Released in 1987, Wall Street was one of the first films to offer an inside look into growing immorality at trading firms during the late ’80s.
Charlie Sheen plays Bud Fox, a young stockbroker at fictional firm Jackson Steinem and Co. He works diligently to land enigmatic corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) as a client, and uses insider trading to maintain their relationship.
Director Oliver Stone has said Gekko is the embodiment of all that’s wrong with American capitalism. The film’s writer, Stanley Weiser, spent three weeks in brokerage firms in New York before writing the script. In 2008, he wrote in the Los Angeles Times that he based Gekko on real-life investors Carl Ichan, Ivan Boesky and Michael Ovitz.
“After the film came out, many people who worked in the financial world felt that they knew someone like this character,” Weiser says. “Others claimed [Gekko] was unrealistic and gave Wall Street a bad name.”
On Advisor to Client, Sarah Cunningham-Scharf talks to a trading floor veteran to separate the fact from fiction.
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