Boiler Room and Wall Street are both about a young, lean hungry-for-money guy (a) gaining entry to the world of high finance, (b) learning the ropes, making big bucks and getting a little drunk on the juice of it all, and (c) eventually going too far, getting busted and crashing into a hole of shame and disrepute. Now we have a third one to process — a big-screen adaptation of Jordan Belfort‘s The Wolf of Wall Street (Bantam, 9.25.07) with Martin Scorsese directing, Leonardo DiCaprio starring and Terence Winter writing the script.
Belfort’s book is about how he became one of Wall Street’s most predatory film-flam artists, plying the trade of “penny stock” trading. A “Page Six” summary says that Belfort’s Stratton Oakmont group “pulled off pump and dump schemes in which fast-talking boiler-room brokers ran up the prices of shares with fraudulent phone pitches.” The item says that whatever money Belfort makes off the book and the film “would immediately be seized,” that “he still owes a fortune to investors, [having] made $13 million in restitution with $75 million or more in claims.”
Question is, what is there to say about or bring to another high-hormone blue-chip cautionary tale? We know all about greedy young guys in suspenders who will do anything to get to the top, and we know what happens to most of them sooner or later, so….what’s new?