24 December 2011

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Wall Street At The Movies

Throughout 2011, Wall Street has been a household word. With the economy still in shambles, seemingly at the hands of fast and loose stock market trading, there are many opinions about the vaunted Manhattan financial center. 


For many people, Wall Street is symbolic of unchecked greed and excess at the expense of innocent people. Others see the country's economic woes as symptomatic only of people's inability to live within their means. For them, Wall Street remains symbolic of all that is good  about America's capitalistic roots. 

Fortunately, Hollywood has something for everyone in this recession no matter whether you are a Wall Street cheerleader or hater. These movies have chronicled evolutionary changes on Wall Street through modern years with mesmerizing clarity in many cases. We're not talking about Tim Syke's penny stocks, these movies are about the titans of Wall Street. The characters in these movies have been indelibly seared into the American consciousness; woven into popular culture like golden strands. 


We know you 're recession-weary, and looking for a diversion if even for just a couple of  hours. For your viewing pleasure, we've compiled some of  Hollywood's greatest attempts to make sense of Wall Street culture. 

Here are our top 5 movies about Wall Street: 


Wall Street     
Starring Michael Douglas as the unforgettable Gordan Gekko. An Oliver Stone classic, from 1987, that depicts Wall Street's denizens  in all the greedy glory. 

Trading Places     
Starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd  when  they  were still funny. This John Landis comedy, from 1983, helped launch both stars careers and tells a hysterical tale of the rise and fall of the Wall Street elite. 

Enron: The Smartest Guys  in the Room      This 2005 documentary isn't exactly typical Hollywood fare, but it does pull the curtain back for a look at the rise and demise of a company that has come to symbolize heartless greed. 

Bonfire of the Vanities     
The1990 film adaptation of Tom Wolf's classic book, starring Tom Hanks, doesn't exactly set its laser focus on Wall Street, but it does take an unflinching look at upper class Manhattan's estrangement from the rest of society. 

American Psycho     
Christian Bale plays Wall Street trader Patrick Bateman who is sinking into complete psychosis in this 2000 tale of murder and mayhem. Prepare to have your own sanity shaken with this one. 


While this list doesn't include every movie ever made about New York's  money mecca and it doesn't even touch on similar themes that play out in other locales,  it does represent a diverse selection  of Hollywood's varied representations of Wall Street culture.   


Enjoy. 
                                 
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