I guess that with nearly 150 films left to go it was likely that I was going to be closing off some interesting years and directors at a faster rate. Didn’t quite expect that, with this and The Reckless Moment, I would be doing both twice in a row. Then again, it feels like I have been speeding through the Oliver Stone films quite recently so it shouldn’t be too surprising that I am already at this point.
Going into this film, I had two things that I was looking out for. Firstly, the infamous line that has since been truncated down to just “greed is good”. I expected that it wasn’t strictly the line as uttered in the film, but boy isn’t it pretty much how you would summarize the goings on. I also knew that the ‘Future Stock’ episode of Futurama borrowed heavily from this – but didn’t quite realize just how much they had in common.
Wall Street is one of those films that you need to show people when trying to sum up the greed spree that was the 1980s… but also to show just we as a culture never learn. Change out the technology and the references – then you have something that could have been made about modern investment practices, like The Big Short. Goes a long way to explain how a equal could be made some 20 years later.
Michael Douglas as the villain in this film is extraordinary. Especially as he is essentially the human embodiment of capitalism allowed to reach one of it’s many end points and managed to actually inspire people to become stockbrokers. The idea that such a well played villain could inspire people to try and become like them is pretty chilling and shows just how strong the lure of penthouse suites with questionable art (seriously some of those art pieces are worth serious laughs) can be.