Release Year: 1987
Director: Oliver Stone
Writers: Stanley Weiser, Oliver Stone
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young, Tamara Tunie, John C. McGinley, Hal Holbrook, Terence Stamp
Rating: Won 1 Oscar: Best Actor (Michael Douglas). Won 1 Golden Globe: Best Actor – Drama (Michael Douglas)
Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) a Young and impatient stock broker is willing to do just about anything to get to the top quickly, including insider trading as instructed by Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas), a ruthless corporate raider who takes him under his wing.
Oliver Stone’s Wall Street is a classic tale of moral downfall and the consequences of greed. A young Charlie Sheen (The Three Musketeers, 1993) stars as Bud Fox and does excellent things with a character that might easily have become a vehicle for the film scene-stealer, Michael Douglas. The part was originally intended for Tom Cruise, but in the end went to Sheen, who was fresh of another good performance in Stone’s previous film, Platoon (1986). Sheen is especially good in his dealings with his character’s father, played by his real life father Martin Sheen (The Departed, 2006). The two represent completely different worlds and values and the relationship between the two is the real heart and centre of the film. As mentioned above, Douglas (Ant-Man, 2015) steals the movie with his ruthless and unconscientious corporate raider, an anti-hero of the Wall Street yuppies the film seeks to expose. Douglas’s charming Gecko is a devil in disguise, neat and pleasant on the surface, but just as immoral as other Stone villains, such as Platoon’s Sgt. Barnes. The film’s of Oliver Stone (JFK, 1991) are often marred by a strong bias, although they always remain entertaining. Wall Street is biased as well, but hardly in a way objectable to many people, unless you consider stories like Robin Hood to be political propaganda. As a result, Wall Street is an important commentary on the world of the late 1980’s, and to a large extent, the world of today, and an excellently acted and highly entertaining piece of drama. The only thing that really detracts from the film is Daryl Hannah’s (Blade Runner, 1982) insincere performance, a result of her displeasure with the part and a simply case of miscasting, which made the film the only one to date to win both an Oscar and a Razzie for acting.
The role of Gordon Gekko was originally offered to James Woods but he turned it down to do Cop (1988) instead. When Michael Douglas was cast, Oliver Stone was warned against it because some were worried that Douglas, who was known more as a producer than an actor at the time, would micromanage the film, but he didn’t and went on the win an Oscar for his portrayal of the yuppie anti-hero.
Picture Copyright: SF Film