Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Daryl Hannah
Plot: A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
The first feature film to show a character using a cordless mobile cellular telephone.
At the time, Michael Douglas was better known as a producer. Oliver Stone was warned that Douglas would micromanage the film and undermine Stone. Stone hired Douglas anyway, and Douglas did not micromanage.
Michael Douglas worked with a speech instructor on breath control to help him with the film's rapid-fire dialogue. Douglas was smoking 40 cigarettes a day at the time.
The only movie to win both an Oscar (Best Actor- Michael Douglas) and a Razzie (Worst Supporting Actress- Daryl Hannah) for acting.
Oliver Stone later admitted that everyone involved told him Daryl Hannah was miscast, but he was too proud to replace her. This caused tension on set, particularly with Sean Young who wanted the role herself.
From the beginning, Sean Young kept telling Oliver Stone that she should play Darien and Daryl Hannah should be fired. Young would show up on the set late and unprepared. It's part of the reason her role is so small. It is rumoured that she walked off with all of her costumes when she completed filming.
Gordon Gekko's "Greed is good" speech was inspired by Ivan Boesky's speech at the University of California's commencement ceremony in 1986. Boesky was a Wall Street arbitrageur who paid a $100 million penalty to the SEC later that year to settle insider trading charges. In his speech, Boesky said "Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."
The movie's line "Greed... is good." was voted as the #70 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Charlie Sheen and Sean Young didn't get on at all. It got to the point where Sheen stuck a piece of paper on her back saying "I am a c***". No-one pointed it out to her. Oliver Stone had written a subplot involving Fox having an affair with Gekko's wife (which would have explained Gekko's anger towards Fox in their final confrontation), but had to abandon it due to Charlie Sheen and Sean Young's hatred of each other.
Daryl Hannah was never happy about playing Bud's materialistic girlfriend Darien. It was at odds with everything the actress and activist represented. At the time of filming she accused Stone of being a misogynist. She said "film is a collaborate medium. Sometimes you hook up with people you don't collaborate well with."
Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Gordon Gekko were Richard Gere and Warren Beatty.
Early on in the shoot, Oliver Stone tested Michael Douglas by enhancing his "repressed anger", according to the actor. At one point, Stone came into Douglas' trailer and asked him if he was doing drugs because "you look like you haven't acted before". This shocked Douglas, who did more research and worked on his lines again and again, pushing himself harder than he had before. All of this hard work culminated with the "Greed is good" speech.
Originally, the lead character was a young Jewish broker named Freddie Goldsmith, but Oliver Stone changed it to Bud Fox to avoid the stereotype that Wall Street was controlled by Jews.
Charlie Sheen said his inspiration on the hospital scene was remembering how he felt when Martin Sheen had a heart attack during Apocalypse Now (1979).
Oliver Stone liked the "stiffness" of Charlie Sheen's acting style and used it to convey Bud's naivete.
At the end of the movie, when Bud Fox gets out of the car to take a long walk up the stairs to the courtroom, he passes by a newspaper stand in the background with a poster for Fortune magazine. His picture is on the front cover.