Wall Street is a 1987 film directed by Oliver Stone. It was produced by Edward R. Pressman. The screenplay was co-written by Oliver Stone and Stanley Weiser. Wall Street stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook and Terence Stamp.
The storyline follows Bud Fox, a young and impatient stockbroker who is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trades on illegal insider information. After becoming involved with Gordon Gekko, a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider who takes the him under his wing.
When Stanley Weiser wrote the first draft, it was initially called Greed. In the first draft, the lead character was a young Jewish broker named Freddie Goldsmith, but Oliver Stone changed it to Bud Fox to avoid any stereotype that Wall Street was controlled by Jews.
Oliver Stone made Wall Street as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, who was a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gordon Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Wall Street broker Owen Morrisey, who was involved in a $20 million insider trading scandal in 1985, Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, corporate raider Carl Icahn, art collector Asher Edelman, agent Michael Ovitz and Oliver Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modelled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith.
Principle photography was completed in New York City. Additional filming took place in Snowbird, Utah. In Oliver Stone’s Biogrpahy he said he was “making a movie about sharks, about feeding frenzies. Bob (director of photography Robert Richardson) and I wanted the camera to become a predator. There is no letup until you get to the fixed world of Charlie’s father, where the stationary camera gives you a sense of immutable values”. The director saw Wall Street as a battle zone and “filmed it as such” including shooting conversations like physical confrontations and in ensemble shots had the camera circle the actors “in a way that makes you feel you’re in a pool with sharks”.
When Wall Street was released it received positive reviews from the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds a 78% rating with the consensus “With Wall Street, Oliver Stone delivers a blunt but effective — and thoroughly well-acted — jeremiad against its era’s veneration of greed as a means to its own end”.
Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and praised it for allowing “all the financial wheeling and dealing to seem complicated and convincing, and yet always have it make sense. The movie can be followed by anybody, because the details of stock manipulation are all filtered through transparent layers of greed. Most of the time we know what’s going on. All of the time, we know why”.
Commercially, Wall Street was a huge box office success. Produced on an estimated production budget of $15m, it took $4,104,611 in the US on its opening weekend. It went on to take $43,848,100 in total US box office receipts.
Wall Street received various awards and nominations most notably for Micheal Douglas who won Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globes.
Year of Film
Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook, Terence Stamp
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama
Budget: $15,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $4,104,611 (USA)
Gross: $43,848,100 (USA)
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