The original "Wall Street," written by the legendary Oliver Stone, is chock full of quotable phrases, so it's tough narrowing down the list to the 5 best "Wall Street" movie quotes. Stone's dialogue is repeatedly spoken in brokerage firms, business schools, and investment banks with utter reverence and reportedly became like an ad for the stockbroker profession, inspiring many to join the Wall Street world. While moviegoers wait for the sequel on September 24, 2010, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," to see if the addition of new screenwriter Allan Loeb can deliver similarly great lines, here's a look at the 5 best "Wall Street" movie quotes.
- "Greed is good…" In one of the most famous film speeches of all time, Michael Douglas, as ruthless Wall Street player Gordon Gekko, delivered the most memorable of the five best "Wall Street" movie quotes. He stood before the Teldar Paper stockholders and told them, "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. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much."
- "…The only job you'll ever have on the Street is sweeping it." After he convinced Gekko to buy the airline where his working class father was employed, Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) found Gekko's plan meant dad and the other employees would lose their jobs. Bud became the mastermind of a deal to get Gekko out of the airline business. When Gekko caught wind of Bud's scheme he demanded, "Fox, where the hell are you? I am losing millions! You got me into this airline and you sure as hell better get me out or the only job you'll ever have on the Street is sweeping it!"
- "If your enemy is superior, evade him…" One of the best "Wall Street" movie quotes was not written by Oliver Stone, instead it was a quote by Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu from "The Art of War." It was reported that after "Wall Street" came out and Sheen delivered this line, sales of the philosophy book soared. He recited, "Sun Tzu: If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and reevaluate."
- "Man looks in the abyss…" Right before Bud Fox got arrested, the wise stock trader Lou Mannheil (played brilliantly by Hal Holbrook) delivered another of the five best Wall Street movie quotes. He took Bud aside and bestowed this gem on him, "Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss."
- "You're a two-bit pirate…" Terrence Stamp played Sir Lawrence Waldman, a corporate raider and Gekko's adversary in the airline deal, who delivered the fifth best Wall Street movie quote when confronted by Gekko. "You're a two-bit pirate and a greenmailer–nothing more, Gekko. Not only would you sell your mother to make a deal, you'd send her C.O.D."