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Wall Street (1987): A Movie Review

Updated on May 7, 2017

Wall Street is a 1987 film that features events and lives of people involved in Stock Exchange. Charlie Sheen played the film as the main protagonist named Bud Fox, a young and aspiring stock broker from a simple but honest family. On the other hand, Bud will experience a wild and luxurious life because he chose to engage in something illegal. Michael Douglas played another famous character as Gordon Gecko, a greedy, Wall Street tycoon, also called as the “corporate raider.” This movie shows the unethical practice of business law called “insider trading.” Insider trading can be either legal or unlawful. Nevertheless, insider trading in this movie is used as an illicit practice.

Wall Street film was also a good representation of the stock's industry. The film affects both society’s discernment and misunderstandings about the industry. Also, it provided an eternal picture of capitalism. It also demonstrated that honesty, after all, is the best policy.

The movie started about Bud Fox, who is already exhausted in dealing with his brokerage firm, Jackson & Steinham. Mr. Fox Sr., Bud Fox’s father, have good plans for his son. Fox Sr. wants his son to work for Bluestar Airline Company. On the other hand, his son has other plans. Fox Sr. played by Martin Sheen, in this movie seems to be Bud’s conscience. Fox Sr. Unlike his son is an honest blue collar worker who believes that earning money from any illegal methods will mean selling his soul to the devil.

Gordon Gecko is a stock opportunist and succeeds due to illegal inside information. Bud and his friend have bigger plans in dealing with huge-money brokers like Gecko, whom Bud idolizes since he was young. Then Gordon Gecko enters the scene. Gecko spends his time on giving the order to his information collectors and brokers of Wall Street. Bud has successfully closed his deal with Gecko regarding insider trading through the use of a bribe. Another reason is Bud has potentially important inside information related to Bluestar from his father. Initially, Gecko only let Bud do such small responsibilities. In the end, Bud becomes a wealthy man from the benefits with his dealings with Gecko, which includes an expensive condo and a new girlfriend, Darianne, played by Darryl Hannah.

However, Gecko becomes determined to sell off Bluestar airline stocks. This means that Bud’ father and other Bluestar staff will be unemployed due to Gecko’s actions. Bud has this feeling of guilt since he has been a part of Bluestar destruction. At the same time, the authorities have already discovered Bud’ s activities. As the final desperate act and to interrupt Gekko’s plans, Bud calls Gekko’s rival, Sir Larry Wildman. Bud creates a plan wherein he will control stock value of Bluestar so that Gecko will decide to sell off his shares to the company. These stocks will then be bought by Sir Larry Wildman at a reduced price and will become the new Bluestar’s new majority stockholder. Gecko then discovered that his shares’ value began to drop and became furious to Bud. Gecko finally determined to abandon his interests in the company. Afterward, Gecko realizes that all things that occured were Bud’s whole scheme.

Bud returns to his office the next day wherein he will meet the officers of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the police officers. He will be then arrested for violating securities law. Gecko’s fate in the movie is uncertain. The film will end at the scene of Bud’s arrival inside the courthouse and prepared to atone for his misdeeds and greediness.

Since Wall Street was released in the theaters, nothing has changed in the financial world. Today, financial people, like “Gordon Gekko,” is no shocking surprise. 1980’s era said to be the decade of greed because most people can give social criticisms during those times. However, present decade is even greedier. These illegal activities are just recognized as being part of life.

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