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Back in the 1980s, Director Oliver Stone still had fire in his belly and fired off a string of hits (Wall Street, Platoon, JFK) that in some way or other attacked the establishment (high finance, the army and politics respectively). Wall Street was his take on the 80s corporate culture that saw everything as an asset that could be sold and the only line that mattered was the bottom line.
Bud Fox is an ambitious young Wall Street broker, keen to break into the world of investment banking where individuals can make massive profits. He manages to get himself noticed by city big shot, Gordon Gecko who shows him how easily money can be made if you are prepared to bend and break a few rules.
The world of high finance doesn't exactly sound the most exciting idea for a film and is probably something most of us would avoid like the plague. Thankfully, Stone manages to craft a film which is a gripping study of greed and shows how easily people can be seduced by wealth. Wall Street is as relevant today as it was almost 30 years ago - highlighting a morally bankrupt corporate culture that is prepared to turn a blind eye to anything, providing the money keeps rolling in (sound familiar?!)
This does make Wall Street sound like a worthy, but slightly dull film. To prevent this, Stone brings it down to a more personal level, making his points through the actions of two key characters. Michael Douglas, as Gordon Gecko represents the greedy Wall Street culture; Charlie Sheen is the slightly naïve, but greedy Bud Fox who views Gecko as a hero and wants to emulate him.
It's true that you need to concentrate a little to understand Wall Street. You don't have to be a financial expert well-versed in the world of quants, short-selling or long-selling, but it does at least help if you have a passing understanding of some of these terms. The overall plot is pretty easy to follow but some of the detail may pass you by. It's also a film that benefits from repeat viewing, since the first time around you are concentrating so hard on trying to keep up that you might miss some aspects of the fine performances.
Cast-wise, this is one of those films that gets things spot on. You could argue that Charlie Sheen is a little over-enthusiastic and in your face, but in fact, this is for the character he is playing. Bud is t naïve, keen and susceptible to being manipulated. Although not stupid, he allows his desire for the high life to overcome his better judgement. Yet whilst Fox can be deeply selfish and thoughtless, Sheen imbues him with enough charm and charisma to allow the viewer to root for him.
Similarly noteworthy is John C McGinley as Fox's work mate, Marvin. Although only appearing in a few scenes, Marvin represents all that was wrong with the 80s Yuppie ideal. He likes to think he is suave and sophisticated, when in reality he is obsessed with appearance, totally shallow with objectionable views. It's a difficult role, but McGinley manages it well.
However much you talk up other roles, there's no getting away from the fact that this is Michael Douglas' film. I'm not always a huge fan of Douglas who seems to coast a little too often for my liking. Give him the right role, though and he proves himself a fine actor. Without wishing to cast aspersions on his character, the role of sleazy, amoral Gordon Gecko seems tailor made for him. He revels in the unqualified selfishness of a character who will do anything, sell anything and sell out anyone in order to make money. Douglas' performance is spell-binding and despite having less screen time than Sheen, he steals the film with a powerful, yet restrained performance. Despicable though he is it's hard not to have a sneaking admiration for Gecko. Douglas gives him just the right amount of charm, charisma and menace to explain how he can inspire such loyalty and get away with so much.
In fact you could argue that Douglas does his job too well: it has been a long-standing complaint of Oliver Stone that people frequently tell him that Gordon Gecko was their inspiration for choosing a career in finance...something of an own goal when the film is intended as a polemic against the selfish attitude and uncaring culture of the Wall Street mentality.
Looking at the film through 21st century eyes, it's hard to see why Wall Street has a 15 Certificate. OK, there is the odd bit of industrial swearing, but when compared with some other far more violent and sweary films that get a 12A, it's hard to justify. Yet another example of the odd-decision making processes that afflict the BBFC.
When watched today Wall Street seems even more relevant and more tragic. It's hard not to see the roots of the current financial crisis reflected in the actions of Gecko, Fox and cronies. Stone issued his prophetic warning that it would all end in tears almost 30 years ago, but it took the catastrophic failure of the financial markets before anyone bothered to actually listen. It might be all too easy to dismiss Oliver Stone as a rabble-rousing conspiracy theorist, but you can't deny he got it right with this one.
Director: Oliver Stone
Running time: approx. 126 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2013
When I saw the film Wall Street - Money Never Dies advertised I thought it sounded like one to go and watch, but it made sense to watch the first Wall Street film from the 1980's first so we managed to pick up a copy on DVD for about £5 from HMV.
I was a bit sceptical as to how good the film would be, given that it was filmed over 20 years ago and technology has improved quite a bit since then, but I did enjoy the film and would recommend it.
The film stars a young Charlie Sheen (I didn't realise he was old enough to have been in his 20's in 1987 when this was filmed!) as Bud Fox and Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko.
Bud is a young stockbroker with ambition to make a lot of money and will do anything he can to make it. Bud is in the typical stockbrokers office you see on TV (you know the sort "buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell") and he has a list of contacts to try and get as clients, his main aim being to get Gordon Gekko on side.
With a lot of enthusiasm Bud eventually gets himself infront of Gordon Gekko, but he's not one of the honest men in the business and tries to lead Bud astray showing him the finer things in life and how easy it can be to get them when you don't follow the rules. However, this isn't how Bud has been bought up and his father certainly doesn't approve of some of the things Bud is involved in.
The film is rated 15 and lasts 120 minutes.
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas and Darryl Hannah.
Bud Fox ( Charlie Sheen ) is a young junior stockbroker at Jackson Steinem & Co, he is desperate to get to the top and cast of the working class background he comes from, every day he tries to think of a way to get involved with his hero, Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko ( Michael Douglas ), a major wall street player who is greedy and ruthless, a polar opposite to Bud's working class union father Carl ( Martin Sheen ).
Bud manages to get a meeting with Gekko on his birthday and while brief, hopes to pitch some stock information to him, unimpressed Gekko asks Bud to give him something worthwhile, Bud being privy to some insider information about the airline his father works for, decides to give Gekko the information and while being illegal, it provides Bud with the in he was looking for.
Very soon Bud's life changes for the better, he becomes a spy for Gekko and manages to help Gordon thwart a deal by his nemesis Sir Lawrence Wildman ( Terence Stamp ), slowly Bud becomes wealthy thanks to the promised perks by Gekko, even beginning a relationship with a trophy blonde set up by Gordon ( Darryl Hannah )
However very soon Bud gets in too deep and soon finds himself deciding between where he came from, and where he's going, and as such may end up making a powerful enemy.
Wall Street is a classic, no-one can deny that, its amusing to watch it now with the 80's excess on display and the cheesy 80's technology and fashion ( I challenge anyone to not laugh when they catch the first glimpse of the huge housebrick mobile phones on display ), its the perfect criticism of a capitalist society and we see the great comparison between the socialist icon in Carl Fox and the Capitalist Icon in Gordon Gekko, with Bud caught inbetween.
The acting is great and arguably Michael Douglas gives one of his greatest performances and probably the role he'll be remembered for the most, he was perfect as Gordon Gekko and his line of "Greed is Good " will go down in history as the tagline for the 80's.
Charlie Sheen does a good job as the young and ambitious Bud Fox ( Some might say that for a while he was ...."Winning" lol ) and Martin Sheen is good as the socially responsible Carl Fox, one of the negative performances would be Darryl Hannah as Darien, to say her performance was a little wooden would be insulting to Wood, she could have been written out of the movie and it wouldn't have had any detriment whatsoever.
Overall Wall Street is a polished product, as you'd expect from Oliver Stone, the cinematography is first class and it captures the essence of the 80's perfectly ( my personal favourite decade ), while the story can be a little complicated to follow at times with some of the Stockbrokering phrases, so long as you follow the greed side of things you're in pretty good shape, and the storyline can't help but involve you as you decide if you're for sheen's character or against him.
A classic that should be in all collections
Oliver Stone's 80s drama is a compelling look at human greed and the capitalism of the era. It combines some good acting with a very well written plot, and delivers on all accounts. Quite technical in terms of its dialogue at times, it can be somewhat daunting and feel like its dragging, but by the end of it, you feel as if you have been truly dragged in to the high flying world of money shifting and stocks and shares on the most renowned street for financial dealing in the modern world: Wall Street.
Charlie Sheen is cast as Bud Fox, a young and ambitious financier who wants to impress not only his father Carl (played by Sheen's dad, Martin Sheen) but also his idol, the world famous financier Gordon Gekko. Gekko takes Bud under his wing when he sees inside tips coming from him, and to us as an audience, it's clear that Gekko is ruled by money, regardless of the rules or who he hurts along the way. However, Bud is blinkered by the praise and salary he is getting, and soon it's more than just a job on the line, as he is dragged into the whole thing, in deeper than he can cope with.
We have a few things going on here. First of all, the clever casting. Stone had worked with Charlie Sheen in Platoon, and apparently chose him over Tom Cruise for the role. Real life dad Martin Sheen, already an iconic figure in cinema with his excellent role in Apocalypse Now, cuts a strong character as Carl, and shows that you don't have to have money to be a powerful and menacing presence. There is a tense moment between him and Gekko where you feel the millionaire, smartly dressed banker is somewhat diminished by the dowdy dressed lowly worker in Fox. A powerful scene.
Daryl Hannah is okay as the love interest. There's a little bit of a twist with her, and the character is somewhat suffocated by the testosterone floating around with the lead males, but she does okay. However, the biscuit really has to go to Michael Douglas as Gekko. The actor usually has to fight to get across any charisma and character. He does it, and very well too, but this sort of role seems to match him perfectly, for me. A fat cat, arrogant, sure of himself financier seems to be the sort of role ideally suited to him, and off the back of his award winning turn here, he was also cast in the very similar role of Nicholas Van Orten in The Game, with Sean Penn. He was excellent in that, too.
The film shows the ruthless world of money, and how it can be destructive and corrupt the truest of soles. We see the struggle Bud Fox has with himself as he realises what he does is wrong but ultimately is lured by the ridiculous wealth available to him. This goes against the beliefs his father has instilled in him from an early age, of doing the right thing; and it also goes along with the greed for money that Gekko teaches him is the way of the future. It's almost like Bud has his two consciences floating above his shoudlers, his dad as the angel, Gekko as the devil, and being torn between the two. It's a powerfully displayed element of the film.
With a few twists and a load of double crosses, trust is an element that features heavily in the film, if only for the fact that it shows you can't trust anyone where money is concerned. We see the constant factors from characters such as the fast talking sidekick Bud finds himself in the form of John McGinley as Marvin, and the fast talking aspect becomes the rhetoric for the film, the technical speak and the battling in the money pits becoming the norm in a sea of deception. There is comfort in the madness, and by the end of the film, you find yourself relieved that there is an end. It's thrilling to watch, but you really have to concentrate and it's quite intense.
Aside from the technological displays, the film still has a relevance in terms of ageing. Such a film is still relevant today, as money still makes the world go round, so the saying goes. Corruption and greed still exist, and if anything, it's perhaps even more intense than this 80s capitalism film suggests it was back then. Wall Street is powerful in terms of its subject matter, its portrayal of business, and its characters. Overall, a very good film, and one I highly recommend.
It is the mid 1980s, and Bud Fox is a young and ambitious stockbroker who is determined to succeed in the financial world.
Fox wishes to work with corporate raider Gordon Gekko, a legendary figure on Wall Street whom he idolises.
In his attempts to get his attention and convince him to give him a chance, Fox tells him some confidential information that he has learned from his father, an airline worker and union representative, that provides Gekko with the opportunity to make a significant profit.
This has the desired effect, and Gekko agrees to become his mentor. But Gekko only plays for high stakes and not by the rules, and he makes it clear that his association with him is dependent on Fox supplying him with this type of key information, even if it has to be by illegal means.
An initially reluctant Fox is swayed by Gekko's promises of extreme wealth and all the luxury and perks that it brings.
His deals with Gekko quickly bring him all the expected rewards (and some unexpected, too), and Fox finds himself in an luxury apartment, with a high-maintenance girlfriend (who, unbeknownst to him, is one of Gekko's former lovers) and living the high life he has always desired.
Meanwhile, he has devised a plan to buy the airline his father works for and expand it. With Gekko apparently on board, he presses his father to get the union to support the deal.
When he realises that Gekko's real intentions are different, his feelings of betrayal and guilt make him reassess his path to success and his mentor's creed that end profit justifies all means.
Directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, WALL STREET was a timely account of 1980s excess and greed.
Stone wanted to create a story in the mould of John Bunyan's THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, a tale of personal corruption and attempt at redemption.
He enlisted his film school friend Stanley Weiser to develop the script, and after considerable ground research, the expert input of several real-life Wall Street players and many re-writes, the final script was completed.
The character of Gordon Gekko is said to have been based on various high profile figures of the financial and entertainment industries.
Bud Fox - Charlie Sheen
Gordon Gekko - Michael Douglas
Darien - Daryl Hannah
Carl fox - Martin Sheen
Although Tom Cruise had been in the running for the part, Oliver Stone chose Charlie Sheen, with whom he had just worked on PLATOON, to play Bud Fox, and Martin Sheen, Charlie's real life father, to play Carl Fox.
They both give engaging and nuanced performances, and Charlie Sheen is especially good as the ambitious young stockbroker from a blue collar background, eager to impress his hero and succeed in life.
In the scenes where Bud Fox becomes aware that what Gordon Gekko expects from him is illegal, Sheen manages to convey the character's inner conflict between his sound principles and his burning ambition, as well as the fact he is in awe of Gekko .
By all accounts, with the exception of the Sheen father-and-son duo, the rest of the main cast were contentious choices.
Michael Douglas (who went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for this portrayal) was cast despite the studio's opposition, who believed he would not be committed enough to the performance.
But Douglas does a perfectly competent job. He's never been the most natural or subtle of actors, but as a ruthless, amoral financial shark he is entirely believable.
Daryl Hannah as Darien, Bud's trophy girlfriend, was at the time considered so poor that she was awarded a Razzie for her efforts.
I didn't think she was that bad. She does look distant and disconnected in every scene except the sex one (when all we see is dark sillouettes), and delivers her lines blankly, but I hardly notice it, so distracted am I by her appearance.
She is a very tall woman (even in the flat shoes she was made to wear), and with big shoulder pads and thin, frizzy hair, she looks like a giant plastic mannequin skulking around little Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas.
The film was critically acclaimed on release, and has since become the most iconic cinematic portrayal of 1980s capitalist culture.
The story is driven by rhetoric, and language is preeminent.
Throughout the film the dialogue tends to be fast paced, the words pronounced very briskly, aggressively.
The slower paced dialogue is delivered ponderously, each word pronounced carefully.
There is a considerable amount of financial jargon being bandied about. Some will probably not be understood by the average viewer, but this does not detract from the overall comprehension of the film, as it is always clear what they are doing: buying, selling, profit making, loss cutting...
It is full of memorable quotes, the two most famous of which refer to the respective characters' philosophies in life: Gordon Gekko's "greed is good" speech, and Carl Fox's outburst at his son: "I don't go to sleep with no whore and I don't wake up with no whore - that's how I live with myself."
The film has not dated (bar the computers and other technological gadgets), as it deals with human nature and human passions, and its themes of ambition and greed, principles versus corruption are as current today as they were then, and have ever been.
As a study on the erosion of individual principles by the allure of acquisitive greed, it is engaging and thought-provoking.
As an example of the personal risks of procuring profit by illicit means, the apparent ambivalence with which they are treated leaves it to the viewers to make up their own mind, but Bud Fox's emotional reaction speaks louder than a million speeches on whether greed is good or bad, whether the risks are worth it or not.
I would recommend this film to anyone who has not watched it yet.
It is most suitable for a quiet view, since it revolves around words, not action, so attention needs to be paid to what is being said.
Being a cold-hearted cynic is certainly a useful way of keeping insanity from the door - especially in these tedious days of hugginess and hysteria - but cynicism can be tiring work and every so often I need to wallow in nostalgia for a while in order to allow my venom sacs to refill. Just lately I was musing over my love / hate relationship with the world of finance, and in particular about how clever it was of our banks to lend stupendous amounts of money to stupendous amounts of people who could never pay it back. It was almost as clever an idea as that one back in the 80s which declared that if people kept investing in companies that didn't actually do anything then the markets would just keep going up and up and up and we'd all become millionaires. There was, as Captain Edmund Blackadder once remarked, just a tiny flaw in the plan ("It was bollocks", in case you're wondering). Anyway, those happy days of voodoo economics, 'big swinging dicks', red braces and champagne-flavoured enemas came rushing back to mind, which meant only one thing: I needed to watch 'Wall Street' again in order to purge myself.
But that would mean thinking quite nice things about Oliver Stone, and as I think most of his films suck then that might prove problematic. Stone is a completely untrustworthy film-maker. I hated 'JFK', for example, not because it wasn't well put-together but because it was blatant fiction pretending to be fact, presumably to attract the conspiracy-theorist dollar. As for 'Platoon', well, it was just an exercise in navel-gazing with a few pearls of mock profundity added to impress the bozos of the Academy: "Someone once said that hell is the impossibility of reason." Them grunts sure were philosophers. And then there was 'Natural Born Killers': Juliette Lewis AND Woody Harrelson together in the same film? To be fair, I quite enjoyed 'Salvador' - James Woods is always watchable - and 'Nixon' too had its moments, but it was only really with 'Wall Street' that Stone hit the mainstream jackpot (although for all the wrong reasons, as it turned out) and cheered this black heart of mine just a little. I'm assured I went to see it when it first came out but I can't remember the experience. There are one or two other experiences from the 80s I can't remember either but that's another story.
'Wall Street', of course, is the rather clunky morality play ( the love of money is the root of all evil) released in 1987 that stars Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox, a young stockbroker on 'the street' who dreams of mixing with the big boys and becoming a player. He gets his chance when corporate raider and master of the universe Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) puts him to work after Fox had given him a snippet of useful insider-info he'd gleaned from his dad, Carl (Martin Sheen), a blue-collar airline employee. Bud is quickly seduced by Gekko's flashy amoral world and happily agrees to sell his soul only to realise that the sale might not be enough to save all he really holds dear. Can he find redemption before all is lost?
And do we actually care? Well, not really. It's hard to care much about Bud Fox if only because he is a charisma-free zone, much like the actor playing him. Boy is he dull. Still, raw ambition must thrill his heart because he is not to be denied, not even by Gordon Gekko's very snooty (and therefore English) secretary; and when he finally gains entry to Gekko's inner sanctum he plays it cool and constrained: "Mr Gekko, I think you're an incredible genius!" That's right, Bud. Understatement will always win the day. He certainly must have that particular something because earlier that morning we saw him slip out of bed dressed in baggy shorts and a vest (and most probably still wearing his socks) to take up station at his computer. Stretched out on the bed is a nameless leggy lovely, naked and toned and evidently sated. Just how do these money jocks do it? But all this prattle about bonking Bud is incidental; the film is not about him. 'Wall Street' is about Gordon Gekko, and thank gawd for that.
I've always liked Michael Douglas as an actor. I don't really know why; I just have. If anything, he has blossomed with age, and that's surely not just down to the booze years or to Ms Zeta Jones' brassy charms. 'Traffic', 'The Game' and, in particular, 'Wonder Boys' are all relatively recent Douglas efforts I've enjoyed. But we digress. Douglas makes the role of Gekko his own. He's the wide boy with a chip on both shoulders who has gleefully stomped on a few Ivy League heads on his way to the top of the pyramid. He is the biggest dick in town (or is he?) and the master of all he surveys (and was the wet dream of all those yuppies who formed a disorderly queue back in 87 just to sit and adore). The trouble is he's just not very nasty. In fact he's not really nasty at all.
The aim, I suspect, was not just to write a script lambasting the excesses of Wall Street but to question the greed motive at the heart of Uncle Sam's empire yet Stone and Co failed at the first hurdle by failing to give us any real reason not to sympathise with their devil incarnate. Gekko is an attractive character; ask around. He is the little man who has pulled himself up from nothing and taken on the stuffed shirts, the old money, the WASPS. He is an anarchist that does what he does just for kicks. He doesn't give a shit. Sure he is greedy, ruthless and immoral, but making an issue of that is like trying to elicit surprise by saying a nurse cares for people: he does what he does because that is the nature of his game. He's a raider and a greenmailer. He asset-strips and he buys enough stock in vulnerable companies to force then to pay him off. In fact, it's his wife (Sean Young) who is more likely to bring the catcalls to our lips, but that may have more to do with the professional qualities of the actress playing her. Ms Young (allegedly) had a bit of a talent for being a prize pain.
One of the quaint ironies in the film is that Gekko's nemesis (and our knight in shining armour), Sir Larry Wildman (a comatose Terence Stamp), a man who has not only decided to 'turn around' an ailing steel company for the good of his own heart but has also agreed to help Bud Fox engineer Gekko's fall from grace, was clearly modelled on a certain Eurosceptic billionaire late of this parish who specialised in the very practices we are supposed to condemn Gekko for. It's a funny old world.
The only other character with any relevance to the plot is Bud's dad, Carl. He is a classic example of how suburban lefties have always fetishized the working man, a breed rapidly being replaced by that more modern and mundane of phenomena: men (and woman) who work. Carl is honest, hard-working, self-sacrificing, generous and, above all, not taken in by corporate bull. He sees right through Gekko and his ilk and is perfectly aware of what is happening to his awe-struck son. Is there no limit to the man's virtue? Carl Fox is actually a perfectly likeable character and is convincing enough as the flip-side Joe to all those Manhattan hucksters. His whole demeanour, however, is just way way too obvious. Dozy Daryl Hannah also puts in an appearance as Bud Fox's girlfriend but as her presence adds nothing to the film we may as well ignore her. Women as a whole are not particularly well served by this film but that also is another story.
'Wall Street' as a morality play is a bore, for the simple reason that we go into morality plays knowing just as much as we do upon exiting. They actually tell us more about the hang-ups and prejudices of their writers than they do about any ethic in question. But 'Wall Street' as a drama pure and simple is not half bad. It has a certain energy and vitality and a deal of effort was put into getting the trading-floor scenes just right. It's an enjoyable glimpse into the sparkly and noisy world of 80s corporate bubbledom and the fantasies that held it together. Seeing traders shout loudly into phones while gesticulating furiously calls to mind these people we see nowadays who talk on their mobile phones as loudly and conspicuously as possible. I sometimes wonder whether there is actually anyone at all on the other end of the line, and what they are doing, like the traders of old, is trying to convince their reluctant audience that they are significant when, in fact, deep down they know they aren't. 'Wall Street' was a film trying to do the same and it sort of succeeded. It WAS significant, but only just. Very few, as it turned out, were actually listening to the message.
This DVD package under review contains a widescreen presentation with 5.1 surround sound and a choice of language subtitles. It also contains scene selection, a production documentary and the director's audio commentary. This package is available online for around £5.
The director Oliver Stone has become one of Hollywoods bravest exponents of the film attacking corporate America and the conspiracys which lie within it. However in attacking the very foundation and basis on which America is founded in Wall Street he produced a surprisingly lethargic and stilted story distracted too much by family honour.
The film was made in 1987 and it does capture the greed ethic which was prevalent in the 1980s. This was the age of Reagan and Thatcher and the creation of wealth by asset stripping and corporate takeover was considered more important than capital investment. The methods of the asset strippers was considered unscrupulous purely based as it was on chasing the bottom line. The film though is not without merit and Michael Douglas gives a great performance as Gordon Gekko a charming plausible charismatic arbitrageur and trader.
Charlie Sheen also stars as the young buck joining the business who seeks to emulate Gekko in what he does. Ultimately he finds himself compromised between the desire to be Gekko and his loyalty to his father, played by his father Martin Sheen. The way in which Charlie Sheens character is eventually undone by family illness is highly unlikely. The pursuit of greed knew no hurdles then and selling a family member for a dollar would have been seen as good business. Having destroyed the business of a miscast Terence Stamp Gekko goes on to try to destroy the firm where Martin Sheen is the honest scrupulous union boss. The dilemma is shown in a leaden clumpingly undramatic way.
Hal Holbrooks character counters Gekko with homilys about how this greed attitude will only lead to doom and disaster but he appears to be nothing more than a composite character providing a narrative for those who cannot follow the capitalist system in action. Charlie Sheen is tempted not only by financial gain but also by the glamourous rewards that come with it ie sex. This temptation comes via Daryl Hannah who acts like this is a screen test by a passing waitress. Her character I am sure was supposed to be shallow but her performance plumbed the depths of vacuousness. One problem is that all the characters except Gekko are cardboard and this is due to all the glamour, style and the best lines going to Michael Douglas. He creates a great attraction and respect by indicating Lunch Is For Wimps or Greed Is Good in a typical Stone monologue.
In the end the film falls between 2 stools. It is part in a family integrity good will triumph over evil movie and part attack on US capitalist attitudes. The problem is Stone makes the capitalism seem extremely attractive and plausible and makes family honour seem boring and, well, for wimps I suppose. Wall St ends up being a melodramatic yarn where a good film could have been.
"INTEREST" A BIG WIDE TRAP.
Oliver Stone said, he is a soldier, he will try to fight against injustice and wrongs thru his
films. He looks and talks like a man with a mission, can you imagine he named Michael Douglas character GORDON GEKKO a ridiculous name to show the world, people who hold positions like Gordon Gekko are to be despised.
All the problems of Corporate America and the rest of the Corporate of the world are highlighted in the dialogues of this film, I give one sample " 33 Vice Presidents lost 110 million of the company by sending paperwork back and forth between them".
The top managers invest their salaries and funds in other companies than their own company. 1 Percent richest of this country own 5 Trillion, two thirds come from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to idiot sons and widows.
Oliver Stone got some Oscars for this very nice film "Wall Street" methinks basically because he took the pains to show what he wanted to show, no film is just made for commercial success or as a business thing, there are some messages and human feelings and elements are incorporated and ideas and words are subtly passed on to the viewers, these small things are reflected on all of us. We too display or pass on small things in our works, we leave some pricks in our hearts and minds for others to look at the wounds and evoke feelings in the surrounds.
Michael Douglas was brilliant and despicable in his dialogues, his face contours and his general get up was right there with the thing he was saying in this film, he looked like he is running a race with his father and want to leave him behind in the art of acting. The face was in full support of his actions, his expressions were very true, it was a delectable performance, I dont know how to divide the credit between Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas one for writing the part and choosing the actor, other for delivering the part and being the part. Gordon Gekko was beautifully done.
If some things are meant to be successful all things fall in place in perfect order, its like destiny no one controls it. The role of Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen in the movie is like the
audience itself, we the viewer are all empathizing with Bud Fox, we cannot be Gekko, but we all are with Charlie Sheen, We wonder when he wonders, We long when he is longing, we feel disgust when he is showing disgust, We argue with him, how many yatches can you sail at one time.
Martin Sheen is the inner voice we all have, no matter what we have achieved, our voice does not take rest, it is always prompting us, it is always rubbing our actions on the touchstone, it is always making us see the sane side of things, we see thru the role of (Carl Fox) the moral or the immoral, the human versus the cruel.
The plot laid in the mind of Oliver Stone needs some deciphering because of the brilliance of all the actors in this film, they all played it with their hearts and they got its benefits, not only this film conveyed the restless inner voice boldly and loudly against a powerful club, but it was a commercial success and a critical success.
Daryl Hannah was shown like a object of desire, but her looks and beauty do make her look a object of desire, no matter how small or how unimportant her role was for the plot of the movie, it was a fitting choice to cast Daryl Hannah, the role looked perfect for the face of this good looking woman.
You thought you can teach the teacher, the tail can wag the dog are some provoking dialogues, I enjoyed in this film, I will remember this film for its dialogues and the way they were delivered, the guru and the disciple equation, the final conflict of the 2 are some plus points given by Oliver Stone. My mother tongue is other than English, made me enjoy this movie more than maybe other people, but I do not resent the enjoyment.
The story is timeless and relevant, some other clues are supplied by Oliver Stone here and there, his films has a personal element reflecting back to him and his soldier life, this is evident in all works of Oliver Stone, a soldier is using art to convey the thorns and pricks in his heart and mind, he was trained to be obedient, he cannot be brash, so he is subtle, he is not taking us on a fantasy ride, he is opening to us a window in himself to invite the world see it.
Yo windows is the most used word in the world today !!
"Lunch is for wimps." No, not an exhortation to Mrs D to get her weight down, but one of a clutch of memorable one liners from Wall Street, the 1987 smash hit movie which personified the grab it all and hang tomorrow attitude of the Thatcher and Reagan shaped 80's. These twin disciples of Evil and Market Forces begat Gordon Gekko, the despicable epitome of self seeking ambition, who elsewhere emphasises that "Greed is good". Gekko, played with chilling sincerity and spite by Michael Douglas, is everything you love to hate about this particular episode in history when the money men throttled the life out of the Great American Public. He's one of the most memorable and believable villains of the last twenty five years in this, a typical Oliver Stone movie which bites at the heart of the American status quo and its nasty habit of being corrupted by power. Stone sometimes suffers from a touch of paranoia and over the top fantasising about full blown conspiracy theories, but he's bang on the money in this lavish little epic. Wall Street showcases the rise and fall of a young broker called Bud Fox (played by a suitably dishevelled, then elegantly groomed, Charlie Sheen) who jumps onto the coat tails of Gekko and takes an express ride through the seamy side of American money markets before eventually seeing through the spite and destructive ambition of Gekko. Before we get into the meat of this op, a few words about Douglas and Sheen, and also Charlie's dad Martin, who plays his screen father.... Douglas and Sheen Senior haven't always been everyone's favourite actors, and Charlie is best known for his asinine contributions to Hot Shots, or whatever the pap was called, but the three men give wonderful, tour de force performances in Wall Street, multi dimensional enough not to be able to dismiss as mere caricatures. They play marvellously well off each other, sparking some vivid, me
lodramatic scenes. The audience can revel in the sleazy evil that is THE BROKER, the sincere blue collar working ethic of THE UNION MAN and the blind foolishness, avarice and lust of THE ROOKIE, in what can be seen as a modern day metaphor for the Faust legend (if I was a serious critic, rather than a knockabout joker looking for an easy target and some good one liners). You can believe in these guys and their outlook on life, even if you don't agree with or particularly like them. At the time, Wall Street was mercilessly hyped in an attempt to milk the really big bucks, and it's ironic that Stone doesn?t seem to mind exploiting the Great American Public when it comes to building his own personal wealth, but he does make exceptionally watchable and self consciously meaningful films, stuff like Nixon, JFK, Malcolm X and The Doors, some of my favourite pieces. Bud Fox is a two bit, nickel and dimes broker (Gawd, dave27 sounds like a real Yankee, doesn't he?) who is making his way in a second rate Wall Street firm, trying the cold call route to fame, but knowing that he has to do something different to rise above the morass of money grabbing small fry around him. From afar he hero worships Gekko, the mover and shaker, who seems to be able to generate millions at will, and soon starts to find ways to come to Gekko's attention. He starts pestering him by telephone and eventually manages to get an audience, on Gekko's birthday, presenting him with a box of the finest cigars in a bumbling attempt to ingratiate himself. Fox has some insider info on his father's firm and passes it on to Gekko to impress him, promising that there is more to come. Gekko decides to take Fox under his wing, relishing the hunger and thirst he sees in him, a mirror of his own early days, and instructs him in the ways of this particular world. For a while, Fox is successful and enamoured with his new life, but when Gekko screw
s his father's company, leading to Fox Senior having a heart attack, he rejects the unprincipled ways of his new mentor, and determines to bring him down. Enlisting the help of Gekko's rival, Sir Larry Wildman (played sinisterly and with cut glass charm by Terence Stamp), an English businessman who has been turned over by the sleazebag, he gives Gekko the runaround, crippling some of his financial schemes in a way which is hard not to cheer at. There?s a warm feeling up the spine as the bad guy gets his, but only cold shoulders and ignominy for Fox, who is arrested for insider dealing. It's a sharply moral tale and tremendous fun and you can't help but admire the blunt frankness and undisguised greed of Gekko, played expertly by an actor at the top of his form, braces, slicked back hair and all. Why, in a dim light he could even be dave27 if he'd just smarten himself up a bit....
Oliver Stone's most simplistic polemic, with the characters reduced to mere cyphers, and some of the performances so broad and emphatic that the message is lost. Charlie Sheen is Impressionable Kid, Michael Douglas is Charismatic Capitalist Demon, and Martin Sheen is Honest Working Man. Sheen Snr is Sheen Jnr's real father, Douglas his more attractive surrogate father. Sheen is tempted by the rewards of greed, and then realises that being decent is best. And that's it. There's no real understanding of the financial system on show, despite the fact that Stone's father was a stock broker (the film is dedicated to him, and Hal Holbrook is on hand as an ageing trader with intergrity presumably based on Dad), just a simple minded attempt to beat you round the head with the message that GREED IS BAD. The problem is that Stone allows Douglas to be hugely attractive, and gives him all the best lines (the way in which the financial hustlers of 'Boiler Room' worship Douglas's character is based on fact). Greed does seem to be good if you get all the suits and possessions and energy and women on offer, and though Martin Sheen radiates integrity like a supernova, it's hard to imagine his greedy little bastard of a son giving up the clothes and apartment just to be A Good Person. It's Stone's most sexist film (Daryl Hannah is a money-grabbing bitch with no soul, setting back the cause of feminism twenty years), and it seems at this distance to be more of a celebration of the brash eighties than anything else, an upmarket companion to Tom Cruise's loathsome 'Cocktail'. By way of compensation, Douglas more than earns his Oscar as the loathsome Gordon Gecko, and it's all very fast and exciting to watch.
In Wall Street Michael Douglas perfectly embodies the Reagan-era credo that "greed is good" and won an Oscar for his efforts. As a Donald Trump-like Wall Street raider aptly named Gordon Gecko (for his reptilian ability to attack corporate targets and swallow them whole), Douglas found a role tailor-made to his skill in portraying heartless men who've sacrificed humanity to power. He's a slick, seductive role model for the young ambitious Wall Street broker played by Charlie Sheen, who falls into Gecko's sphere of influence and instantly succumbs to the allure of risky deals and generous payoffs. With such perks as a high-rise apartment and women who love men for their money, Charlie's like a worm on Gecko's hook, blind to the corporate manoeuvring that puts him at odds with his own father (played by Sheen's off-screen father, Martin). With his usual lack of subtlety, writer-director Oliver Stone drew from the brokering experience of his own father to tell this Faustian tale for the "me" decade but the film's sledgehammer style is undeniably effective. A cautionary warning that Stone delivers on highly entertaining terms, Wall Street grabs your attention while questioning the corrupted values of a system that worships profit at the cost of one's soul. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com