Our Hollywood endings start with the finance film by which all others are measured. Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (1987) arrived a mere eight weeks after the Dow’s worst ever day had ended the era of ’80s excess so indelibly brought to the big screen by Michael Douglas. His Oscar-winning performance as corporate raider Gordon Gekko, a pastiche of Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky, was intended as a reptilian caricature by son-of-a-stockbroker Stone. In the ultimate irony, however, as author Michael Lewis later remarked, “To the director’s dismay, thousands of financial hotshots dreamed of becoming” the man with the "greed is good" mantra. The movie, which had a budget of $15 million, grossed $43.8 million in North America alone. Its cultural impact was incalculable, from finance to fashion — witness the power-dressing clones with contrast collars, suspenders and slicked back hair who would populate Wall Street for many years after Wall Street.
S&P 500 Index that year: up 5.25 percebt. Rotten Tomatoes rating: 78 percent.
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