With the recent release of The Social Network that revolves around Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, business and finance is a hot topic. Over the years there have been lots of movies that dealt with all aspects of finance. While The Social Network didn’t make the cut, here is my list of the top 5!
In no particular order:
Wall Street (1987)
Possibly the most famous money movie, Wall Street has to be in anybody’s top 5. When an ambitious young stockbroker is taken under the wing of the ruthless businessman Gordon Gekko, we learn that greed is good. Gekko has to be one of most aspired to be villains of the 80s and 90s, his slick persona and ruthless attitude made you want to watch him, and although probably not the most moral of messages, what he said will echo in the movie’s legacy, “What’s worth doing is worth doing for money.” If you go with an online discount stock broker, nobody will be influencing your decisions and you’ll be able to sleep well at night!
Trading Places (1983)
One of the funniest films of the 80s and one of Eddie Murphy’s finest, Trading Places is a film that everyone should see. When two callous millionaires decide to swap the lives of a con artist (Eddie Murphy) and a snobbish investor (Dan Aykroyd) the results are incredibly fun to watch. I think Richard Schickel of Time magazine put it perfectly when he called Trading Places “one of the most emotionally satisfying and morally gratifying comedies of recent times.”
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Glengarry Glen Ross has everything, a fantastic cast, with the likes of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris, matched with an incredible script and dialog. The film focuses on a group of real estate agents who are told that if they don’t finish in the top two on the sales board after 7 days, then they will be fired. Without spoiling the film for those who haven’t seen it, some of the agents crack under the pressure. That’s the message this film portrays, that financial pressure can make people crumble!
Boiler Room (2000)
This one holds a great moral message. When a college dropout joins a firm selling counterfeit goods, the idea is simple, get rich quick. The film contains aspects of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross, but it’s good enough to stand on its own. An incredibly fun film with many powerful performances, the message of the film is a lesson in morality when all you want to do is get rich quick regardless of the consequences.
Brewster’s Millions (1985)
This was one of my favorite movies growing up, and it’s still as good now as it was when it was first released. Having an all out spending spree is what dreams are made of, isn’t it? Having to get rid of $30 million in 30 days without having any assets at the end proves to be incredibly difficult, and it makes for great viewing. As well as having the late Richard Pryor who is incredibly funny as always, the film has a great message behind it; it teaches us how hard it can be to spend money responsibility, and on the other hand, how easy it is to waste it.