The definitive sales movie. Before Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Room, there was Wall Street. Set in that behemoth of the New York Stock Exchange and the trading floors down town and providing it is a grim look at the society that inhabit them.
Telling the tale of Budd Fox (Charlie Sheen), a young upstart, heavily in debt with stars in his eyes, the story starts off smoothly. Desperate to get in with the big hitters, he soon finds himself getting into highly dodgey business with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).
Charlie Sheen turns in the finest performance of his career and really brings out the pathos in the naive and young Budd Fox, trapped in the dark business that is sales. Before he knows it, he has become exactly what he set out to be, with all the baggage attatched. Douglas is also fantastic as the inspirational and ultimately repulsive Gekko, and the list of lackies and struggling salesmen as the scum and losers of this morality tale deliver with panache. How far would you go? How much is too much?
Oliver Stone has earned his reputation as a controversial film maker; from the violence of war in Platoon to spurious conspiracy claims in JFK, and Wall Street is no exception. Some call it anti capitalist or plain Marxist, I don't. For me, I look at the ending and see the consequences of dishonesty. Stone brings about a negative twist to the world which I have seen with my own eyes. No one ever said it was perfect, and those who say it is all bad are just plain wrong. And no film ever showed that better than Wall Street.