Movies that mean buisness
Seeing the Oscars recently made me think about the best Business Movies. Here are my thoughts (in no particular order):
Is it about sport or is it about business? It’s about the business of sport and that is why it is on the list. I loved this film! It just said everything I wanted to say about old school thinking versus logic, reasoning and fact. Brad Pitt plays real-life figure Billy Beane who realises that the stats don’t lie.
Wall Street (1987)
Definitely about business, this one; and a movie that needs no real introduction. A lot of people got rich in this decade, which is somehow supposed to justify the greed and narcissism. Oliver Stone intended it to be a damnation of Reaganomics, but some people actually admired Gekko. Give me strength.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Not just the best business movie, but possibly the best movie ever. Could be about most media moguls. Building a business, and the price you (and others) pay in the process.
The Social Network (2010)
Loved this film, lifted the lid on the mystery of “The Facebook” and how it all came together. Tim Berners Lee must be delighted that the biggest use of the miracle he created comes down to sharing pictures of our meals, dogs and holidays.
Glengarry Glenross (1992)
“Hit the bricks, pal!” Anyone who has ever sold anything can relate to THE scene featuring Alec Baldwin let loose on the unsuspecting sales force. You have to see it, but be warned the language is like the language of most sales teams’ “potty mouth”.
Bonus: Here is the scene – enjoy.
Up in the Air (2009)
Clooney flies around the US with “Career Transformations Company” sacking people on behalf of managers too frightened to do it themselves. Part time, he’s a motivational coach who extols the virtues of living light. He finds himself up against technology and lives in hotels a lot. I’m not really selling it well, am I? You might need to watch it if you’re considering a career in consultancy.
Trading Places (1983)
It has been described as a modern Opera and a new take on Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper”; but really it’s a very funny film with commodities trading, insider dealing and nature versus nurture at its core.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
“SHOW ME THE MONEY!” Another sports/business crossover, I think it was the launchpad for Renee Zelwegger’s career. Jerry does what we all wanted to do– he writes an honest and value driven mission statement entitled “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business” – it is honest and rammed with integrity and encourages his industry to be more caring. He gets sacked, obviously.
American Psycho (2000)
I recently re-read the book after 20 years. Brett Easton Ellis and AGAIN the 1980s (what was it about this decade)? This film adaptation with Christian Bale is pretty good and contains a great “Business Card Envy” scene.
The Long Good Friday (1980)
You might think this is a gangster film, but really it’s a business film. It’s about a deal. Bob Hoskins wants to be a straight businessman, but he needs finance, and rather than going to a bank he looks at his US Mafia friends for finance. To be honest they seemed a lot nicer than some I’ve met. A lot of themes in this: free-market economics (just starting in the UK in 1979), property development and a plot to develop the East End as a future site for the Olympic Games. Ahead of its time.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
OK, there are a lot of bad things in this movie (no kidding), but there are a lot of good things as well. It’s a rags to riches (to rags) story and Mr Belfont’s leadership qualities were second to none. In fact, his leadership was so strong that he had them queuing up to work for the company. The employees were hugely motivated, massively engaged and well rewarded. Hey, this film should be required viewing for HR Teams (!)
DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW!
Scott Hutchinson is the Principal of Food & Drink at Interim Partners.