Greed is a powerful driving force in life. The number of people who would sell their soul or their mother to get rich and famous is alarming when you discover how many of them exist. The world of cinema is also densely populated with such characters from protagonists corrupted by the allure of riches to the antagonist who destroys lives in the board room. But they're not all that bad. After all, Hollywood loves to use money mongers as a driving force to their storylines and, if anything, you should take a lesson from some of the following curmudgeons.
"Wall Street" (1987):
Gordon Gekko, portrayed by Michael Douglas, embodied the corporate excesses of the 80s. Gekko lived by the philosophy that greed was good, that it was right, and that it works in getting what you want. His corrupt stockbroker still resonates with movie audiences a generation later who feel like plenty of executives will do whatever it takes to build up a reservoir of personal wealth.
"A Simple Plan" (1998):
What would you do if you found millions of dollars amid a plane wreckage in the woods? That's the question posed by this intense thriller. The answer is that money can tear even friends and family apart. A pair of brothers (Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton) let the discovery of $4 million built greed and paranoia and lead to a multitude of bad decisions – including murder.
"Citizen Kane" (1941):
Most people do not want to admit it, but their lives can be fashioned and controlled by the greedy decisions of a few wealthy men and women. A commodities broker (Dan Aykroyd) and a street hustler (Eddie Murphy) are forced to trade places, and then see their fortunes rise and fall, on the whim of two rich old men making a bet. The duo decide the best revenge is to formulate their own get-rich quick scheme so they can turn around and make their wealthy tormentors poor. Greed and revenge go together like bread and butter.
“Other People’s Money” (1991):
Greed does not spare anyone. If a small business stands in the way of a large corporation, it will simply get run over. That's what the owner of a family business (Gregory Peck) learns when he tangles with a ruthless corporate liquidator (Danny DeVito) determined to seize control of his family business. His pleas about destroying a family-owned business and destroying the lives of individual people matters little to a greedy corporate suit out to add more money to the war chest.