Warren Buffett
Paul Giamatti ... Ben Bernanke
Beau Baxter ... Skip McGee
Ben Livingston ... Investment Banker
Erin Burnett ... Self
Chance Kelly ... Bart McDade
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Storyline

A close look behind the scenes, between late March and mid-October, 2008: we follow Richard Fuld's benighted attempt to save Lehman Brothers; conversations among Hank Paulson (the Secretary of the Treasury), Ben Bernanke (chair of the Federal Reserve), and Tim Geithner (president of the New York Fed) as they seek a private solution for Lehman's; and, back-channel negotiations among Paulson, Warren Buffet, investment bankers, a British regulator, and members of Congress as almost all work to save the U.S. economy. By the end, with the no-strings bailout arranged, modest confidence restored on Wall Street, and a meltdown averted, Paulson wonders if banks will lend. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Topher Grace initially had a hard time putting aside his political beliefs to fill his role, but after talking to Curtis Hanson he figured out how to access his character's emotions and was fine from that point forward. See more »

Goofs

A poster for Toy Story 3 is seen in Times Square. This movie takes place in 2008 and Toy Story 3 wasn't released until 2010. See more »

Quotes

Phone caller: Why didn't you guys head off this situation six months ago?
Michele Davis: Because the requisite magic wand wasn't available, Doug. But if we do find one, you will be among the very first to know.
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Connections

Referenced in Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Paulson was no altruistic hero
18 August 2011 | by kelly-ann-mchaleSee all my reviews

Unfortunately the filmmakers felt the need to create a "hero" of the piece -- unlike the source book, which simply tells what happened. They chose Henry Paulson (William Hurt), ex-Goldman Sachs CEO turned Treasury Secretary. But the real-life Paulson is no hero.

The film makes a point that Paulson sold all his Goldman stock before becoming Treasury Sec, but fails to point out that he was excused from all taxes on the sale, which saved him upwards of $50 million.

The film also whitewashes Paulson's $150 billion AIG bailout, claiming that AIG owed money to almost everybody in the world. In fact, AIG's largest creditor was, that's right, Goldman Sachs. Paulson failed to negotiate a hard-nosed payout of AIG's obligations, such as offering creditors 50c on the dollar, which the creditors would have had no choice but to accept. This would have saved US taxpayers a cool $75 billion. But it would have hurt Paulson's pals at Goldman.

My point being, Paulson was thoroughly compromised, and managed to feather his own nest and that of his old pals. What next? A stirring depiction of Dick Cheney's altruistic hiring of Halliburton in Iraq? This shortcoming aside, the film clips along nicely, and it's fun to see so many name actors portraying the Wall Street titans. James Woods is a perfect Dick Fuld.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Too Big to Fail See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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