YMMV: Wall Street


  • Anvilicious: There is only one reason and one reason alone Gordon Gekko gives the "Zero Sum Game" and "Richest One Percent" speeches in the scene where Bud finally confronts him: Stone really seemed to feel the need to lecture the audience about the disturbing power and influence of corporate raiders like Gekko. Story-wise, there's no reason at all Gekko would suddenly lecture Bud on the subject. Of course, given Gekko's Misaimed Fandom...
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Many consider Gordon Gekko's "Greed Is Good" speech to be brilliant. Incidentally, this has seriously disturbed one of the scriptwriters, Stanley Weiser.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Michael Douglas and James Spader would later join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Douglas as Hank Pym and Spader as Ultron. Partially averted in that Pym builds Ultron in the comics, but not in the movies. The Our Founder portrait of Pym in a suit is particularly amusing.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Michael Douglas said that every time a broker said he went to Wall Street after seeing him as Gordon Gekko, he gets a little sad.
    • And in the DVD, Douglas and Oliver Stone say the 2008 financial crisis was caused by those Gordon Gekko wannabes, while saying people should have gone for Bud Fox instead.
    • The movie is oft-cited as an inspiration to people who went on to earn MBAs, despite the film's explicitly anti-greed message. The villain of the film is sometimes not even recognized as such by his fans—as in, they don't realize he's supposed to be the bad guy. Possibly caused by Strawman Has a Point.
    • It's intriguing how many White Collar Crime perpetrators say they LOVED Gekko and were inspired by him.
    • Soviet audiences became one of these for Gekko in the last years of the Soviet Union, at least according to David Remnick's "Lenin's Tomb.". The USSR had allowed the film in for limited screenings to Communist students at the Higher Party School in Moscow, believing that Stone's vision of capatalists like Gekko aligned with their own propaganda concerning the US. However, those same communists, fed up with decades of economic privation in a failed command economy, actually cheered him on and considered him a hero.
  • Moral Event Horizon: It's pretty obvious early on that Gekko is a shady character, but when he lies right to Bud Fox's face about what the deal with Bluestar involves, it makes clear just how much of a scumbag Gekko is.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Terence Stamp as the British financial mogul. Although he technically appears in two scenes.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: Transport the venue from video games to high finance and you have a perfect analysis of Gordon Gekko. Elaborated on in the sequel, in a way. In a speech, Gekko clarifies the point made in his famous earlier speech. It amounts to a gentle denunciation of stupid greed. The villain of the film could've been any one of Gekko's many young acolytes who didn't understand that crucial distinction. This may be why, in his famous first speech, he says "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good."
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Gordon's "Greed is Good" speech has an (albeit often misinterpreted) point, but he doesn't really fit the strawman aspect, as the film's creators denied that they intended an Author Tract against capitalism. Kind of complicating things, is that as noted above, Gordon's actions weren't actually criminal at the time the film was set (although they were by the time it was made), although they could still be considered unethical. All in all, Gekko was definitely not intended to be a positive character, but it does not make his business ideas and practices reprehensible per se.
    • Perhaps the biggest point people agree with Gordon on was his casually mentioning how all of the C.E.Os who were fighting his takeover had very little to lose, as they had minimal investment in the company itself - as in, if the company sank, they'd have an escape-route, while the average worker (or shareholder) wouldn't. On top of this, he points out that the company in question (Teldar Paper) has thirty-three Vice-Presidents, each one drawing a $200,000/yr salary in a time when the company had posted a $110,000,000 loss the year beforenote , and even though he's been researching the company for a year, he still doesn't know what all of them do.