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Top 5 finance films

Top 5 finance filmsWant a taster of what life is like in the City? Well, these top films may not be entirely accurate but at least you can indulge yourself with a movie while pretending to research your career!

Trading Places (1983)

Two rich brothers have an argument about whether great business people are born or made and to they devise an experiment to discover who is right. They arrange for, Louis, their nephew, a successful commodities trader, to be sacked and publicly disgraced. They then get him replaced with Billy Ray, a beggar, who learns the basics of trading in record time. However, Billy discovers that the brothers are preparing to throw him back on the street and that they plan to purchase an advance copy of the official orange crop report, to help them corner the orange juice market. So, Billy teams up with Louis and together they devise an elaborate revenge.

Working Girl (1988)

Tess McGill is hardworking secretary who manages to get a business degree after studying at night school. When she suggests a business idea to her boss, Katharine Parker, it seems to go down well. However, she soon discovers that Katharine was planning to steal the idea for herself. Tess decides to take matters into her own hands and sets up a meeting with Jack Trainer, a banker, who unbeknown to her is also Katherine’s boyfriend, to try and sell him her plan. Jack is enthusiastic and they team up to present the idea. Just as things seem to be going so well for Tess, Katherine returns...

This is a slick film which shows how a good business idea can come from the most unexpected places.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

This much loved film follows the life of George Bailey, a young man growing up in Bedford Falls. He’s ambitious and plans to leave his small town background, but events force him to stay in Bedford Falls and run the family business: the Bailey Building & Loan Association. One of the key scenes in the film shows a bank run, caused by the Wall Street crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. George and his wife, sacrifice their honeymoon to help deal with the panic, and use their own money to lend to the people of Bedford Falls. This protects their savings and prevents the bank from being bought by the town’s ruthless business man, Mr. Potter.

After a series of disappointments, George decides to end his own life on Christmas Eve. At the crucial moment however, an angel arrives to show George what the world would have been like without him. Through this, he realises that he has had a dramatic impact on the happiness and stability of the community and learns to appreciate the life he has led.

Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street tells the story of Bud Fox, an ambituous trader who wants to hit the big time. He tries to impress the ruthless Wall Street raider Gordon Gekko by telling him that the small airline company his father works for, called Bluestar, is about to be cleared of a safety violation and so is likely to expand quickly. Based on this information, Gekko buys out the company and promotes Bud, on the understanding he will keep him informed on Bluestar. Everything seems to be going well until Bud discovers that Gekko intends to sell off the company, leaving Bud’s father and the other employees out of work. Bud needs to come up with a plan to prevent Gekko selling, and this means he has to own up to his own illegal activities and greed.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

A well-researched documentary into the Enron scandal. The seventh largest company in the United States, energy trading firm Enron was declared bankrupt in 2001 after it was revealed that fake bookkeeping was behind much of the organisation’s apparent success. The film is well researched with interviews with former Enron employees describing some the incidence of fraud and insider trading. The idea of spending close to two hours watching an analysis of accounting irregularities may not be your idea of fun but this is a compelling film which makes the whole tangled plot of market manipulation both entertaining and easy to follow.