Category Archives: Finance

Trading Places (1983)

116m; U.S.

Director: John Landis

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Ralph Bellamy

Synopsis (IMDB): Louis Winthorpe is a businessman who works for commodities brokerage firm of Duke and Duke owned by the brothers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. Now they bicker over the most trivial of matters and what they are bickering about is whether it’s a person’s environment or heredity that determines how well they will do in life. When Winthorpe bumps into Billy Ray Valentine, a street hustler and assumes he is trying to rob him, he has him arrested. Upon seeing how different the two men are, the brothers decide to make a wager as to what would happen if Winthorpe loses his job, his home and is shunned by everyone he knows and if Valentine was given Winthorpe’s job. So they proceed to have Winthorpe arrested and to be placed in a compromising position in front of his girlfriend. So all he has to rely on is the hooker who was hired to ruin him.



Wall Street (1987)

124m; U.S.

Director: Oliver Stone

Cast: Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Hal Holbrook

Synopsis (IMDB): Bud Fox is a Wall Street stockbroker in early 1980’s New York with a strong desire to get to the top. Working for his firm during the day, he spends his spare time working an on angle with the high-powered, extremely successful (but ruthless and greedy) broker Gordon Gekko. Fox finally meets with Gekko, who takes the youth under his wing and explains his philosophy that “Greed is Good”. Taking the advice and working closely with Gekko, Fox soon finds himself swept into a world of “yuppies”, shady business deals, the “good life”, fast money, and fast women; something which is at odds with his family including his estranged father (a good union man) and the blue-collared way Fox was brought up.


We All Fall Down

65m; U.S.

Director: Gary Gasgarth

Synopsis: This timely and informative documentary chronicles the history of America’s mortgage finance system, from its origins in the 1930s, when the federal government first made available long-term, fixed-rate loans to new American homeowners, to its current state of crisis, after an excess of risky mortgage financing led to the system’s collapse, which in turn triggered a wider economic recession.

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The Wilmar 8 (1981)

55m; U.S.

Director: Lee Grant

Synopsis (IMDB): Risking jobs, friends, family and the opposition of church and community, eight unassuming women begin the longest bank strike in American history.


Working Girl (1988)

113m; U.S.

Director: Mike Nichols

Cast: Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver

Synopsis (IMDB): Tess McGill is a frustrated secretary, struggling to forge ahead in the world of big business in New York. She gets her chance when her boss breaks her leg on a skiing holiday. McGill takes advantage of her absence to push ahead with her career. She teams up with investment broker Jack Trainer to work on a big deal. The situation is complicated after the return of her boss.


Your Loan is Denied (1992)


Synopsis: From Frontline, this production looks at the discriminatory practices by the banks of America and the dire consequences that result when the foremost mortgage-lending institutes set their loan protocol based on any color other than green. Brought to video by PBS, correspondent Bill Schechner introduces two African-American professionals, Peter and Dolores Green who are suing a Chicago area bank for refusing to finance the purchase of the home they have lived in for 30 years. In association with the Center for Investigative Reporting, this documentary shows the tragic effects of racial bias as entire neighborhoods find themselves fighting for economic survival.


Crossing the American Crises: From Collapse to Action (2011)

82m; U.S.

Director: Silvia Leindecker & Michael Fox

Synopsis: This documentary explores two major developments in recent U.S. history. The first is the impact that the September 2008 financial crisis had on ordinary working people throughout the country. The second is the response of working people to the crises affecting them, including their reaction to the government’s bailouts and Obama’s election. Particular attention is devoted to the emergence of progressive grass-roots movements such as the Vermont Workers’ Center, the Green Worker Cooperative in the Bronx, the Santa Fe Alliance in New Mexico, and the Iraq Veterans Against the War. The film’s overall theme is that the recent economic collapse indicates that it is “the people” themselves who must organize and act to bring about greater economic and social justice. Discussion will follow the film, with comments by Occupy Pittsburgh participants and others.


Mumbai Diaries (Dhobi Ghat) [2010]

100m; India

Director: Kiran Rao

Cast: Prateik, Monica Dogra and Kriti Malhotra

Synopsis (IMDB): The lives of 4 different people in the city of Mumbai get entwined by fate and luck; Shai – an investment banker with a penchant for photography, Arun – a lonely painter, Munna – the “dhobi” who aspires to become an actor and Yasmin – making a video in her camcorder for her brother, who hasn’t been to Mumbai before. The film follows how their lives are changed by the presence of one another. Will it be for better or for worse?

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Drama, Finance, Working Class


The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956)

99m; U.S.

Director: Richard Quine

Cast: Judy Holliday, John Williams and Paul Douglas

Synopsis (IMDB): Laura Partridge is a very enthusiastic small stockholder of 10 shares in International Projects, a large corporation based in New York. She attends her first stockholder meeting ready to question the board of directors from their salaries to their operations. These are not the questions which the board expected to be asked of them, especially since they are all crooked, except for Edward McKeever, the current CEO who has resigned in order to take an advisory position at the Pentagon. Following the meeting, he bumps into Laura and offers to drive her home. On the way there, Laura displays her enthusiasm for being a stockholder, as a result, Edward takes a liking to her. With Edward in Washington, John Blessington and Clifford Snell establish their hold on International Projects – They see greater riches now that Edward has influence with the US senate, especially with the awarding of federal contracts.


Risk/Reward (2003)


Director: Elizabeth HolderXan Parker

Cast: Umber AhmadMaria Bartiromo and Roslyn Dickerson 

Synopsis (IMDB): While there have been many movies about Wall Street, there has been little attention given to the specific challenges and stresses of the high-ranking women who work there. Risk/Reward is an insider’s view of the demands and sacrifices that working mothers have in a typically high-powered, male- dominated industry. This film was selected for the 2003 Tribeca, Hot Docs and Full Frame Film Festivals (among others) and will air on the Oxygen network.

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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Documentary, Finance, Women