From “Wall Street” to “Boiler Room”, “Trading Places” to “American Psycho”, the halls of finance are usually portrayed as places of shiny excesses and dark hearts.
Now buzz is building over a new contender, which could become one of the defining films of Wall Street. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is slated to come out this November, and is sure to have brokers scrambling for red-carpet invites.
But what do the nation’s foremost finance gurus think of the movies that put their industry on the big screen? We asked a few for their favorites.
Name: Jim Cramer Title: Host, Mad Money, CNBC Favorite movie: “Margin Call”
It is far and away my favorite, and I have watched it multiple times. It is the most realistic movie about Wall Street I have ever seen. When I first watched it I was spellbound, because I could not believe how they got it so right.
From Kevin Spacey as the manager who is fighting between the notions of protecting ownership or protecting clients, to Stanley Tucci as the guy who was too honest and had to be farmed out, to Jeremy Irons as the clueless guy at the top who looks good: I’ve been in the industry 33 years, and we all know who these people are.
I tell people who are going into the business, ‘This is what happens on Wall Street. If you can handle what happens in “Margin Call”, then you’re ready.’
There is a scene in the boardroom where Zachary Quinto says that he got his graduate degree in jet propulsion from MIT. That is exactly the way it is on Wall Street. There is always a guy in the room with a degree like that. They even got that detail right.
Name: Alexandra Lebenthal Title: CEO, Lebenthal & Co. Favorite movie: “Working Girl”
Every time I come across it on TV, I have to watch it all over again. It is more of a comedic take on the industry – not totally accurate, but very entertaining.
By this point, it has an old-school 1980s feel, everything from how mergers and acquisitions were at the time right down to how the women dressed. Melanie Griffith is a secretary from Staten Island who always wants more, and Sigourney Weaver is the uptight investment banker who steals her idea for a merger. There are just so many classic lines.