10 Best ‘Wall Street’ Movie Quotes

Friday, January 21 by Tom Gordon

The most famous of the 10 best "Wall Street" movie quotes is even familiar to people who haven't even seen the movie. But the script, by Stanley Weiser and director Oliver Stone, is full of great quotes and most of them were delivered with intensity and cool by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, who deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar for the role). See if this list of the best "Wall Street" movie quotes matches the ones you remember most.

  1. "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." Gordon Gekko lays out his philosophy of life and money at a stockholders meeting. It became one of the most-quoted movie lines of the '80s.
  2. "What's worth doing is worth doing for money." Gekko rationalizes his unfeeling company takeover philosophy to Carl Fox (Martin Sheen), the father of his protege, Bud Fox. It's enough to get Carl to leave the table and place squarely between his mentor and his dad.
  3. "The problem with money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do." Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook) regrets having to go in on a shady deal with information he doesn't trust. He tells Bud the only reason he's doing it is that he needs the money and that's why people in business make a lot of questionable moves.
  4. "It's not always the most popular guy who gets the job done." Gekko lays it out for a crowd of union members, basically telling them that the alternative to his involvement is bankruptcy and a move to break up the union. Coming from someone as slick as Gekko, everyone but Carl Fox seems to buy it.
  5. "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation." Gekko tells Bud that his father's company is going down, simply because Gordon changed his mind. Gekko tries to bring Bud around by reminding him that he's going to be a rich young man and he can take care of his father. It's definitely his "it's not personal, it's business" moment.
  6. "Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) prepares to meet with Gekko, the man he's been trying to get a job with for months. Bud realizes this moment could change his life forever… if he only knew just how it would all change.
  7. "Money's only something you need in case you don't die tomorrow." Carl Fox tries to minimize the importance of money after Bud asks for a small loan. Bud repeats the line to Gekko toward the end of the film when he realizes he'll never be like Gekko.
  8. "If you need a friend, get a dog." Gekko tells Bud he may not be tough enough to handle Wall Street. It's an early indication that Gekko isn't worried about making friends or enemies.
  9. "That's the one thing you have to remember about WASPs: They love animals and hate people." Gekko imparts more wisdom to Bud, explaining the value of getting on the Zoological Society's board. Donations buy you access to information, the best clubs and more.
  10. "You see that building? I bought that building ten years ago. My first real estate deal. Sold it two years later, made an $800,000 profit. It was better than sex. At the time I thought that was all the money in the world. Now it's a day's pay." Gekko tells Bud he has to think big, that being "comfortable" isn't worth it. Gekko makes it clear that getting rich, whether you have to play with rules and be a little merciless, is worth it.