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Wall Street

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1653
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VHS | SP | Slipcase
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Wall Street (1987)

Additional Information

Additional Information
Every dream has a price.

"Greed is Good." This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Gekko, a high-rolling corporate raider, is idolized by young-and-hungry broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). Inveigling himself into Gekko's inner circle, Fox quickly learns to rape, murder and bury his sense of ethics. Only when Gekko's wheeling and dealing causes a near-tragedy on a personal level does Fox "reform"-though his means of destroying Gekko are every bit as underhanded as his previous activities on the trading floor. Director Stone, who cowrote Wall Street with Stanley Weiser, has claimed that the film was prompted by the callous treatment afforded his stockbroker father after 50 years in the business; this may be why the film's most compelling scenes are those between Bud Fox and his airline mechanic father (played by Charlie Sheen's real-life dad Martin). Ironically, Wall Street was released just before the October, 1987 stock market crash.


Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stone and Stanley Weiser, and stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. Martin Sheen, Terence Stamp, John C. McGinley, and Hal Holbrook appeared in supporting roles. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker desperate to succeed who becomes involved with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.
Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Owen Morrisey, Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Ovitz, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modelled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith. Originally, the studio wanted Warren Beatty to play Gekko, but he was not interested, and Stone wanted Richard Gere, though Gere passed on the role. Stone went with Douglas even though he had been advised by others in Hollywood not to cast him.
The film was well received among major film critics, including Roger Ebert. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film has come to be seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s excess, with Douglas's character memorably declaring that "greed, for lack of a better word, is good". It has also proven influential in inspiring people to work on Wall Street with Sheen, Douglas, and Stone commenting over the years how people still approach them and say that they became stockbrokers because of their respective characters in the film.
Stone, Douglas, and Sheen (for a brief cameo) reunited for a sequel titled Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which was released theatrically on September 24, 2010.


Wall Street was released on December 11, 1987, in 730 theaters and grossed USD $4.1 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $43.8 million in North America.[21]
The film was well received critically. It has a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 56 metascore on Metacritic. In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby, while quite critical of the film overall, praised Douglas' work as "the funniest, canniest performance of his career".[22] Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and praised it for allowing "all the financial wheeling and dealing to seem complicated and convincing, and yet always have it make sense. The movie can be followed by anybody, because the details of stock manipulation are all filtered through transparent layers of greed. Most of the time we know what's going on. All of the time, we know why".[23] Time magazine's Richard Corliss wrote, "This time he works up a salty sweat to end up nowhere, like a triathlete on a treadmill. But as long as he keeps his players in venal, perpetual motion, it is great scary fun to watch him work out".[24] In his review for the Globe and Mail, Jay Scott praised the performances of the two leads: "But Douglas's portrayal of Gordon Gekko is an oily triumph and as the kid Gekko thinks he has found in Fox ('Poor, smart and hungry; no feelings'), Charlie Sheen evolves persuasively from gung-ho capitalist child to wily adolescent corporate raider to morally appalled adult".[25] Rita Kempley in the Washington Post wrote that the film "is at its weakest when it preaches visually or verbally. Stone doesn't trust the time-honored story line, supplementing the obvious moral with plenty of soapboxery".[26]
Michael Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor and thanked Oliver Stone for "casting me in a part that almost nobody thought I could play".[27] Daryl Hannah's performance was not as well received and earned her a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress. The "quintessential financial high-roller's attire"[28] of Michael Douglas in the movie, designed by Alan Flusser, was emulated in the 1980s by yuppies.[29]
Wall Street enjoyed renewed interest in 1990 when the cover of Newsweek magazine asked, "Is Greed Dead?" after 1980s icons like Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky ran afoul of insider trading laws.[3] Over the years, the film's screenwriter Stanley Weiser has been approached by numerous people who told him, "The movie changed my life. Once I saw it I knew that I wanted to get into such and such business. I wanted to be like Gordon Gekko".[1] In addition, both Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas still have people come up to them and say that they became stockbrokers because of their respective characters in the film.[8] In recent years, Stone was asked how the financial market depicted in Wall Street has changed and he replied, "The problems that existed in the 1980s market grew and grew into a much larger phenomenon. Enron is a fiction, in a sense, in the same way that Gordon Gekko's buying and selling was a fiction ... Kenny Lay—he's the new Gordon Gekko".[5] Entertainment Weekly magazine's Owen Gleiberman recently commented that the film, "reveals something now which it couldn't back then: that the Gordon Gekkos of the world weren't just getting rich—they were creating an alternate reality that was going to crash down on all of us".[30]
A 20th Anniversary edition was released on September 18, 2007. New extras include an on-camera introduction by Stone, extensive deleted scenes, "Greed is Good" featurettes, and new on-camera interviews with Michael Douglas and Martin Sheen.[31]
In reviewing the film's sequel twenty-three years later, Variety noted that though the original film was "Intended as a cautionary tale on the pitfalls of unchecked ambition and greed, Stone's 1987 original instead had the effect of turning Douglas' hugely charismatic (and Oscar-winning) villain into a household name and boardroom icon -- an inspiration to the very power players and Wall Street wannabes for whom he set such a terrible example."


Release Date:, December 11, 1987

Distrib: 20th Century Fox

Boxoffice: $43,848,069 2013: $88,848,069

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