Over the past 14 years working with and placing numerous finance and accounting specialists it has struck me how friends have been quick to regale me with their stereotypical views of professional finance people. With this in mind I’ve tried to select an interesting array of films and documentaries depicting a range of finance subjects and characters. Which one might best represent you or which one would you like to aspire to or avoid at all costs? Enjoy!
FBI Agent & No1 Enemy of the Mob – The Untouchables (1987)
Charles Martin Smith played mean shotgun-wielding accountant Oscar Wallace who used his knowledge of tax evasion to succeed where most of the FBI failed and jailed the monstrous Al Capone for non-payment of his taxes.
Corporate Pirates – ‘The Crimson Permanent Insurance’, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (1983)
Played as a short feature before the main film a bunch of elderly clerks and accountants turn their office block into a pirate ship and sail off to fight the Very Big Corporation of America by firing filing cabinets after it sacks one of their staff.
Vessel of a Demi God and Part-Time Ghostbuster – Ghostbusters I & II (1984 & 1989)
Rick Moranis plays Louis Tully a qualified accountant, lawyer and reserve Ghostbuster who is famously used as a vessel for the Demi God ‘Zaul’ in this hugely successful paranormal series of movies.
Double Agent & Accountant for MI6 – Casino Royale (2006)
The introduction of Daniel Craig as Bond also gave us Eva Green as the beautiful accountant Vesper Lynd, tasked with keeping an eye on Bond’s high stakes game of Poker and protect the millions of the British taxpayer’s money.
Accountant Gone Mad – Shallow Grave 1994
The feature film debut of Scottish director and Olympian 2012 legend Danny Boyle was a dark, hip, Generation X comedy about a trio of Edinburgh roommates whose narcissistic greed fuels murder and betrayal. Boisterous journalist Alex (Ewan McGregor), flirtatious doctor Juliet (Kerry Fox), and meek accountant David (Christopher Eccleston). The film sees the transformation of David from meek chartered accountant to a murderous and mad flat mate.
Theatre Producer – The Producers (1967)
Down-on-his-luck theatrical producer Max Bialystock is forced to romance rich old ladies to finance his efforts. When timid accountant Leo Bloom reviews Max’s accounting books, the two hit upon a way to make a fortune by producing a sure-fire flop. The play which is to be their gold mine? “Springtime for Hitler.”
The Wronged Banker – Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Andy Dufresne played by Tim Robbins is the wrongly convicted murderer in this 1940s set prison blockbuster. Banker by trade Andy uses his accounting skills to befriend wardens and the governor and demonstrate that accountants can take their skills anywhere.
Hero – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Classic film depicting George Bailey played by James Stewart, an all-round honest and good guy who manages a community finance operation. One of the few films to depict a finance professional in a good light!
Gambler – Trading Places (1983)
A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous commodity trading millionaires.
Rogue – Boiler Room (2000)
This film depicts finance at its worst. A group of lying cheating, stealing young stockbrokers selling worthless stocks to people they can fool by high pressured sales calls. One for fans of the ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’