#101 Wall Street

Wall Street (1987)

Dir: Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone always likes to make a ‘point’ with his films… but as this was meant to be a ‘tribute’ to his father, I’m not sure what point he was making.

Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) is a young stockbroker working on wall street, his job is described by his father (Martin Sheen) as being a salesman as he essentially cold-calls people all day hoping to get them to invest. However Bud wants into the higher levels of trading, and figures that his ticket to that will be developing a business relationship with high-flying trader Gordon Gekko (Douglas). However, once he has his foot in the door with Gekko, Bud quickly learns that the moral and personal trades he will have to make come at a very high price.

The film was made in tribute to Stone’s father, who himself was a stockbroker, complete with a dedication in the credits. I’m not quite sure how though it’s saying much positive about him or that business, as a lot of the traders are shown to be shallow, manipulative, or duplicitous, not least of which is the character of Gordon Gekko. Michael Douglas won an Oscar for the role, and he is very good, the way he speaks and delivers lines is very strong and confident, you can really see him as a powerful businessman, especially in the now famous scene in which he delivers a speech on how ‘greed… is good’.

Casting the real life father and son Sheens is also a good move, as Martin Sheen is always fantastic, and they have good practice at acting related, so the relationship there comes across quite well.

Whether Stone’s own father would have been so pleased I really couldn’t say.


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