Top 5 “Wall Street” Movies … Is “The Wolf Of Wall Street” Next?
Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio. Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill. Music from Kanye West. The first trailer for new movie The Wolf Of Wall Street was released Monday and, before I’d even seen the trailer, I was giddy in anticipation hearing about this film.
The Wolf Of Wall Street Trailer
Scorsese, of course, is a legend, arguably the greatest movie director of all time. Despite making movies for over 40 years, he hasn’t lost his fastball, making brilliant movies in every decade: the 1970s (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver) ’80s (Raging Bull, The Color of Money), ’90s (Goodfellas, Cape Fear) and 2000s (Gangs of New York, The Departed). Every new Scorsese movie comes with the possibility that it will be the best movie of the year.
DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors working today, and some of his best work has come when teaming up with Scorsese. Together they are responsible for Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and Shutter Island. Meanwhile, McConaughey and Hill are both solid actors who seem to be at their best in supporting roles (2011’s Bernie and Moneyball, respectively).
When you review the long list of Scorsese’s movies – or for that matter the filmography of DiCaprio, McConaughey or Hill – the one glaring omission is a “Wall Street” movie. There are two kinds of movies that seem to inevitably succeed: mob movies and wall street movies. The former has been done in spades, and never better than Goodfellas. The latter, despite never disappointing, is a rarity. And while it seems like there have been many movies made about Wall Street, I can think of only four that I’ve actually seen. All four were fantastic movies (possibly unnecessary disclosure: I’ve never seen Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, i.e. Wall Street 2.) All four include memorable characters and lines that live on in pop culture still today. All four have actors (and one director) that belong in the film-making hall of fame.
So why are so few made? And how is it possible that Scorsese and DiCaprio have never teamed up for a Wall Street movie before? I don’t know the answer to these questions; all I know is that I fully expect The Wolf Of Wall Street to instantly join the ranks of my 5 favorite Wall Street movies of all time.
For fun, here are those 5 movies: (Wait! Didn’t I say that I can only think of four that I’ve actually seen? Yes I did, careful reader. Just be patient and you’ll understand.)
5. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
See what I did there? My fifth Wall Street movie isn’t actually a Wall Street movie. It sure feels like a Wall Street movie though. That’s probably why almost every list of great Wall Street movies takes the liberty of including this story about real estate salesmen in New York City.
Quote that made it into the mainstream: “Always Be Closing.”
4. Boiler Room (2000)
One of the best scenes in this movie is when the brokers sit around watching and quoting Wall Street line for line. A lot of what happens in Boiler Room is a little beyond the realm of believability; this scene, and the idea that these boys would have been so obsessed with Gordon Gekko that they became brokers themselves, isn’t.
Quote that made it into the mainstream: “Act as if.”
3. American Psycho (2000)
No matter what people think of Wall Street nowadays, no one will ever be a worse person – or have a nicer business card – than Patrick Bateman.
Quote that made it into the mainstream: “That’s ‘Bone’.”
2. Trading Places (1983)
The first movie that centered around Wall Street was actually a comedy. 30 years later it’s as funny as ever.
Quote that made it into the mainstream: “Looking good, Billy Ray!” “Feeling good, Louis!”
1. Wall Street (1987)
It isn’t the earliest movie on the list, but it really is the one that started it all.
Quote that made it into the mainstream: “Greed is Good”
And now we have The Wolf Of Wall Street, which will be released on the far away date of November 15, 2013. My guess – based on nothing but the people involved – is that it will end up no worse than #3 on my list above, and has a chance to be #1. That’s an exciting expectation.