Oliver Stone's WALL STREET


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Andrews, Nigel. “Mammon-Obsessed Jungle Observed” The Financial Times Limited.
April 29, 1988. Section I, p. 21, Arts.

“Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, fast-paced, simple-minded and crackling with cracker-barrel wit, shows there is still a market for old-fashioned melodrama in modern Hollywood.”  This critic gives Stone a great deal of credit for his camera work in the early scenes of the movie.  The camera moves quickly along with the fast-paced energetic dialogue.  The critic also gives Stone credit for the interweaving of “bluffs and counter-bluffs” that take place throughout the movie.  In the end, however the reviewer claims that a “half hour into the movie” it goes “soggy,” and the audience knows the good guys are going to win.
Burke, Cathy.“Wall Street” BC Cycle.December 10, 1987.  Entertainment.

The critic reviewing this film enjoyed it.  The critic says Michael Douglas is “the devil himself, recreated in Wall Street as Gordon Gekko.”  The “devil” comes in the form of a brilliant, “suave” business man.  This reviewer feels that even though the conflict is unoriginal, it is executed in a fast-paced “exhilarating” fashion, keeping the audience’s attention.  The ending is the best part because the “devil” is unremorseful and unapologetic.

Canby, Vincent. “Film: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street” The New York Times.
December 11, 1987.  Section C, pg. 3, column 4

This reviewer liked the character Gordon Gekko because he was portrayed as “ruthless, ironic and, under the circumstances, completely practical.”  Despite this character the reviewer says Stone’s wit fails him and the movie falls into the cliché “honesty is the best policy.”  The movie doesn’t make us think; it only reminds us of what we know, along with some underhanded business dealings.  The critic enjoyed Michael Douglas’ performance yet greatly disliked Daryl Hannah’s.

Cieply, Michael.“Hollywood Signs: Oliver Stone’s New Film; Wall Street As A War Zone” The Los Angeles Times. May 10, 1987. Calendar Desk, p. 24

This critic reassures Stone fans that this film is not “soft, [Wall Street] is a lot meaner.”  This reviewer feels that the film is well focused on the actual scandal of Ivan Boesky.  He found this film to be interesting and eventful.
Dudar, Helen. “Michael Douglas, as Villain, Hits it Big on ‘Wall Street.’” The New York
Times. December 6, 1987. Section 2, pg 23, column 1.

In this review, Dudar focuses on Douglas’s performance as Gordon Gekko, the Wall Street tycoon, who “not only steals the money but threatens to steal the show.”  Douglas, who has never played the role of a villain before this film, surprises everyone with his outstanding performance.  He truly captures the “killer instinct” found in the big players on Wall Street.  Douglas skillfully transforms himself into Gordon Gekko-- “smart, charming, manipulative, ruthless, and, as befits a figure bearing the name of a lizard.”  Douglas’s nine-minute “greed is good” monologue is, in fact, the “centerpiece of the show.”  Douglas gives an extraordinary performance as the money-hungry villain in Wall Street.

Fabrikant, Geraldine. “Wall Street Reviews ‘Wall Street.’” The New York Times.
December 10, 1987. Section D, pg 1, column 3.

In this review, Fabrikant describes the attitudes that actual Wall Street players have towards Stone’s Wall Street.  After seeing a special preview of the movie, the Wall Street players feel the film captures the trading aspects but the characters do not accurately portray the people who work on Wall Street.  Many leading traders on Wall Street, who “thought the film accurate,” respond that “the screaming is typical” on Wall Street.  Even though many players felt that the film was accurate, almost all were “quick to deny that the characters were typical of Wall Street professionals” and that Gekko, the extreme character, represents  “a relatively small sliver of the street.”  Although many traders were enthusiastic about the film, “few were convinced that ‘Wall Street’ would be a blockbuster, in part because the subject matter was too alien for moviegoers.”  All traders agree that the movie will not help the public’s image of Wall Street, and most feel that it will probably hurt the public’s image.

Kempley, Rita. “Preachy, Punchy ‘Wall Street.’” The Washington Post. December 11,
1987: Style Page C1.

In this review, Kempley focuses on the negative aspects of Stone’s movie.  Many of the main characters are miscast.  Sheen “is never tough enough or hungry enough for an aspiring tycoon,” and Hannah “is principally part of the scenery.”  Douglas is the only character who gives a commendable performance as “a lizardly villain in Money Hell.”  In addition to the miscasting of the film, the story is weak when “it preaches visually or verbally.”  Stone does not stick to the obvious moral of the film, and he substitutes this moral with “plenty of soapboxery.”  Overall, Stone “has an agenda that’s all too easily read.” Kempley feels that “with its posturing politics and cardboard characterizations, ‘Wall Street’ is not up to the director’s past standards.”