Every morning I wake up saying, I'm still alive; a miracle. And so I keep on pushing.Jacques Cousteau
Wall Street (1987)
DVD Director’s Commentary (2000)
- I wanted to explore the new Wall Street. When I was writing SCARFACE in Miami, there was so much coke around and so many lunatics, and I met so many kids from Wall Street who were millionaires. I thought older men were rich, but here were these kids, 25 or 28 or 35 years old, with millions of dollars playing the markets all over the world around the clock. My father would have been shocked by the new electronics that allowed it…. Dad was a stockbroker on Wall Street when there was more integrity and class.
- WALL STREET was an extension of SCARFACE.
- This is about getting into a corporation, screwing it up, putting in poison pills so your competitor can’t swallow it…. Very intricate game played in the 1980’s…. Mike Milken did it with junks bonds, Drexel Burnham.
- I’m ambivalent. I like Gekko, which is partly why Michael Douglas did so well…. Gekko is despicable but kinda fun too.
- Money never sleeps.
- All these Wall Street lawyers are running the system according to Buckminster Fuller. After World War II they took most of the money out of the United States, they drained the blood out of the United States and put it abroad, overseas capital…. Fuller calls it Lawyer Capitalism, the lawyers run the show. Tax laws are the key. In the postwar years, tax law allowed US capital to go abroad…. It all fled the country and stayed abroad and America changed tremendously…. We became a world power, yet a rapacious one, with capitalists really doing a major theft of our money…. Nixon took us off the Gold Standard in 1972 because America went bankrupt…. All these recessions in the 70’s, 80’s…. My father got wiped out on Wall Street.
- It’s funny to read articles about Gordon Gekko as if he exists…. If you really listen to Gekko’s speech, half of it makes sense…. But it’s the excess, losing moderation, that destroys all…. There is nothing inherently wrong with greed as a human motivator, greed motivating evolution…. But there’s a huge disconnect between the classes. It is very demoralizing to work for someone who makes a billion dollars a year while you make just barely enough to make it.
- Greed is good. Taken from Ivan Boesky’s speech saying ‘Greed is right.’… Gekko says he wrecks it ‘because it is wreckable.’ There is an impulse in Gekko to take, to rape…. Kirk Kerkorian destroyed MGM and UA…. Buy both companies and destroy both. And that was the end of the movie business. UA and MGM were two great film companies. Suddenly they were one lousy company. Kerkorian did it for the money, like Gekko. He didn’t care about film. Never. He sold it off in pieces. He cannibalized it. Just like Gekko. These guys do what suits their short-term.
- Zero sum game implies winners and losers. If somebody wins, somebody gotta lose…. I don’t agree with that. Because all boats can rise on a rising sea. Good films help other good films. Different psychology. If you’re overly competitive, you say it is exclusionary, a zero sum game: I must win so he must lose. That’s not true. We can all win without forcing the other guy to lose.
- Balzac was right…. There is tremendous jealousy about money.
- I leave Bud Fox in the canyons of Wall Street, just another ant, one of millions of ants…. We’re all absorbed in this system of capitalism…. You join the collective unconscious.