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Oliver Stone Is Giving Wall Street One Last Shot With This Movie

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Oliver Stone has said it before and he'll say it again: nobody was supposed to see Wall Street and think "Hey! I wanna do that, too." And yet, for the last twenty odd years, you people and the people you work with have never failed to approach Stone or Michael Douglas when they're out to dinner to tell them you went to work on the Street after being inspired by the 1987 flick, ruining their evenings. Idiots! You were supposed to see movie and say Gekko, bad. Prosecution of "values underpinning American capitalism," good. See? Simple little equation. And yet. And yet. That all kind of went over your heads, didn't it? If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone.

As a vehicle for social change, however, the movie was a catastrophe. It did not show Wall Street in its best light, yet Wall Street was, by far, the movie’s most enthusiastic audience. It has endured not because it hit its intended target but because it missed: people who work on Wall Street still love it. And not just any Wall Street people but precisely those who might have either taken Stone’s morality tale to heart or been offended by it. To wit, not long before hedge-fund manager Seth Tobias was found dead in his Florida swimming pool, with an unlucky mixture of cocaine, Ambien, and alcohol in his bloodstream, he gave an interview for Wall Street’s DVD bonus reel, in which he said, “I remember when I saw the movie in 1987. I recall saying, That’s what I want to be. I want to start out as Bud Fox and end up as Gordon Gekko.”

So it's because of people like you, and Seth, and his gay lover Tiger, who probably loved Gordon Gekko that Stone had to make this movie again. If you don't figure out the message this time around, Part III is just going to be a still shot of Michael Douglas wearing a sandwich board that says "Blow me, assholes," on the floor of the exchange. Maybe that'll penetrate.

Greed Never Left
[Vanity Fair]