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Published on Dec 19, 2012
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. Martin Sheen, Terence Stamp, John C. McGinley, and Hal Holbrook appeared in supporting roles. 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, was modelled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith. Originally, the studio wanted Warren Beatty to play Gekko, but he was not interested, and Stone wanted Richard Gere, though Gere passed on the role. Stone went with Douglas even though he had been advised by others in Hollywood not to cast him. The film was well received among major film critics, including Roger Ebert. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film has come to be seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s excess, with Douglas's character memorably declaring that "greed, for lack of a better word, is good". It has also proven influential in inspiring people to work on Wall Street with Sheen, Douglas, and Stone commenting over the years how people still approach them and say that they became stockbrokers because of their respective characters in the film.