Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film released by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stone and Stanley Weiser, and stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker desperate to succeed who becomes involved with his hero, Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.
Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Owen Morrisey, Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Ovitz, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile,
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He constantly attacks big business, money, mandatory drug screening and greedy manufacturers and anything that he sees as a threat to his union. The conflict between Gekko's relentless pursuit of wealth and Carl Fox's leftward leanings form the basis of the film's subtext. (Gabriel) This subtext could be described as the concept of the two fathers battling for control over the morals of the son, a concept Stone had also used in Platoon. In Wall Street the hard-working Carl Fox and the cutthroat businessman Gordon Gekko represent the fathers. The producers of the film use Carl as their voice in the film, a voice of reason amid the creative destruction brought about by Gekko's unrestrained personal philosophy. (Gabriel) A significant scene in the film is a speech by Gekko to a shareholders' meeting of Teldar Paper, a company he is planning to take over. Stone uses this scene to give Gekko, and by extension, the Wall Street raiders he personifies, the chance to justify their actions, which he memorably does, pointing out the slothfulness and waste that corporate America accumulated through the postwar years and from which he sees himself as a "liberator". (Gabriel) Wall Street is not a wholesale criticism of the capitalist system, but of the cynical, quick-buck culture of the 1980s. (Gabriel) The "good" characters in the film are themselves capitalists, but in a more steady, hardworking sense. In one scene, Gekko scoffs at Bud Fox's question as to the moral value