We give you our pick from classic movies about trading
Trading has been an object of fascination to the mainstream audience for decades. Before the digital era it was seen as something reserved for the big fish from Wall Street and London – the bankers and brokers who keep our savings and pensions and invest them for us. But some movies attempted to lift the lid on what went on in the tall office buildings, giving us some great scenes.
Event Trading from “25th Hour”
Although Edward Norton is the center piece in this movie, the performance from Barry Pepper as an ultra-confident trader earned huge praise for the portrayal of the fast-paced life on and around the trading floors in New York.
“Greed is good” speech from “Wall Street”
The single most influential scene from a trading movie, it immediately entered pop culture. The director wanted to show the predatory nature of the fat cats on Wall Street, but the brilliant portrayal by Michael Douglas propelled him to Hollywood stardom and turned Gordon Gekko into a hero for a whole generation of traders. We’re not going to say if greed is good or not, you can watch the scene and the movie and decide for yourself.
The falling NIKKEI in “Rogue Trader”
Ewan McGregor stars in this film based on the real story of Nick Leeson, a trader from the now non-existent Barings Bank, who became prominent in the early nineties. His trading career (and freedom) were cut short by revelations of his actual doings – document and market manipulation.
This scene gives a glimpse of how going against an extremely strong trend is never a good idea. But it probably won’t lose you over 50 million pounds.
Fire Sale from “Margin Call”
The backstory of this movie differs quite substantially from the other Wall Street flicks. It is believed that the story is so close to real events (perhaps not with so many strong dialogs and good looking people) that all Hollywood studios rejected it. However the script had such appeal that it attracted a star-studded cast – Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto and Demi Moore (an A-lister who was ok with less than 5 minutes onscreen). As the writer/director could only provide $3.5 million for the budget, all of them agreed to work for fractions of their usual pay levels.
Ben Affleck speech from “Boiler Room”
The new Batman has a small role in this one, but he definitely steals the show with this scene. Speaking to inexperienced traders, including the lead character played by Giovanni Ribisi, he gives them a pep talk on what they can be if they succeed in the financial world. Vin Diesel is also a big part of this movie, although there are no cars involved.