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Top 10 Modern Corporate Greed Movies

by Eric Melin on September 16, 2008

in Top 10s

The official non-manufacturing PMI came in at 54.3 in October, down from a recent peak of 55.4 a month prior. A key sub-index for the services sector likewise fell 0.9 points from its September peak to 53.5. Even the construction industry appeared worse off, with a sub-index for the sector dropping 2.6 points to 58.5.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced on Friday that passenger car sales totaled 2.2 million units in January, 9.3 percent more than a year earlier, and the production of new-energy vehicles surged by 144 percent.
"In addition, universities have paid a lot of attention to cultivating innovation instead of starting up companies. This is another reason for the low desire on campus to found startups."
Britney Spears continued her fall in the standings, after being knocked down from number 1 to number 5 in 2009, only to land at number 10 in 2010 as rising stars such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber become more prominent.
Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence on Tuesday topped a Forbes magazine list of the world’s highest-paid actress for the second straight year, earning some $46 million, followed by Melissa McCarthy.
On this season I have but one thing to say: I love you.值此佳节,我只有一句话要告诉你:我爱你
adj. 有毒的
The illustration on Google's homepage on Monday may look pretty whimsical, but it's spotlighting a very serious issue: clean water. Not bad for an 11-year-old from Long Island.

hanks griffith bonfire vanities10. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

Awash in fuzzy racial politics and confused performances, Brian De Palma didn’t make a great movie when he adapted Tom Wolfe’s book “The Bonfire of the Vanities.” What he did do was try to make America hate Tom Hanks—and then let promptly him off the hook. Hanks plays rich Wall Street trader Sherman McCoy, whose mistress (Melanie Griffith) panics when they are driving in the Bronx one night. She guns the engine and runs over a black man, putting him in a coma. Hanks’ character in the book is a real money-grubbing scuzball at the top of the social hierarchy, but the studio chose to make the film’s McCoy more sympathetic—taking all the bite out of the entire affair, and leaving a judge played by Morgan Freeman to lecture all the people that had benefited from McCoy’s very public downfall. Link to YouTube trailer.

From the Wolfe book: “On Wall Street he and a few others – how many? – three hundred, four hundred, five hundred? – had become precisely that … Masters of the Universe.”

danny devito other people's money9. Other People’s Money (1991)

Norman Jewison directed the racially-charged crime drama “In the Heat of the Night” to a Best Picture win in 1967, but his adaptation of the Jerry Sterner play “Other People’s Money” didn’t fare quite as well. Gregory Peck is the owner of a family business in danger of being overtaken by a ruthless corporate liquidator, played by Danny Devito. Peck puts his lawyer stepdaughter (Penelope Ann Miller) in charge of stalling the capitalist pig, and suddenly he can’t decide which he enjoys more—taking over companies or jousting romantically people who are pre-disposed to hate him. Peck gets to deliver a rousing speech about companies being worth more than just the price of their stock; they are places where you meet your friends and co-workers and earn a living and God help us if all it comes down to is money and blah blah blah. Everyone else is trying to win. The Mavericks, all of 3-13, proudly announced that they won't tank. Yet, this is expected to be one of the best NBA drafts in years, with Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum, Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Harry Giles, OG Anunoby, Ivan Rabb ... the list goes on!

Lawrence Garfield: I love money. I love money more than the things it can buy. There’s only one thing I love more than money. You know what that is? Other people’s money!

weekend at bernie's silverman mccarthy8. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

OK, I told you there weren’t that many movies to choose from, so the bottom half of the list (top if you’re reading in the order you should be) is going to be a little light—like this surprising hit comedy about two guys who carry around the body of their dead boss all weekend, trying to convince everyone that he’s still alive. Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy are bottom-rung employees at an insurance company, sure, but Bernie isn’t. He’s the big man, and his corporate greed manifests itself in two things: stealing from his own company and doing drugs. The latter kills him, but not before he orders a hitman to kill our poor, desperate heroes. They prop his body up, dress him up, and toss him about in a series of hilarious misadventures too truly wacky to be described. Guess what? It’s a metaphor for the “decade of greed.” The rich and powerful in the 1980s become consumed by their quest for money and lost their souls, walking around like dead people. Maybe it’s time for a historical re-evaluation of “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Let’s start with the trailer.

Richard Parker: [at Bernie’s beach house] Now you see, Larry? All of this could be yours if you set your goals and work hard.
Larry Wilson: My old man worked hard. All they did was give him more work.

affleck jackson changing lanes7. Changing Lanes (2002)

This underrated drama has the same message as “Other People’s Money,” but doesn’t feel as obvious or preachy. Kudos to the two lead actors for not being afraid to play complex men who aren’t clean-cut good guy/bad guy types. Examining the blurry line between business ethics and moral guidelines, it pits a wealthy, white New York attorney (Ben Affleck) against a black insurance agent (Samuel L. Jackson) who is trying to secure custody of his kids. Both men act irresponsibly and illegally as their actions to hurt the other person escalate to an insane level. This animosity stems from an inconvenient fender bender on one very important morning for both men, but it’s clear that there is more at play than that as tensions continue to bubble to the surface. The movie raises all kinds of questions about who we are and what is important to us, and shows how easy it is to get caught up in the “game” of money. Trailer fun!

Doyle Gipson: Money. You… you think I want money? What I want is my morning back. I need you to give my time back to me. Can you give me back my time? Can you give my time back to me? Huh? Can you?

wanda whips wall street stocks and blondes6. Wanda Whips Wall Street a.k.a. Stocks and Blondes (1982)

“Wanda Brandt (Veronica Hart) is a shrewd corporate takeover engineer. She plots to seize control of the most stable financial investment firm on Wall Street by sexually blackmailing all the corporate stockholders out of their holdings. Things get complicated for Wanda as the company president hires an investigator (Jamie Gillis) to determine the cause of the sudden instability of the stock. Wanda must seek help from her prior company’s secretary (Sharon Mitchell) and a stockbroker (Samantha Fox) to achieve her objective.” That is the description from Now I’m just making sure you’re paying attention. You may have guessed it from the title (definitely not the plot summary), but it looks like the adult film industry was about five years ahead of Oliver Stone on this one. Is it just me, or is that enough plot for three pornos? I haven’t actually seen this, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to include it—especially since mega porn superstud Ron Jeremy plays the character of “Ed, Lou’s assistant.” One tomb, dubbed "M3," contained carvings of several mythicalcreatures, including four that represent different seasons and parts of the heavens: the White Tiger of the West, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the Black Turtle of the North and the Azure Dragon of the East.

trading places murphy aykroyd5. Trading Places (1983)

In this John Landis-directed comedy, the manager of a commodities broker firm (Dan Aykroyd) and a street hustler (Eddie Murphy) trade lots in life, all at the whim of two wealthy old geezers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) who make a bet on which one will crack first.. Once the two beleaguered gentlemen catch wind of the real reason behind their changing fortunes, they hatch a very complicated plan to get rich through the stock market, while also taking the oldies down: “The best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people,” says Murphy. “Trading Places” has a lot of fun with the fish-out-of-water humor, but it’s actually quite a good character movie as well, otherwise it wouldn’t still be on TV all the time. Funny thing is— their grand scheme to short the market is still all a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me. It has something to do with the future’s market and insider trading, all of which have nothing to do with Jamie Lee Curtis’ bare breasts. Merry New Year!

Randolph Duke: Money isn’t everything, Mortimer.
Mortimer Duke: Oh, grow up.
Randolph Duke: Mother always said you were greedy.
Mortimer Duke: She meant it as a compliment.

american psycho bateman bale4. American Psycho (2000)

If you’ve read my Top 10s very often, you’ll notice that I love dark satires, and this movie has appeared on a number of them lately. Well, here it is again: Proof that movies can actually be way better then the books they were based on. Mary Harron’s edgy “what-is-real?” thriller is a perfect over-the-top indictment set amidst the world of 1980s high finance and finds young investment broker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) obsessing on all things fashionable and material in the Wall Street world. This includes his impeccable dress, the works of Huey Lewis and the News, and making sure that no blood spills anywhere unwanted in his apartment when killing a business rival with a chainsaw. The hollow 1980s yuppie is now the country’s worst nightmare—a remorseless serial killer who kills for fun. Red Band Trailer.

Patrick Bateman: There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable … I simply am not there.

ribisi diesel boiler room3. Boiler Room (2000)

Remember a time when Vin Diesel was taken seriously as an actor and Ben Affleck took small, character-driven supporting roles? A time like that did actually exist, and in “Boiler Room,” Giovanni Ribisi played the lead, a college dropout who gets a job as a broker for an investment firm that turns out to be as crooked as Shannen Doherty’s eyes. A cross between the hard-reality salesman drama of “Glengarry Glen Ross” (四部门:改革社会保险费征收体制 总体上不增加企业负担) and the rise-and-fall cautionary tale of “Wall Street” (Ribisi is Charlie Sheen, basically), the young, power-hungry characters in “Boiler Room” know both movies by heart and, in one scene, sit around and recite lines to “Wall Street” as if it were sacred text. One thing could have kept this surprisingly tense financial drama from being too much like its forefathers: an alternate ending in which one of the bilked customers comes to the firm armed and seeking revenge. Thankfully, writer/director Ben Younger kept it from veering into laughable territory and kept the ending smaller and more effective.

Seth Davis: I didn’t want to be an innovator any more, i just wanted to make the quick and easy buck, i just wanted in. The Notorious BIG said it best: “Either you’re slingin’ crack-rock, or you’ve got a wicked jump-shot.” Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There’s no honor in taking that after school job at Mickey Dee’s, honor’s in the dollar, kid. So I went the white boy way of slinging crack-rock: I became a stock broker.

enron smartest guys in the room2. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

What could be more scary than the real thing? Documentary Oscar winner Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Darkside,” “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”) takes you on a guided tour of the innerworkings of one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history in this scary and engrossing non-fiction film. Stock analysts talk about the specifics of what happened and why, but the frightening part is the heartlessness and hubris that comes so naturally from these pathological executives. Their motives are directed only by a pure-profit goal, and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” exposes the faces behind a Darwinian approach to big business; people like Jeffrey Skilling.

Kenneth Lay: [Q&A session with employees] All right, we are down to questions. And I got a few up here. [reads question from the floor]
‘I would like to know if you are on crack, if so that would explain a lot. If not, you may want to start because it’s going to be a long time before we trust you again.’

gordon gekko wall street michael douglas1. Wall Street (1987)

Big surprise here, eh? You know any movie with a main character named Bud Fox and a bad guy named Gordon Gekko is going to be real good. Michael Douglas won his Best Actor Oscar for playing the slimy, scruple-free Gekko, who famously proclaimed that “greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” Watch the speech here. Set within the insider trading scandals of 1985, this Oliver Stone-directed film may be short on subtlety, but it has no shortage of memorable moments and really encapsulates what this moment in time during the Reagan administration was like. Envisioned as a sort of “Crime and Punishment” on Wall Street, Charlie Sheen plays Fox, the corrupted stockbroker who goes finds the allure of easy money too difficult to resist. As Sheen’s materialistic girlfriend, Daryl Hannah is an unconvincing cliché, but Stone makes the wheeling and dealing of illegal trading come to life even as its intricacies continue to puzzle. It also introduced me to my favorite Talking Heads song, “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” which played over the closing credits. Suspicious sequel news: Supposedly, there is a sequel called “Money Never Sleeps” in preproduction now, in which Douglas will reprise his role. Stone and Sheen, however, have nothing to do with it.

Gekko: I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them. The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes for The Pitch. He’s former President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls, Ultimate Fakebook, and Truck Stop Love 杨红旭:从70城房价走势看市场是否理性Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thomas December 4, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Statistics show global research and development expenditure grew at an annual pace of approximately seven percent before 2009, but slowed down to four percent in 2014



2 Neil January 5, 2009 at 11:47 am

It is not unusual for the documented wealth of China’s richest people to surge suddenly — or even for previously unknown tycoons to burst into prominence — as stock exchange listings and other public investments thrust them into the spotlight.
Although Guo has not given any timetable for her retirement, her announcement at December's East Asian Games about a possible one-year hiatus is a clear enough signal. From all evidence, her relationship with Fok seems to have entered another stage. Unless they truly believe that the Chinese lunar calendar warns against a "widow's year" in 2010, we might well see Miss Guo become Mrs Fok.


3 Douglas Martinez May 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm

The government is keen to encourage lending to small and medium-sized borrowers, many of whom do not have credit histories. Analysts estimate the number of Chinese consumers who are financially active but without access to credit to be 500m.
China's economy grew last month, according to a closely-monitored PMI series - which indicated growth for the first time in four months.
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei filed a notable 2,390 patents, which was the second-largest filing by a company globally, after Philips with 2,568 patents.

GC report – May be useful to know why we never get out from under our banker’s thumb..It is sure the big banks dont want us to see this.


4 PLR eBooks February 13, 2011 at 3:29 am

GM Masai Ujiri struck twice to position Toronto for a second trip to the East finals, nabbing Ibaka from the Magic and Tucker from the Suns.
In addition, the urban population has increased and now represents 55.88 percent of the total population, an increase of 6.2 percent over the census of 2010.
New Year’s greetings and best wishes!致新年贺忱与最美好的祝福!
节目40 歌曲《难忘今宵》李谷一 张英席 白丽莎(孔子学院学员)、茹丝(孔子学院学员)、李天翼(孔子学院学员)、吴孟天(在华留学生)
Zhu Yongxin, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, full-time vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy and vice-president of the Chinese Society of Education, talking about an NPC deputy representing 670,000 electorates.


5 Joep March 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

Love those movies!


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