Today were going to be taking a look at how the financial world has been represented under the bright lights of Hollywood. The world of business and finance has been used by the movie industry for countless decades, and has created some of the most iconic movies of our time. This article will count down our top five most iconic fictional financial characters in the movies.
This family comedy features the comic genius of Jim Carey as he plays an employee of fictional company ’Globodyne’, Dick Harper, climbing his way up the corporate ladder. Dick has seemingly worked his way to the top, supporting his wife and child along the way and is awarded vice presidency of the company for his efforts. As a result of this news he convinces his wife Jane (played by Tea Leoni) to leave her job. But soon after this the unthinkable happens and the company becomes bankrupt. This prompts Dick to become the fall guy for his CEO’s dodgy dealings. Shortly after this we see that the Harper family are flat broke, selling their belongings to get by and eventually leading a life of crime. Starting off small with simple store robberies the couple soon excel to bank robbery. These sombre scenes are mixed in with the hilarity of Carey’s onscreen persona and make for a very entertaining movie. The character of Dick Harper is easily relatable to the audience and as a result the movie did very well at the box office bagging over $200 million.
Based on a true story, 21 tells the riveting tale of a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who decide to take on the casinos in blackjack. Led by their unorthodox professor Mickey Rosa, this ingenious group of students are making a killing and when the professor sees another young mathematician in his class with a flair for linear equations he invites him into the fold. The student, Ben Campbell (played by Jim Sturgess), is the main protagonist of the story, trying to make enough money to put himself through medical school. In the process of doing so he ends up losing $200,000 dollars of the professor’s money and after refusing to pay it back finds himself going head to head with the professor. In the film’s ending we see a daring plot for ‘one last job’ and the twists and turns that come with it.
A film based at the heart of the financial world Wall Street: Money never sleeps is a movie that has roots in the financial crisis of 2008. After the first movie we see that fictional Wall Street player Gordon Gecko is out of prison and has turned a new leaf. Predicting the inevitable downfall for the economy, he starts out promoting his book until he meets a young man, Jacob Moore (played by Shia Lebeouf) who is about to marry his estranged daughter. Together the two strike a deal and Gordon agrees to help Jacob exact revenge on the man he blames for his mentor’s death and in return Jacob with help reunite Gordon with his daughter. This onscreen duo really works well and the journey the two go on keeps the audience at the edge of their seats at all times. The film was a box office success and grossed over $130 million.
An original classic, this movie was released in 1983 during the rise of Eddie Murphy’s comic career. Loosely based on the concept set by Mark Twain’s classic The Prince and the Pauper the plot centres around a wealthy stockbroker, Louis Winthorpe the Third (played by Dan Aykroyd) and a homeless street hustler (Eddie Murphy). The two literally trade places as the broker’s corrupt bosses decide create a wager of $1 on a little social experiment to determine if environment makes a person what they are. As the rich and wealthy Louis becomes penny less and homeless the previously homeless Billy enjoys the lavish lifestyle of a stock broker. Aykroyd and Murphy take the audience on a crazy ride with loads of laughs; the movie was a huge commercial success banking over $90 million at box office. We feel that this movie definitely deserves our number two spot as Murphy’s character is so dynamic, going from one end of society to the other with ease.
Featuring a star studded cast including Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins this movie is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece and a timeless classic. We follow the unfortunate events that occur in Andy Dufresne’s life and his journey into the Shawshank prison. A quiet and unassuming banker accused of killing his wife (a crime which he is innocent of) and put into prison where he talks Red(Morgan Freeman) the prison’s ‘one stop shop’ into getting him a rock hammer so he can make chess pieces. As the years roll by Andy starts to help the guards with their tax returns and other financial issues. This gains the attention of the warden and soon Andy is helping the warden launder money for his own gains. Soon after this Andy leaves on a daring escape plan in which he has tunnelled out of the prison using the rock hammer Red had given him.. Under a fake alias Andy takes the warden’s ill gotten gains for himself and reports the warden’s illegal activities to the authorities. In the final scenes of the movie we see Red released from prison and reunited with Andy. Although the movie was not considered a box office success Robbins’s portrayal of this quiet and observant banker is believable and the twist at the end of the story helps to maintain suspense.