My Top 5 Financial Movies

By | March 20, 2008

Proving that there’s more to Fletch than just business, I thought I’d take a detour from my search for the most peculiar thing I’ve ever financed (though that story is still on its way) to talk about films. However, in keeping with the spirit of “The Lease Guy” blog, I’ll focus on my top five films with financial themes.

I must confess that I’ll have to deviate slightly from my regular theme of equipment finance. Trust me, equipment financing doesn’t often inspire thrilling cinema. I should know – I deal with equipment financing daily and rarely come across shady characters, tear-jerking dramas, or opportunities for dramatic car chases. Well, unless we count the break-room incident of 2003, which I won’t delve into.

So, let’s get to it…

Here are my top 5 films with a significant financial element:

#5 – “Boiler Room”
In this engaging tale of a bogus brokerage house peddling sham stocks, Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel deliver standout performances. Ben Affleck also makes a memorable cameo, pre-qualifying a room of aspiring trainees with a profanity-laced tirade.

#4 – “Trading Places”
Remember when Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd were comedic dynamites? This story of a stockbroker and a street hustler manipulated into swapping lives is their finest collaboration. As outlandish as it may sound, I’ve heard from brokers that the stock market sequence at the end is quite authentic.

#3 – “Repo Man”
I referenced this film in a previous post because it’s an intriguing movie that sticks with you. A story about two repo men (Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez) wouldn’t be odd enough, so the creators tossed in an alien in the trunk of a car for an extra layer of intrigue. It’s simply a fun movie, and Stanton’s performance is a delight.

#2 – “Wall Street”
This film has to rank high on any list of finance-centric movies. Epitomizing 80s greed and excess, it coined the catchphrase “Greed is Good” and introduced us to one of Hollywood’s most unforgettable characters, Gordon Gekko (portrayed masterfully by Michael Douglas). The father-son duo of Martin and Charlie Sheen also deliver sterling performances. Moreover, I’ve heard that the film’s depiction of the stock market is remarkably realistic.

#1 – “Glengarry Glen Ross”
This excellent film delves into the inner workings of a real estate office selling investment properties and the beleaguered agents working there. The premise may sound uninteresting, but I assure you, it’s anything but. The movie features an unparalleled cast, including Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, and Alec Baldwin, whose single scene is downright unforgettable. A fantastic movie, all in all.

Chances are you’ve seen at least a few of these films. But if there are any on this list that you’ve not yet watched, they come highly recommended from the Lease Guy. Enjoy your movie night!