Friday, January 7, 2011

#154. Wall Street (1987)

DVD Synopsis: In this riveting, behind the scenes look at big business in the 1980's, an ambitious stockbroker (Charlie Sheen) is lured into the illegal, lucrative world of corporate espionage when he is seduced by the power, status and financial wizardry of Wall Street legend Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). But, he soon discovers that the pursuit of the overnight riches comes at a price that's too high to pay. Daryl Hannah and Martin Sheen co-star in Oliver Stone's gripping morality tale about the American dream gone wrong.








Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) towers over Oliver Stone's Wall Street. The embodiment of the 1980's, the decade of corporate raiders and insider trading, Gekko is a gangster without a gun, a mob boss who orders the killings of corporations and employee retirement funds. His entire being is summed up in the film's most famous line, uttered by Gekko himself at a stockholder's meeting: “Greed is good”. 

Gekko not only preaches greed, he lives and breathes it. His word is only as reliable as his bottom line, his promises only as trustworthy as his profit margins will allow. He is undoubtedly the villain of Stone's Wall Street, but to his credit, he's one of the most charismatic villains to hit the screen in the last half of the 20th century. It's not surprising that Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor; why should Academy voters have been any different from the rest of us, who are as drawn to Gekko's charms as we are repulsed by his ethics? He commands our attention, and we are first-hand witnesses to the fallout generated by his well-manipulated image, which sees him smiling at his victims as he plunges a knife into their back. 

When Douglas is on-screen, it's almost unnatural to look away, and as much as we despise what Gekko and his ilk have done to corporate America, we cannot deny the man his magnetism


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2 comments:

Melissa said...

I finally watched this just before Christmas! Great movie and Charlie Sheen with a much more innocent-looking face :)

I hope you cover the latest. Very curious to hear how it is. Does Gekko still got "it" or what?

Dave Becker said...

Melissa: Thanks for the comment, and for checking out my blog.

I honestly haven't seen the newest movie yet, but I heard a rumor that Gordon Gekko is now one of the good guys. I REALLY want to see how they pull THAT off.