Whether you love it or hate it, money makes for some interesting plot twists. That might be the reason why filmmakers keep revisiting money as a major theme in many movies. From movies about stealing money to movies about making money, cash is a popular topic in cinema.
The impending release of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” gave us an idea: To tackle the Top 10 Movies About Money. After all, we already covered the Top 10 Songs About Money, so now we decided to tackle the top 10 movies on the topic of money.
Check out these memorable quotes and scenes from MyBankTracker’s favorite movies about money.
10. Jerry Maguire
Hitting theaters in 1996, “Jerry Maguire” followed a sports agent who left (was fired from) his flashy, high-paying job, only to realize there was a better way of conducting business. Maguire realized he needed to personally invest in his athletes and form relationships instead of treating his clients like walking paychecks.
There is no doubt that “Show me the money!” chanted by Maguire’s only client, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), is the most famous line of the movie. But we decided to feature a line from the legendary sports agent Dicky Fox: “Hey, I don’t have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”
9. Trading Places
When you combine two comedic geniuses like Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, hilarity is bound to ensue. That’s exactly what happens in the 1983 comedy, “Trading Places.” The plot revolves around snobby commodity broker Louis Winthorpe III, whose life gets switched with that of criminal Billy Ray as part of a bet. This movie takes a light-hearted view of our society’s preoccupation with money and status.
One of the best quotes of the movie comes when Louis Winthorpe III explains the New York Commodities Exchange: “Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That’s the other guy’s problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series – they don’t know what pressure is. In this building, it’s either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you’re up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don’t go to college and they’ve repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?”
8. Office Space
We’ve all had been there: Sitting at work contemplating life, entertaining the idea of quitting or just telling your boss how you really feel. The 1999 movie, “Office Space,” starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston, captures all too well the frustrations of working at a dead-end job. Once protagonist, Peter Gibbons, figures out a system to embezzle money from the company, everything seems to even out.
This quote comes from Peter when he is hit with a strange epiphany after seeing a hypnotist: “It’s not just about me and my dream of doing nothing. It’s about all of us. I don’t know what happened to me at that hypnotherapist and, I don’t know, maybe it was just shock and it’s wearing off now, but when I saw that fat man keel over and die — Michael, we don’t have a lot of time on this earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.”
7. Glengarry Glen Ross
Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin are some of the big names in this talent-packed movie about the real estate business. It may not sound like a drama-ridden film that leaves viewers breathless as they look on in anticipation, but the strong writing and top-of-the-line actors make this movie a classic in terms of dissecting the art of sales. When the realtors are pitted against each other to make the most sales or lose their job, chaos ensues.
In what is considered to be Alec Baldwin’s best performance, he gives a speech as sales strategist and master motivator, Blake. The speech, riddled with curses, is one of the most motivating constructions of what a leader does: “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.”
6. Boiler Room
“Boiler Room” revolves around college dropout Seth Davis as he begins to sky-rocket toward success as a stock broker. During his rise to the top he learns that his stock broker job isn’t what he initially thought it would be. Now, morally conflicted, he must deal with the Feds, his father and a multitude of other issues threatening his new lifestyle.
Although he got caught up in shady business, Seth Davis still had one thing going for him: “I had a very strong work ethic. The problem was my ethics in work. ”
5. Oceans 11
This star-packed move follows Danny Ocean (George Clooney) as he attempts to pull off the biggest Vegas casino heist in history. The total Ocean’s crew attempts to steal? $150 million. The plot keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with twists and turns as Ocean and his associates have to jump through hoops to pull off their scheme.
Our favorite quote is comes in the scene where Danny explains to Rusty why he does it: “‘Cause yesterday I walked out of the joint after losing four years of my life and you’re cold-decking “Teen Beat” cover boys. [pause] ‘Cause the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes. The house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, then you take the house.”
4. Slumdog Millionaire
“Slumdog Millionaire” is an inspiring movie that follows the journey of a Mumbai, India, teen who grew up in the slums with no money. When Jamal Malik wins 20 million rupees on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” he is greeted with suspicion as opposed to congratulations from the police.
The movie is not as much about money as it is fate and about a boy reunited with his love, as Malik’s quote infers: “I never forgot. Not for one day. I knew I’d find you in the end. It’s our destiny.”
3. American Psycho
It may seem like a rich Wall Street guy has it all together, but the opposite is true of “American Psycho” main character Patrick Bateman. Bateman, played by Christian Bale, loves money and serial killing. Having a lot of many can bring you a lot of things, including insanity. If you don’t mind gore and like a lot of action this money movie is for you.
Bateman has clearly lost it when he spits out this quote: “There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone; in fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”
A movie about gambling is a must on this list. “Casino” takes place in Las Vegas, where two mobsters, Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, try to leave their mark on Sin City. The city ends up getting the best of them as they get caught up in scandal.
In this quote Ace talks about what it’s like to run a casino: “Running a casino is like robbing a bank with no cops around. For guys like me, Las Vegas washes away your sins. It’s like a morality car wash.”
1. Wall Street
We had to go with this classic as our top movie about money. “Wall Street” is a depiction of the financial world in the 80s that shows that justice always prospers, yet cheaters never learn. Bud Fox, an aspiring stockbroker looking to get the top, is taken under the wing of Gordon Gekko, a successful, high-powered broker who operates by the belief “Greed is Good.”
There were so many awesome quotes that it was hard to pick one, so we decided to go with the classic: “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”