Wall Street Film Script

“WALL STREET”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY BY
STANLEY WEISER & OLIVER STONE

 

OAXATAL PRODUCTIONS, INC.
COPYRIGHT
APRIL 1, 1987
THIRD DRAFT
Rev. 4/2/87
Rev. 4/15/87
Rev. 4/20/87
Rev. 4/23/87

 

 

EXT. WALL STREET – EARLY MORNING

FADE IN. THE STREET. The most famous third of a mile in the
world. Towering landmark structures nearly blot out the
dreary grey flannel sky. The morning rush hour crowds swarm
through the dark, narrow streets like mice in a maze, all in
pursuit of one thing: MONEY… CREDITS RUN.

INT. SUBWAY PLATFORM – EARLY MORNING

We hear the ROAR of the trains pulling out of the station.
Blurred faces, bodies, suits, hats, attache cases float into
view pressed like sardines against the sides of a door which
now open, releasing an outward velocity of anger and greed,
one of them BUD FOX.

EXT. SUBWAY EXIT – MORNING

The bubbling mass charges up the stairs. Steam rises from a
grating, shapes merging into the crowd. Past the HOMELESS
VETS, the insane BAG LADY with 12 cats and 20 shopping bags
huddled in the corner of Trinity Church…

Bud the Fox straggling behind, in a crumpled raincoat, tie
askew, young, very young, his bleary face buried in a Wall
Street Journal, folded, ‘subway style’, as he crosses the
street against the light.

BUD
Why Fox? Why didn’t you buy…
schmuck?

A car honks, swerving past.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Cavernous modern lobby. Bodies cramming into elevators. Bud,
stuffing the newspaper into his coat, jams in.

INT. ELEVATOR – MORNING

Blank faces stare ahead, each lost in private thoughts, Bud
again mouthing the thought, “stupid schmuck”, his eyes
catching a blond executive who quickly flicks her eyes away.
Paranoia in the elevator. We quickly cut into private lives.

WORRIED MAN (V.O.)
… he’ll sue me, could be for 5-6
million, and he’ll get a million,
the house, they’ll impound my
paychecks…damn, damn, why did I
sign that contract?

BLACK BIKE MESSENGER (V.O.)
… gotta get Lola in the sack man,
take her to the Garden for the
Terrells, Jimmy give me the tickets
for 12 bucks, I pull the midnight
shift, I could do 60 bucks… wow,
check those legs out…

His eyes on the same blonde exec who looks away, self-
conscious about her legs. The elevator stops at a floor,
discards only one person. The doors close a little too slowly.

BLONDE EXECUTIVE (V.O.)
… jerk…
(shifts her thoughts)
call Hanratty. The decimal points
on the code are uncalibrated.
Hoskins. The signatures on the bank
draft. Boyle, that
bitch…insurance…tax form. Shit,
talk to Kahn.
(recalling)
That’s Hanratty, Hoskins, Bank,
Boyle and Kahn… H2B2K – shoot,
insurance and theatre
tix…H2B2K,I,T — and the cleaners!
repeat…

Catching the eyes of Bud Fox once again wandering to her.
Camera moving to Bud who looks away.

BUD (V.O.)
…sorry, what a fox… funny, the
most beautiful girls in the world
are always on the street or in
elevators, never get to talk to
them, shy … my looks, never had
confidence in them …
overcompensating work syndrome…
prove your worth with money…
‘cept I’m not making any money…
(pause, the elevator
at another floor, slow)
… wonder what all these people
are thinking about.

Camera moving slowly again over the eyes. The silence of
individual tension reigns over all.

ANGRY MAN (V.O.)
…Screw him! I’ll destroy that
sonufabitch… he thinks he can
break a contract with me he’s got
something to learn.

SECRETARY (V.O.)
…9:15!… he’ll kill me this
time, he will really kill me… oh
come on elevator!… why do you
stop on every floor…

As the elevator stops again to disgorge two people.

BIKE MESSENGER (V.O.)
(pissed now at the elevator)
… come on man, time is money
man… One floor here I could do
eleven blocks…

BLONDE EXECUTIVE (V.O.)
H2B2K,I,T,CL,P,O,T2…
(pause, she looks
like she forgot something)

 

WORRIED MAN (V.O.)
…goddamn elevators!…people, too
many goddamn people in this world!

The elevator finally comes to a slow stop… They wait,
plead, beg, screech with the eyes.

The door at last opens. None of them acknowledging each
other, they all stampede out the door with an audible gasp
of release, a collective sign akin to making it to a urinal
after a punishing wait…

The elevator tension is over, but the killer grind continues.

INT. JACKSON, STEINEM INVESTMENT HOUSE – DAY

Credits continue to run. Bud moves past the functional
reception area, past CAROLYN, a cheerful young black girl.

CAROLYN
How you doing Buddy?

BUD
Great Carolyn, doing any better
would be a sin…

He slips off his overcoat, flicks some lint off his Paul
Stuart $500 suit, and enters the main trading room.

Brokers mill by their desks, gulping coffee, scanning the
papers, the quotrons. The digital clock by the big board
counter clicks to 9:26 am — four minutes until the market
opens. You can smell the hunger.

Bud takes a deep breath, tosses the newspaper away and
struts into the office — fuck it — it’s a new day.

MOVING past DAN STEEPLES, a flush-faced old-timer, a blue
and white Yale tie, with a carnation in his lapel.

BUD
Morning, Dan. What’s looking good
today?

STEEPLES
If I know I wouldn’t be in this
business. Get out while you’re
young, kid. I came here one day, I
sat down, and look at me now.

Past CHARLIE CUSHING, on the phone, a handsome chunk of man
with rugged good looks and Ivy League mannerisms.

BUD
…hey Chuckie, how’s the woman-
slayer?

CHARLIE
…still looking for the right 18
year old wife, how you doing, pal?

BUD
…if I had your looks, better.

CHARLIE
(used to it)
…takes years of genetics, pal,
and a Yale education… and the
right tailor.

BUD
…not that you learned anything,
Chunk.

Bud reaches his trading desk, whips open his briefcase and
pulls out a computer print-out of last night’s homework.

BUD
I gotta feeling we’re going to make
a killing today, Marv.

MARV (O.S.)
Yeah, where’s your machine gun.

BUD
Joke about it. I was up all night
charting these stocks. You want to
see this or what?

His associate, MARVIN, a manicky wise-guy, swivels over his
chair from a nearby desk. He gives the charts a quick read.

MARV
(scowling)
Looks bearish to me, buddy. You got
it all upside down.
(confidential)
Okay, I’m giving this to you and
you alone, ’cause I feel sorry for
you. Take the Knicks against the
Bullets, and my pick of the day —
Duke to beat the spread against
Wake Forest.

BUD
Thanks, Marv, with that I might be
able to qualify for welfare.

LOU MANNHEIM, strolls in, a dignified looking older broker
in his late 60’s, wearing an old brown brim hat with button
down white shirt, narrow tie, very much a picture from
another era… a kind humor in his eyes… but obviously
ailing in the legs and breath department.

BUD
(friendly)
You got a look in your eye, Mr.
Mannheim… You got something for
the small fry…

MANNHEIM
Jesus, can’t make a buck in this
market, country’s going to hell
faster than when that sonofabitch
Roosevelt was around… too much
cheap money sloshing around the
world. The biggest mistake we ever
made was letting Nixon get off the
gold standard. Putney Drug–you
boys might want to have a look at it.

MARV
Take 5 years for that company to
turn around.

MANNHEIM
…but they got a good new drug.
Stick to the fundamentals, that’s
how IBM and Hilton were built…good
things sometimes take time.

The stentorian voice of OFFICE MANAGER HIERONYMUS LYNCH
booms over the intercom.

We see him peering from behind the glass partition in hit
office; tall, balding with a perpetual worried look on his
face.

LYNCH
Attention. Please. Office Production
is down ten percent this week. I
recommend that you all go through
your clients’ investments for any
portfolio adjustments. And don’t
forget — double commissions today
on our ‘A’ or better bond funds.
(looking in Bud and
Marv’s direction)
Especially you rookies. Also,
remember, the sales contest ends
tomorrow.

Bud and Marvin roll their eyes. The digital clock flashes
9:30. The CREDITS close.

BUD
And they’re off and running!

The room rises to a subtle but new energy level with the
clatter of the ticker, speakers, teletype machines,
newsprinters’ Dow Jones and Reuters, phones ringing off the
hook. Brokers are shouting orders, running for tickets,
dodging each other; it’s a controlled riot.

BROKERS
Here’s a hot lead… Have I got one
for you…. sell … dump it all!!
… 500 at an eighth, an eighth!…
July fifties. April thirties…how
bout those Decembers? You see where
they’re going? … Morgan is
selling a billion one at the close.
Yeah. That’s right, they’re selling
all over the place… we’re still
long on the treasuries — $110
million. What about the Japs?
…Where am I?
(confused at all the
phone lights)
We gotta lot of lights here! Let’s
pick ’em up.

BUD
(on phone)
Jack, take 50 Gulf, with a 3/8 top,
forget the hundred. What about
Delroy? I can go long at 23, let’s
go long…Conwest Air — let me
check it…

He looks up at the TICKER… stock quotes whizzing by.

BUD (O.S. CONT’D)
Up an eighth. How many you want?
It’s on the floor.

He writes the order up.

A shot of CHARLIE CUSHING yawning as he half-listens to his
customer, resting the phone on his kneecaps.

DISSOLVE TO:

THE CLOCK… It’s 2.30 p.m. We hear the relentless clatter
of the board ticker, and the drone of disembodied voices,
blarihg market information out of squawk boxes.

Bud’s desk is now cluttered with order tickets, literature,
crumpled notes, beverage cups and a half-eaten sandwich.
He’s on the phone and from the look on his face, the caller
on the other end is breaking his balls. Marvin paces past,
making a dramatic phone pitch.

MARV
Dr. Beltzer has to have his
information this minute! It
concerns his future!

Bud waves Marvin away, answers his caller, trying to keep
cool, worried how as he sees Lynch, the office manager,
coming over.

BUD
Hey Howard, I thought you were a
gentleman. Sure it’s gone down a
little bit, but you got the tip
from your printer, I didn’t… Yeah
you did. That’s what you said.
(heated)
I didn’t tell you to buy it, why
would I tell you to sell it?
(screaming)
No, I can’t give it back! Give it
back to who? You own it!
(beat)
No, he’s out right now.

As he looks up and winks at Lynch, standing over him.

BUD
(cupping the receiver)
… That’s what you told us to say.

LYNCH
Give me that phone.
(takes receiver)
Yes, sir, this is the manager. What
seems to be the problem?

MARV
(into his phone)
What?… Well, how was I to know
you were in surgery? What am I
Marvin the mind reader here?

Bud whispers, tensely. Lynch listens.

BUD
He’s lying.

LYNCH
Okay, sir. I’ll discuss this with
the broker and I’ll get back to you.
You’re welcome.

Lynce hangs up and glares at Bud.

LYNCH
If I’m closing out this account. If
he doesn’t pay for it tomorrow, you
pay for it.

BUD
Mr. Lynch, I swear to you, he’s lying!

LYNCH
Fox, you’re making more problems
than you are sales.

BUD
I don’t think you’re being fair,
sir. You assigned me this guy, and
you know he’s got a history…

LYNCH
Somebody has to pay for that error.
And it’s not me.

Lynch walks off. Bud does some quick calculations in his head.

MARV
(reappearing)
Buddy, buddy, buddy; little
trouble, huh, today.

BUD
(devastated)
Howard the Jerk reneged on me. I’ve
got to cover his loss to the tune
of about seven grand! I’m tapped
out man, American Express got a hit
man looking for me.

MARV
Hey, things could be worse. It
could’ve been my money. Let me help
you out, rookie.

He takes out his wallet and loans Bud a hundred bucks.

BUD
Thanks Marv, I’ll make it good to
you.
(fervently)
You know what my dream is? One day
to be on the other end of that
phone…

MARV
Just put me on the institutional
side of the room where the real
cheesecake is. You forgetting
something?

Marvin points up at the clock. Bud looks up… it’s 2:40.
Bud quickly composes himself. He picks up the phone, dialing
purposefully.

MARV (CONT’D)
Buddy, buddy, when ya gonna realize
it’s big game hunters that bag the
elephants, not retail brokers. I
heard this story about Gekko… he
was on the phone 30 seconds after
the Challenger blew up selling NASA
stocks short.

BUD
Hello, Natalie — guess who? That’s
right, and you know everyday I say
to myself, today could be the day…
So what do you say… will you
marry me? Then please can you get
me through to Mr. Gekko?

MARV
(coaching)
It concerns his future!

BUD
Of course he’s busy, and so am I.
Five minutes. That’s all I’m asking.
I know that if he could only hear
what I have to say… it would
change his life.

INT. GEKKO OFFICE – DAY

NATALIE, a classy attractive Englishwoman is on the phone
with Bud, somewhat amused by his manner. She is the personal
secretary to multimillionaire, Wall Street trader and
raider, Gordon Gekko. His windows look out on a panoramic
view of the city and East River.

NATALIE
Mr. Fox, I’ve told you before, I’m
sure you’re a good broker, but our
traders talk to the brokers, Mr.
Gekko only deals with investment
bankers. Yes, I shall give him your
message …

As they’re speaking, another SECRETARY leads two well-heeled
JAPANESE BUSINESSMEN past her desk. As she opens the door to
the inner office and ushers them inside, we catch a glimpse
of a figure, pacing back and forth, talking animatedly on
the phone by the huge corner window. HE IS GORDON GEKKO. We
hear a deafening ROAR as we:

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MCGREGOR’S BAR AND GRILL – NEAR LAGUARDIA AIRPORT –
TWILIGHT

In the background, a 747 ascends into the night sky,
climbing over the roof tops of weathered brick tract houses.
Bud, coat collar pulled up against the wind, crosses the
street, entering a neighborhood bar. We see an old maroon
Honda behind him.

INT. MCGREGOR’S – TWILIGHT

Dimly-lit, noisy, blue-collar airline bar. Machinists and
mechanics still in their overalls at the bar, drinking,
watching ESPN FIGHT NIGHT, on TV. Bud searches the crowd. A
group of middle-aged men wave him over, BLUESTAR AIRLINES
insignias on the pockets… CHARLIE DENT, a rugged, chain-
smoking ex-Marine Sergeant, and DOMINICK AMATO, a big strong
Italian greet Buddy as he comes over.

CHARLIE
Buddy boy, how ya doing?

BUD
Great Charlie, any better it’d be a
sin.

AMATO
(slapping Bud)
I hear all you guys on Wall Street
are millionaires, when you gonna
make us rich?

BUD
Gotta open an account to win the
lottery, Dominick. Give me 15,000,
you’ll have a condo in Florida next
Christmas.

CARL
… sure and we’ll own the airline.
If he makes anybody rich, let him
make himself rich, so’s he can pay
off his school loans.

As he signs an unemployment insurance form for one of his men.

BUD
… nice to see you in such a good
mood Dad, what’d Mom do, give you
fish for dinner? … You’re smoking
too much, how many times do you
gotta go to the hospital to …

Carl, inhaling his cigarette, grimaces formidably,
terminating the subject.

CARL
…leave me alone willya. Only
thing makes me feel good anymore.
Spaghetti. She makes lousy
spaghetti…

BUD
It’s called pasta now Dad,
spaghetti’s out of date.

Bud sitting down next to him, pats him around the shoulder.
Dad, a sarcastic and gruff edge to him, makes a faint smile.
He has a genuine affection and pride in his somewhat
glamorous son.

CARL
… so am I. Whaddaya want, a beer?
(to waitress)
Hey Billie, bring another for the
kid, he looks good, doesn’t he?

Dominick and Charlie go off. A pause. Father and son sizing
each other up with a look.

CARL
… looks like you grown another
inch… but you don’t look so hot,
getting bags under your eyes,
starting to look old like me.

BUD
Ah, I had a tough day. Some jerk
D.K’d me and I gotta cover his loss.

CARL
Speak English will ya.

BUD
D.K. — didn’t know — who I was
when the options he bought took a
bath. He reneged on me.

CARL
(nods, satisfied)
I told you not to go into that
racket. You could’ve been a doctor
or a lawyer,

BUD
Coulda been a contender.

CARL (CONT.)
you coulda stayed at Bluestar and
been a supervisor in instead of
going customer relations by now,
‘stead of going off and bein’ a
salesman.

BUD
(an old story between them)
Look Dad, I’m not a salesman. How
many times I gotta tell you I’m an
account executive, and pretty soon
I’m going to the investment banking
side of the firm.

CARL
You get on the phone and ask
strangers for their money, right?
You’re a salesman.

BUD
(ticked)
Dad, it takes time. You gotta build
a customer list. I’m doing it. I
could make more money in one year
as a broker than five years at the
airline.

CARL
I don’t get it, you get a
scholarship to NYU, you get 35,000
the first year, and 50 last year,
where the hell is it?

BUD
50 K don’t get you to first base in
the Big Apple, Dad, not any more. I
pay 40% in taxes, I got a rent of
15,000, I got school loans, car
loans, food, park my car costs me 3
bills a month, I need good suits,
that’s $500 a pop, shoes…

CARL
So come home and live rent free,
‘stead of that cockroach palace you
live in. $50,000 Jesus Christ, the
world is off its rocker. I made
$37,000 last year and you…

BUD
It’s Queens, Dad and a 5% mortgage
and you rent the top room–I gotta
live in Manhattan to be a player,
Dad. There’s no nobility in poverty
anymore, y’know. One day you’re
going to be proud of me, you’ll
see…
(hurting)

CARL
(sees it)
It’s yourself you’ve got to be
proud of, Huckleberry, how much ya
need?

BUD
(beat)
Can you spare three hundred? Pay
you back next month, promise.

Dad reaches into his pocket, looks at his cash. It hurts.

CARL
…Got a 100 on me, you…

BUD
(embarrassed)
Not in here Dad… please. Later.

Dad shrugs, puts it away.

CARL
… it adds up Buddy, 300 here, 200
there. Your brother never…
(cuts off when he
sees Buddy’s face)
…well, I always said money is
something you need in case you
don’t die tomorrow…

BUD
(changes subject)
How’s Mom?

Another man comes over with a bandage around his head and a
compensation form for Carl to sign. (“Hey, chief”).

CARL
(with affection)
…same, pain in the ass, god bless
her, talks too much… gonna take
her to Florida next month… west
coast, near Tampa, like to get out
for good, but can’t afford it.

BUD
…Work okay?

CARL
(lights another
cigarette, grimaces)
…this drug testing is driving my
guys nuts. I got flagged for my
blood pressure pills. The only good
news is, we just met with the
comptroller over some union
stuff…’member that crash last
summer? and the investigation?
Well, the FAA is gonna rule it was
a manufacturing flaw in the door
latch mechanism. I kept telling ’em
it wasn’t maintenance, it was those
goddamn greedy manufacturers out in
Cincinnati. And I was right.

He gives the signed form back to the injured man. (Carl:
“Okay, Frank”)

BUD
That’s great Dad.

CARL
Damn right, it gets us out from
under suspension. We’ll get those
new routes to Pittsburgh and Boston
and the equipment we need. We’re
gonna compete with the big boys now.

BUD
(boasts)
Hey to Bluestar, as your broker all
I can advise is hold on to that
stock Dad…

They drink. Bud reflects a moment.

BUD
You sure about this FAA announcement?

CARL
About what?

BUD
The FAA announcement.

CARL
Sure I’m sure. Buddy, you got that
mischievous look in your eyes. You
used to smile just like that when
you were a baby sleeping, just like
that.

Bud’s mind racing elsewhere.

INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – UPPER WEST SIDE – NIGHT

A cramped studio facing an air shaft with bars on the window.
Moving across to the sound of the radio alarm going off and
the glib tones of a rock D.J. announcing the Met’s latest
streak … The walls are papered with stock analyses and
graphs, print out pages strewn across the floor. No other
semblance of a personal life except clothes haphazardly
tossed, Barron’s and Fortune magazines. A GIRL’s back is all
we see, sleeping naked on the bed.

Close on Bud’s IBM computer — his appointment calendar. Bud
focusing on an underlined notation: G.G.’s BIRTHDAY.

Bud stares at the clock: 4 a.m. He picks up a prospectus for
a chemical company, starts reading.

EXT. GEKKO BUILDING – MORNING

Bud, crossing lower Broadway, enters a magnificent towering
glass structure.

INT. GORDON GEKKO PENTHOUSE OFFICES – MORNING

NATALIE, Gekko’s British secretary, is completing shorthand
notes as the intercom buzzes. A logo for “GEKKO & CO. is
behind her.

RECEPTION
(off)
… I have a delivery here for Mr.
Gekko. It’s a personal item and the
gentleman says you have to sign for
it.

NATALIE
(frowning)
…all right, send him in…

INT. HALLWAY – MORNING

Bud, somewhat nervous, is led down an impressive hallway
hung with expensive modern art… past a huge Calder mobile
and a pool of some 15 traders on phones, quotron terminals
and keyboards… into Natalie’s outer office.

BUD
Hello, Natalie, you recognize the
voice? I’ll give you a hint, you’re
thinking seriously about marrying
me…

NATALIE
(recognizing the voice)
What are you doing here?

BUD
…And you’re even lovelier than I
pictured. I brought a birthday
present for Mr. Gekko.

NATALIE
First of all, Mr. Fox, you can’t
just come barging in here. And what
makes you think it’s his birthday?

Bud takes out an old crumpled Fortune magazine cover of
Gordon Gekko, entitled “Gekko the Great!”

BUD
It’s in the bible, see. You better
go buy him a present. Please,
Natalie. Let me give him the gift;
Cuban cigars–Davidoff, his
favorite and hard to get.

NATALIE
(sighs)
Stay here, I’ll see what I can do.

She takes the gift and enters Gekko’s office. Bud paces
nervously. Natalie re-appears, stern, but a note of
compromise in her voice.

NATALIE
Wait outside.

INT. GEKKO OFFICES – OUTSIDE RECEPTION AREA – DAY

Bud on the courtesy phone, hangs up, looks nervously at his
watch. Almost 12. He’s lost some two hours of business.
Natalie suddenly comes out, without a smile.

NATALIE
Five minutes…

Bud brightens, pumping himself in the mirror, muttering.

BUD
(to Natalie)
Well… life all comes down to a
few moments, and this is one of ’em…

He follows Natalie.

INT. GORDON GEKKO’S OFFICE (BUD’S POV) – DAY

Furnishings in hypermodern gray and black lacquer, Modern
Art ranging from black field paintings by Ad Reinhardt to
the smashed dishes of Julian Schnabel. Nautilus equipment,
hi-tech gadgets are in evidence, including a splendid Howard
Miller World Time Clock, and a world map…

Three of Gekko’s people, young MBA’s dressed for success,
are scattered about the room, on phones, calculators, coming
in and out.

GORDON GEKKO aka Gekko the Great as the media calls him,
dressed in a custom English suit, paces on the phone with
the restlessness of a caged tiger, a 50-foot extension cord
attached to his blinking 130 line silver-plated telephone.
On his ears is a headset.

He is carrying on overlapping conversations with a myriad of
bankers, partners and lawyers; pausing to issue commands to
his aides while keeping his eye on the stock prides spitting
across a bank of quotron monitors, carrying everything from
New York Exchanges to London, commodities, gold, and
currency values. A second Secretary and sometimes Natalie
exit and enter with various messages written on a piece of
paper, indicating a waiting party on the phone. Gekko often
shakes his head “no”.

GEKKO
(on phone)
… what the hell is going on? I
just saw 200,000 shares move, are
we part of it, we better be, pal,
or I’m gonna eat your lunch for
you… get on 1.
(switches lines)
Sorry, love it at forty. It’s an
insult at fifty. Their analysts
don’t know preferred stock from
livestock…
(a beat, mischievous smile)
wait for it to head south, then
we’ll raise the sperm count on the
deal… right. Get back to me….
(to Alex, an aide
listening an the
other line)
This is the kid that’s called me 59
days in a row. Wants to be a player
(to Bud)
There oughta be a picture of you in
the dictionary under persistence.
(back to phone)
Look, Jerry, I’m looking for
negative control, no more than 30
to 35%, just enouqh to block
anybody else’s merger plans and
find out from the inside if the
books are cooked. If it looks as
good as on paper, we’re in the kill
zone. We lock and load pal…get on 3.

ALEX DE BETANCOURT, a tall handsome Frenchman, jots a note
and follows Gordon over to line 3. Gekko’s dark intent eyes
fixing briefly on Bud who stands waiting in the corner. He
motions him to sit.

GEKKO
(new line)
Yeah, Billy, who’s your buyer?…
No, not interested.
(eyes an Quotron, to
Ollie, a trader)
Ollie, start calling a the
institutions, start with Marx at
Janson Mutual, then Reardon. Get me
that California retirement money,
baby! And we’re on our way!

OLLIE
You got it, G.G.

OLLIE, a gigantic 200 pound man wearing pink suspenders,
rises and walks to another phone, past Bud…

GEKKO
(back on line with
Billy, listening)
… check the arbs for MacDonald’s.
Yeah, I’m having a Mac attack.
20,000 shares. For about 30 minutes.
Lunch? Are you joking — lunch is
for wimps. Get back to me…
(to Alex)
4.

Bud’s eyes on the framed “tombstones” from the Wall Street
Journal commemorating Gekko’s successful deals; they hang
like scalps from the walls. Gekko’s eyes drifting to Bud, a
friendly easy smile for a flick of an instant, he has
genuine charm in his manner and though ultrafast verbally,
projects calm and confidence at the center. A man who
obviously loves what he does, to some small degree is
flashing his stuff for the outsider.

GEKKO
(line 4)
Look Harold, they’re vulnerable,
alright, but we don’t want ’em to
think they’re under accumulation.
Go slow. Call Geneva and the
Bahamas for me, will ya? We feint
towards it but we wait…

ALEX
What about tipping off Yurovich?

GEKKO
(grimaces)
If I ever need surgery, get me the
heart of an arb like Yurovich, it’s
never been used…Happy Holideals
Harold…

Hangs up, eyes to Bud. His headset comes off.

BUD
(nervous)
How do you do Mr. Gekko. I’m Bud Fox.

GEKKO
So you say. Nice to meet you; hope
you’re intelligent. Like these,
how’d you get these?
(indicating cigars)

 

BUD
(tries a smile, awkward)
…got a connection at the airport.

Gekko notes the answer, wrapping the cuff of a state-of-the-
art, automatic blood pressure monitor around his arm and
starts pumping it up. His aides continue on the phones.

GEKKO
So what s on your mind kimosabe?
Why am I listening to you? Got to
monitor my blood pressure, so
whatever you do, don’t upset me.

BUD
Oh no, no…

GEKKO
(demonstrating it)
Within 45 seconds, a microprocessor
computes your systolic and
diastolic pressure. Has an LCD
readout, and it’s cost effective —
less than one visit to the doctor.

BUD
I just want to let you know Mr.
Gekko I read all about you at NYU
Business, and I think you’re an
incredible genius and I’ve always
dreamed of only one thing — to do
business with a man like you…

GEKKO
(smiles, impatient
with the speech)
So what firm you with, pal?

BUD
Jackson, Steinem…

GEKKO
(nods)
…going places, good junk bond
department, you got the financing
on that Syndicam deal.

BUD
…Yeah, and we’re working on some
other interesting stuff.

GEKKO
(fishing)
…A cosmetics company by any
chance? What are you, the 12th man
on the deal team? The last to know?

BUD
(smiles)
Can’t tell you that, Mr. Gekko.

GEKKO
So whatta you got for me, sport?
Why are you here?

Bud opens his attache case and rifles out a handful of
briefs. Gekko noting the blood pressure reading and taking
the cuff off his arm. Ollie, the big trader, ambles back in,
says something to the third aide, a young intelligent-
looking woman SUSAN TURNER.

BUD
Chart break-out on this one
here…uh Whitewood-Young
Industries…low P.E. Explosive
earnings. 30% discount from book.
Great cash flow. Coupla 5% holders.
Strong management.

GEKKO
It’s a dog, what else you got,
sport, besides connections at the
airport?

NATALIE
Mr. Stevenson in San Fransisco.

Gekko takes the call, cutting Bud off.

GEKKO
He respond to the offer? What? What
the hell’s Cromwell doing giving
lecture tours when his company’s
losing 60 million a quarter? I
guess he’s giving lectures on how
to lose money…if this guy opened
a funeral parlor, no one would die,
this turkey’s totally brain
dead…Well Christmas is over and
business is business.
(simultaneous to Ollie)
Keep buying. Dilute the sonofabitch.
Ollie I want every orifice in his
body flowing red.

OLLIE
(laughs, on the phone)
He’s flowing, Gordo. Piece of cake.

Gekko hanging up and buzzing an aide. Throws out an aside to
Bud.

GEKKO
…doesn’t look like it but the
best trader on the street…
(to Susan)
Sue get the LBO analysis on Teldar
Paper and bring it here…what else?

Bud shifting, uncomfortable as Gekko finally swivels his
attention back to him.

BUD
(coming right back)
Tarafly…Analysts don’t like it. I
do. The breakup value is twice the
market price. The deal finances
itself. Sell off two divisions,
keep…

Aiex, knowing the stock, sneers, shares a look with Gekko
who looks up at Bud with the first sign of interest.

GEKKO
(laughs)
Not bad for a quant, but a dog with
different fleas.
(checks his hi-tech watch)
Come on, tell me something I don’t
know. It’s my birthday, pal,
surprise me…

As he opens a birthday card and feeds it into the SHREDDER
that sits next to his desk over the waste basket. The sound
it makes is soft and menacing. Buddy knows its fourth down
and long, Gekko’s attention is shifting to the quotron. In
frustration, Bud blurts it out.

BUD
(standing)
Bluestar Airlines.

The camera moves on him now, sudden, more intense, in a
sense trapping him.

GEKKO
…rings a bell somewhere. So what?

BUD
A comer. 80 medium-body jets. 300
pilots, flies northeast, Canada,
some Florida and Caribbean routes…
great slots in major cities…

GEKKO
…don’t like airlines, lousy
unions…

BUD
There was a crash last year. They
just got a favorable ruling on a
lawsuit. Even the plaintiffs don’t
know.

Gekko looks up, remotely interested.

GEKKO
How do you know?

BUD
(hesitates, concerned)
I know…the decision’ll clear the
way for new planes and route
contracts. There’s only a small
float out there, so you should grab
it. Good for a five point pop.

Ollie comes back in, as excited as he ever will get under
his rolls of flesh, his voice deadpan.

OLLIE
… just got 250,000 shares at 18
1/4 from Janson, think I’ll pull
twice that at 18 1/2 outta the
California pensions. We got close
to half a million shares in the bag.

GEKKO
Hey, the Terminator! Blow ’em away
Ollie.

OLLIE
And, I’m pretty sure we got the
Beezer Brothers out of Tulsa coming
in with us and I’m working on the
Silverberg boys in Canada.

GEKKO
Rip their throats out and put them
in your garbage compactor.
(to Bud)
Interesting. You got a card?

Buddy thrusts a card into his hands. Gekko glances at it.

BUD
My home number’s on the back…

GEKKO
(smiles, looks at card)
Bud Fox, I look at a hundred ideas
a day. I choose one.

Bud stuffs his notes back into the briefcase, hoping for a
word of encouragement in the awkward silence.

BUD
Well, hope to hear from you, sir.

He turns and heads out the door, still shaken by the
revelation he has made passing Susan who hurries in with a
dossier.

Gekko glances at it. As Bud leaves, he overhears:

GEKKO
(off)
OK gang, looks like we’re going
over 5% in Teldar, start the
lawyers on a tender offer and 13D,
we keep going after everything in
sight but don’t pay over $22.
They’re gonna fight, they got Myers
and Thromberg doing their legal,
they make Nazis look like nice guys…

INT. OUTSIDE GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud walks glumly past Natalie, certain that he’s blown it.
She’s busy on the phone.

BUD
…thanks Natalie.

NATALIE
(buzzing inside, preoccupied)
…have a nice day Mr. Stone.
(wrong name, doesn’t
notice, to Gekko on phone)
… Mr. Gekko, the conference call
is ready. Mr. Sugarman and Mr.
Lorenzo in Delaware. Mr. Bernard in
Los Angeles. Mr. Jackson and Ms.
Rosco in London. They’re all on.

The phone call goes behind closed doors. Bud walks out,
dejected.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud comes in, distracted, punches into his quatron. Teldar
Paper comes up.

MARV
(comes over)
…well, see him?

BUD
(mind on the computer)
Yeah, but he didn’t see me.

MARV
Cheer up buddy buddy. You shook
Gekko the Great’s hand and you
still got all your fingers. He’s
not the only elephant in the jungle.

INSERT: TELDAR PAPER. The quotron. Bud’s eyes. Thinking to buy.

MARV
(looks)
… got something from him? Teldar
Paper?

Bud wipes it off the screen, his mind made up, dismissing
the temptation to buy.

BUD
…a dog with fleas.

Lynch, the manager, stalks past with some telexes.

LYNCH
Where you been the last 3 hours,
Fox? I wouldn’t be sitting around
chin wagging if I were you…
plenty of names in that phone book
to cold call…

Marvin gives Lynch the Italian salute, behind his back.
Grudgingly, Buddy flips open the massive New York phone book.

MARV
…got tickets for the Knicks
tonight. Go out and cruise some
bimbos afterwards, whaddaya say?

BUD
(shakes his head)
…gotta read my reports.

MARV
Forget charts! We’re not fund
managers, Bud, churn ’em and burn
’em. I’m offering you the Knicks
and chicks. God save you before you
turn into poor Steeples over there.

Their eyes briefly on DAN STEEPLES, red faced, desperately
trying to make a sale on the telephone, hangs up defeated.

BUD
…preferably Lou Mannheim…

Their eyes briefly on LOU MANNHEIM, in his private office,
sitting there slumped, thinking, smoking as he watches the
quotron.

MARV
Nice guy but a loser. Lost all his
equity when his firm went belly up
in the recession of 71. you wanna
be coming in here in your late
sixties still pitching? …
Whatever happened to that cute
analyst at Thudder, Wicks? …
Cindy? Susan?

BUD
Cindy. Having sex with her is like
reading the Wall Street Journal
‘cept the Journal don’t talk back.
‘Sides this AIDS crap is ruining
romance, nobody trusts anybody
anymore, gotta get a blood test in
the toilet before you leave a bar
together, somebody oughtta invent
an AIDS dipstick, no kidding, make
a fortune. I gotta get to work…
Z’s today.
(hitting the phone
with the directory)

The pool SECRETARY, GINA, calls out.

GINA
Call for you Buddy.

BUD
(taking it)
Bud Fox.

Bud rears up in his seat. A change. Marvin notices.

INT. GORDON GEKKO OFFICE – SIMULTANEOUS – DAY

Gekko talks into his speaker phone, gazing out the window.

GEKKO
Alright Bud Fox… buy me twenty
thousand shares of Bluestar. No
more than 15 1/8, 3/8 tops, and
don’t screw it up sport.

INT. BUD’S CUBICLE – DAY

The camera tracks around and in on him climactically as the
Music Theme rises to ensnare him… We end close on Bud.
Dumbstruck.

BUD
Yes, sir. Thank you. You won’t
regret it.

He hangs up, stunned still, rises from his chair, unbuttons
his collar and feverishly starts writing the ticket.

MARV
Got a little action there, eh buddy?

BUD
Marv,
(turns triumphant)
…I just bagged the elephant!

EXT. COLUMBUS AVENUE – NIGHT

The upper West Side. The young, the rich and the restless
parade along the avenue, jamming the neighborhood restaurants
and bars. Bud glides along, feeling a part of the crowd now,
past a dreadlocked DERELICT swigging Thunderbird and
shouting obscenities, shaking a wooden African spear.

INT. RESTAURANT/BAR – NIGHT

Inside a glitzy neighborhood singles bar in which Bud stops,
everybody seems to be young and drinking margueritas. Bud
orders a beer, surveying the room like a veteran, overhearing
the conversation of a YOUNG TRADER to two other broker types.

YOUNG TRADER
…you know Marty Wyndham? He
netted $650,000 out of that
merger…26 years old, the guy’s
Rambo. Got himself a Porsche Turbo
Cabriolet about 75 thou, got a
house in Westhampton, penthouse on
Second Avenue, gets up at 2:30 in
the morning, he’s in the office at
4…guy never sleeps…Rambo genes…

He blathers on as Bud surveys the room, noticing an ELEGANT
BLONDE with a striking aloof beauty, very much the debutante
dream Grace Kelly type, so refined that you wonder what she
could possibly be doing out at night in public alone.

Bud summons his courage, catches his breath, makes his way
over… She sees him approach, obviously doesn’t wish to
talk, eyes darting elsewhere like a nervous deer.

BUD
(awkward)
Hi…can I buy you a drink? I’m
celebrating tonight.

BLONDE
(disdainful)
Please, no thanks…
(looking away)

BUD
Look, I know you get approached a
lot by dubious men, but I’m
different, I never talk to
strangers, all my life I’ve been
waiting for the right person to
walk across the room…
you’re that person, you don’t know
it but I do and if you walk away
now I’ll never see you again or you
me. You’ll grow old.

BLONDE
Oh really.

BUD (CONT’D)
I’ll grow old. We’ll both die. And
we’ll never have known each other.
That’s sad. At least one drink for
a dreamer…What’s your favorite
drink?

She looks at him, not quite sure. Is he serious or glib?

BLONDE
(uncommitted)
Grand Marnier.

BUD
Sounds like a french word, what is it?

BLONDE
It’s a romantic and tragic drink.

BUD
Sounds tempting. I prefer mine with
a twist of fate. You know like us
meeting. Don’t go away…

Maybe, just maybe she’s his! His eyes show it as he hurries
back to the bar to order. As he gets the bartender’s
attention, he turns and sees that she is joined by a MAN who
looks as if he stepped out of the pages of GQ. Together they
walk away. Stung, Bud watches as the woman of his dreams
disappears out the door.

BARTENDER
What do you want?

BUD
…I just lost it.

EXT. NIGHTCLUB – NIGHT (RAIN)

Bud and a DATE he’s obviously just picked up, are struggling
to be seen in a mass of people trying to get in the hottest
new club in Manhattan. Bud easing forward along the ropes to
a large BOUNCER who roughly pushes one of the bridge-and-
tunnel kids back across the rope.

Joe discreetly shows him $50 but they guy says: “No room!,”
humiliating him in front of his date. The bouncer shoving
Bud aside as Gordon Gekko and KATE, his wife, and ENTOURAGE
(ALEX, others) are shown through the ropes into the door.
Bud says something to Gordon but it gets lost in the confusion.

EXT. 79TH STREET & BROADWAY – EARLY DAY

People pouring into the subway on the way to work. Bud
rifles through the Financial Times he’s just bought at the
newsstand and finds the article he was looking for: BLUESTAR
EXONERATED IN 1984 CRASH. He thrusts his fist in the air,
victoriously…bounds down the subway stairs.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud’s on the quotron and the phone; the word’s spread around
the office, he’s landed Gekko and brokers drop by his desk
to get the lowdown.

BUD
(on the phone)
What’s it at now? Still moving. Great!

STEEPLES
The man of the day. Pour some water
on him to cool him off…one of
these days I want to know how you
got Gekko’s account.

BUD
(indicating Dan’s
Yale tie)
My magic tie, Dan.

STEEPLES
I’ll trade you.

Lou Mannheim and a Chinese LADY BROKER intersect.

CHINESE LADY
Gordo the Great, way to go.

MANNHEIM
(pleased)
Good little company. I remember
when we got the money for Bluestar
to build those first planes, back
in the fifties.

CHINESE LADY
(to Bud)
I hear you’re buying Teldar.

Bud smiles back at her mischievously.

BUD
Sleep with me and the secrets of
the West are yours.

MANNHEIM
Now that’s a crap company, sure
you’ll make money on the takeover
rumor, but what’s being created.
Nothing. No substance behind it.

BUD
(succinct)
Old values. Buy.

She hears him. As they go, Marvin swivels madly over in his
chair.

MARV
Buddy, buddy, some buddy; why
didn’t you tell me to buy Bluestar.

BUD
Hey Marv, he demanded
confidentiality…

MARV
Gimme a break. You buy Bluestar
Airlines yesterday. Today they just
happen to get good news and the
stock goes bat shit. You must have
ESP. A real Nostradamus.
(Bud ignoring him,
picking up the phone)
Jesus Christ, what are friends for?

BUD
All right, I owe you one Marv.

MARV
That’s right, next time a little
birdie talks to you, talk to me too
E.F. Hutton.

GINA
(pool secretary)
Buddy, phone…Gordon Gekko!

Everybody in the adjacent area turns and looks at Buddy like
in an E.F. Hutton commercial.

BUD
(on phone)
Hi Natalie…lunch at 21?
(looks at watch)
I’m out the door…

As he springs up to leave, Lynch the manager happens to be
strolling by. He nods pleasantly at Buddy.

LYNCH
Nice piece of work, Fox. Why don’t
you join me and the partners for
lunch tomorrow in the dining room?

BUD
I’d love to, Mr. Lynch, thank you.

INT. 21 CLUB – DAY

Dark mahagony wood, plush banquettes, a long oak bar. Bud
enters the main dining room in a relatively outre suit that
hangs on him embarrassingly as other businessmen in well-cut
suits move around him and a Maitre d’ sniffs, then leads him
to where Gekko is parked, finishing up his lunch. A half
finished plate is removed to make way for Bud.

GEKKO
Hi sport.

BUD
(still nervous)
Nice to see you again Mr. Gekko.

He’s seated.

GEKKO
Try the steak tartare. It’s off the
menu but Louis’ll make it for you…

MAITRE D’
Of course sir. And to drink?

He looks at Gekko’s bottled water.

BUD
Uh…just a Evian, thank you…

The Maitre d’ leaves. Gekko proudly pulls a tiny 3″ by 6″
color television out of his pocket with a 2″ diagonal
screen, flips it on to the Dow Jones avarages.

GEKKO
See this? Can you believe it? Two
inch screen…

BUD
…I can’t even see it…

GEKKO
…for my kid Rudy — 3 years old,
electronics freak, got a liquid
crystal display ‘stead of an
electronic beam. We’re going into a
new age pal. So how’s business today.

BUD
Bluestar was at 21 and an eighth
when I left the office. It might
spin up to 25 by the bell…

GEKKO
(a tiny smile)
Teldar’s shooting up. Buy any for
yourself? Bet you were on the phone
two minutes after you got out of my
office.

BUD
(flushes)
No sir, that would’ve been illegal…

GEKKO
(doesn’t believe him)
Sure…relax sport, no one’s gonna
blow a whistle. Here, is this
legal?…you wanna put it in my
account?

As he fishes a check out and drops it on Bud’s plate.

Greeting TWO BANKERS who stop at the table as Bud picks up
the check, glances at it. His hand starts to tremble.

The check is for $500,000.

GEKKO
(to bus boy, the
bankers excited)
Can we have the check over here for
christ’s sake.

BUS BOY
(rushing off)
Yes sir!

GEKKO
Cover the Bluestar buy and put a
couple hundred thou in one of those
bow-wow stocks you mentioned. Pick
the dog with the least fleas. Use a
stop loss so your downside is
50,000, and buy yourself a decent
suit. You can’t come in here
looking like that.
(Bud flushes, embarassed)
Go to Morty Sills, Tell ’em I sent
you.

BUD
(his genuine look)
Mr. Gekko — thank you for the
chance. You won’t regret this,
you’re with a winner.

GEKKO
(paying the check
with cash)
…put the rest of it in a money
market account for now. I want to
see what you know before I invest
it…and save the cheap salesman
talk, it’s obvious.

BUD
(stung)
Excuse me sir.

Gekko rising to leave, the Maitre d’ hovering around.

GEKKO
You heard me…I don’t like losses
sport. Nothing ruins my day more
than losses… You do good, you get
perks, all kinds of perks. Stay
home tonight. Louis, take care of
‘im. Enjoy the lunch.

Confused, Bud watches Gekko walk out of the room, pumping
extended hands left and right. He holds the cashiers check
up to his eyes, entranced by it, like a kid with his first
dollar…as the raw steak tartare with an egg on top is put
in front of him.

INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Bud is at his computer when the door bell rings. He’s not
expecting a visitor. When he opens the door he is knocked
for a loop.

A smashing looking LADY in a fitted Chanel suit, ropes of
chains, short tight skirt, beautiful long legs, is standing
there. Taking in the apartment, she hides her distaste.

LISA
Hello Bud, I’m Lisa, a friend of
Gordon’s.

BUD
(in a daze)
Lisa. Gordon? Oh, Mr. Gekko. Sure.
Would you, uh, like to come in?

LISA
Didn’t he tell you?
(sighs)
That’s so like Gordon. Get dressed,
we’re going out.

BUD
We are?

EXT. BUD’S BUILDING – NIGHT

A stretch limo is parked in front, neighborhood WINOS
inspecting it. The CHAUFFEUR opens the back door, as Lisa
steps inside, Buddy in tow. The winos clap, howling at her.

INT. LIMOUSINE – NIGHT

Bud in the back seat next to Lisa, gazes out the black
tinted window as they drive away, then turns to her as she
gives him a bottle of Champagne to open.

BUD
So, where are we going?

LISA
Wherever you like, Lutece, 21, the
River Cafe…or maybe we can just
drive around for a while.
(provocatively)
Work up an appetite.

She crosses her legs. Bud’s eyes moving south. He pops the
cork. Lisa does a little blow, offers him.

LISA
Want some?
(he shorts)
Gordon tells me you’re a very
talented broker. What do you like?

BUD
(feeling the rush)
Like? Uh…hmmm. Well…

LISA
I got this guy who should know
tells me buy Hewlitt Packard but I
been burned on tips. What do you
think Bud?

BUD
Let’s see, it closed at uh, 41
1/8…
(his voice cracking)
Up a quarter…very attractive…
about average yield…

She unzips his fly.

BUD
Rising profits…strong balance
sheets, good earnings per share.

LISA
(removing her blouse)
So you’re hot on this stock?

BUD
(nods, moaning)
It’s ready to take off. I’d jump
all over it if I were you.

As she pulls up her skirt and climbs on top of Buddy.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – MORNING

Buddy, in an obviously new Mort Sills suit, struts past
Carolyn at the reception desk, in high spirits.

CAROLYN
(smiles)
Morning Buddy, you look happy.

BUD
Any better and I’d be guilty.

CAROLYN
(picking up the flow)
You were never that innocent sugarpie.

BUD
(coyly)
…how do you know? You wish…

WIPE TO:

Bud on the phone, gazing at the ticker, concern in his eyes.
CLICKING of the tape ticker comes up over the music. He
looks at Marv.

WIPE TO:

Later. Research reports piling up. Bud’s secretary trying to
get his attention. Bud’s concern growing, as the green
fluorescent numbers spit across the board. CLICKER growing
louder. Pan to Marvin, hands cupped in prayer. To Dan
Steeples who closes his eyes and shakes his head.

WIPE TO:

Close. Bud watching the tape — dizzying, hypnotic blur of
numbers. The roar of the clicker, drowning out the music…a
runaway freight train.

WIPE TO:

Bud’s hands clamped over his eyes. The numbers stop. Noise
recedes. He opens his eyes, looks down at his desk, stacked
with reports and phone messages, as the pool secretary,
GINA, calls out. Marvin glumly coasts over in his chair.

MARV
Boy, we sure went down the toilet
on that ugly bitch. If we were
Japs, we’d have to stay with our
aircraft.

GINA
(calls out)
Mr. Gekko’s office is after you. Be
at the Wyatt Club courts at six…

Bud looks worried, at Marvin.

INT. WYATT CLUB SQUASH COURTS – DAY

Games in progress on the four courts, heavy hitting sounds.
Crossing to Gekko and Bud going at it. Bud is obviously the
worse for wear.

GEKKO
(amused)
…come on sport, you gotta try
harder, I need some exercise for
chrissake…

BUD
(out of breath)
Mr. Gekko, I don’t think I can…go
on.

GEKKO
…finish out the game, Bud, push
yourself…

Meant paternally or sadistically, it’s hard to tell. Gekko
hits the ball, a big fat shot. Bud returns, Gekka moves him
around the court, as if punishing him, the kid exhausted but
the ball’s never quite out of reach — till Bud finally
can’t take it anymore and at the end of his breath, smashes
into the wall and collapses. Gekko laughs. Bud lying there
like a sad dog as Gekka hauls him up.

GEKKO
The public is out there throwing
darts at a board, sport. I don’t
throw darts at a board. I only bet
sure things. Read Sun Tzu’s “The
Art of War.” ‘every battle is won
before it is ever fought.’ Think
about it.

He exits the squash court.

INT. WYATT CLUB STEAM ROOM – DAY

Gekko and Bud sit alone, wreathed in steam.

BUD
(sweating)
Nice club, Mr. Gekko…

GEKKO
Yeah… not bad for a City College
boy. Bought my way into this club
and now every one of these ivy
league schmucks is sucking my
kneecaps…I just got on the Board
of the Zoological Society, cost me
a million; that’s the thing with
WASPS — they like animals but they
can’t stand people!

BUD
(easing into it)
Uh, Mr. Gekko, we took a little
loss today. We got stopped out on
Tarafly…
(Gekko waits)
…about 50 thousand.

Gekko’s expression is frightening but cool.

GEKKO
I guess your father’s not a union
representative on that company.

BUD
(laughs, shocked)
What? How do you know about my father?

GEKKO
The most valuable commodity I know
of is information. Wouldn’t you
agree on that?

BUD
(exhaling deeply)
Yes…

INT. WYATT CLUB LOCKER ROOM – DAY

Buddy is slumped on a bench after taking a shower, drinking
a Coke. Gekko towelling himself down, getting dressed…naked
man constantly stopping by to greet him. Hi Fred, hi Barry,
how’s the wife…still living in Larchmont? Yeah, still
commuting… y’ever do anything with that Aetna Gas
deal…nah…fishing for information, for a possible drink
or meeting but Gekko stonewalls them all…

GEKKO
You’re not as smart as I thought
you were, Buddy boy, Listen hard —
don’t count on Graham and Dodd to
make you a fortune, everybody in
the market knows the theory, ever
wonder why fund managers can’t beat
the S&P 500? ‘Cause they’re
sheep — and the sheep get
slaughtered. I been in the business
since ’69. Most of these high paid
MBAs from Harvard never make it.
You need a system, discipline, good
people, no deal junkies, no
toreadores, the deal flow burns
most people out by 35.
Give me PSHs — poor, smart and
hungry. And no feelings. You don’t
win ’em all, you don’t love ’em
all, you keep on fighting, and if
you need a friend, get a dog, it’s
trench warfare out there sport…
(eyeing the surroundings)
and in here too. I got twenty other
brokers out there, analyzing Charts.
I don’t need another one. Talk to
you sometime…

He turns to go, Bud panicking. Is this the kissoff?

BUD
(with all his conviction)
I’m not just another broker Mr.
Gekko. If you give me another
chance, I’ll prove it to you. I’ll
go the extra yard for you. One more
chance. Please…

Gekko looks back, a beat, walks over to Bud, thrusts his
towel hard at his stomach.

GEKKO
You want one more chance? Then stop
sending me information and start
getting me some. Get dressed, I’ll
show you my charts.

INT. GEKKO LIMOUSINE – PARK AVENUE – DAY/TWILIGHT

Cruising up Park Avenue. A panel slides open next to the bar
with a portable computer on it. A television is turned on to
the evening news, a low hum of voices. Gekko punches into
the keyboard of the computer. A name appears an the screen…
LAWRENCE WILDMAN with curriculum vitae following; address,
phones, businesses…

GEKKO
Know the name?

BUD
‘Course. Larry Wildman. One of the
first raiders.

GEKKO
(amused, cold hatred)
Sir Larry Wildman. Like all Brits
he thinks he was born with a better
pot to piss in… bribed an old
secretary of mine to open bar mouth
and stole RDL Pharmaceuticals right
out from under me. Wildman the
white knight.

BUD
(excited)
I remember that deal. You were
involved?

Gekko shuts off the computer and slides it back into the
housing, his eyes taking in the low-volume news.

GEKKO
Revenge is a dish best served
cold… well, it’s payback time,
sport.
(looking out suddenly)
… see that building? I bought
into it ten years ago. It was my
first real estate deal. I sold it a
couple of years later and made an
$800,000 dollar profit. It was
better than sex. At that time I
thought that was all tne money in
the world…
(drinks)
Now, it’s a day’s pay … I had a
mole in Wildman’s employ. Gave me
half the picture, then he got fired…

BUD
I don’t understand.

GEKKO
Wildman’s in town. He just became
an American citizen. Something
big’s about to go down. I want to
know where he goes and who he sees.
I want you, sport, to give me the
missing half of the picture…

BUD
Follow him? Mr. Gekko I…
(shaken)
It’s not what I do. I could lose my
license. If the SEC found out, I
could go to jail. It’s inside
information, isn’t it?

GEKKO
(scratches his head wryly)
Inside information. Oh you mean
like when a father tells his son
about a court ruling on an airline?
Or someone overhears me saying I’m
gonna buy Teldar Paper? Or the
chairman of the board of XYZ
suddenly knows it’s time to blow
out XYZ. You mean that?
(a piercing look)
I’m afraid sport, unless you got a
father on the board of directors of
another company, you and I are
gonna have a hard time doing any
business…

Bud downs the rest of his drink, upset by the darkening mood.
There’s something very powerful and frighteninq about Gekko.

BUD
What about hard work?

GEKKO
What about it? You work hard. I’ll
bet you stayed up all night
analyzing that dog you bought. And
where’d it get you?… my father
worked hard too like an elephant
pushing electrical supplies. And he
dropped dead at 49 with a heart
attack and a tax bill and the bank
pissed on his grave and took the
house; my mom ended up working in a
dish factory… Wake up pal, if
you’re not inside you’re outside.
And I’m not talking a $200,000 a
year working Wall Street stiff
flying first class and being
“comfortable”, I’m talking rich
pal, rich enough to fly in your own
jet, rich enough not to waste time,
50-100 million, a player Bud — or
nothing. You had what it takes to
let through my door. Next question:
You got what it takes to stay…??

The car stopping in traffic. Horns honking.

GEKKO
(pointing)
Look out there…

THEIR POV — a STREET CORNER. A richly dressed EXECUTIVE
stands at the curb next to the BUM with a shopping cart
filled with garbage.

GEKKO (O.S.)
You really think the difference
‘tween this guy and that guy is
luck? Mohammed, pull over.

The car pulls over. Gekko checks his watch, pulls out the
telephone.

GEKKO
…when it comes to money, sport,
everybody’s of the same religion.
Or should be… Hope you don’t mind
if I let you off here, I’m late for
a meeting. Good bye, nice knowing you.

EXT. PARK AVENUE – TWLIGHT

The CHAUFFEUR lets Bud out the door… Bud looks back at Gekko.

BUD
All right, Mr. Gekko…you got me.

His eyes telling us he is weighed down by chains of guilt.

Gekko smiles, gazes at the twilight skyline, a sudden look
of contentment.

GEKKO
Yeah, it’s a beautiful night. I
love this hot stinkin’ city.
(pointing up Park Avenue)
… nothing else like it in the
world. Seven million people living
on each other’s heads, kids born,
millionaires dying, people praying,
junkies, whores, wills, lawyers,
deals, parties, sex… guys like
you sport — dreaming about the big
score. You know the best thing
about New York is everything you
can do here. And the worst thing is
everything you can’t do here…

He shuts the door. Bud watches as the limo drives off.

EXT. FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT – DAY

Bud, in a suit, waits next to a motorcycle across from one
of the most desirable addresses in New York.

The Doorman rushes to open the door under the canopy as a
tall strong man in his fifties emerges with a LAWYER TYPE
and a FEMALE EXECUTIVE. The man is SIR LAWRENCE WILDMAN and
his manner and gait convey the impression of an authoritative
presence with little patience as the chauffeur opens the
door and he slides into the back seat of the limo.

Buddy, astride Marv’s Kawasaki 500, hits the streets after
him. The music through the following Montage should suggest
a chase brio.

EXT. WALL STREET BUILIDING – DAY

Bud shooting past the Trinity Church structure… Wildman
gets out of his limo with his people, strides into the lobby.

Bud quickly parks his bike on the sidewalk and rushes in
after them… not a second too late.

INT. LOBBY – WALL STREET BUILDING – DAY

Bud just manages squeeze in the elevator with Wildman and
crew — and — a couple of other early birds — as the doors
close.

INT. ELEVATOR – DAY

Bud eyeing Wildman, looks away as Wildman looks back at him,
an edge of defiance to him, why are you staring at me? Not
the world’s most likeable personality.

INT. KAHN, SEIDELMAN – OUTER OFFICE – DAY

The doors open and Wildman and Co. step out into the
reception area of Kahn, Seidelman… The doors close and
Buddy continues upward.

EXT. WALL STREET BUILDING – LATER MORNING

The street now jammed with people hurrying to work. Buddy
paces the curb, reacting when Wildman walks out, saying
goodbye to the female executive and getting in the limo with
his lawyer… Buddy follows.

INT. LE CIRQUE RESTAURANT – PARK AVENUE – DAY

Formal French haute cuisine. Power lunches in progress. As
Wildman is seated with several well-dressed BANKERS at a
good table, Bud tries to wrangle a table (next to Mr.
Wildman on top of everything from a stiff looking Maitre d’
who shakes his head, barely concealing his attitude towards
Buddy’s youth and general demeanor.

EXT. LE CIRQUE – DAY

Buddy waits outside, bored, as Wildman steps out, shakes
hands with the bankers… Bud making an entry into his
notebook like any good spy.

EXT. MIDTOWN TUNNEL QUEENS – DAY

Music rising to triumphant proportions. AERIAL SHOT of Limo
emerging from the tunnel and onto the Long Island Expressway.
CAMERA MOVES IN, picking up Buddy on the Kawasaki, darting
through lanes, staying several car lengths behind.

EXT. LAGUARDIA AIRPORT – DAY

The Limo winds its way along the perimeter road, past
commercial airliners. It takes the turnoff for Butler
Aviation. Buddy exits the ramp shortly after them.

EXT. BUTLER AVIATION AIRFIELD – DAY

A corporate saberliner jet, its engines running, idles at
the end of the taxiway. The limo pulls up along the tarmac
next to it and Wildman steps out, walking past a MECHANIC to
the stairs of the plane. A STEWARDESS waits for him.

EXT. RAMP – DAY

Bud watches, wondering what to do as the plane taxies down
the runway. He spots the flight mechanic and the answer
comes to him. He starts running towards the mechanic.

EXT. APRON – DAY

Bud races up to the mechanic.

BUD
Oh shit, don’t tell me Mr. Wildman
was on board that plane?
(the mechanic nods)
My boss is gonna kill me. I was
supposed to give him this.
(holding his notebook)
You know where that plane is going?

MECHANIC
(walking off)
Erie, Pennsylvania…

INT. PHONE BOOTH – AIRLINES TERMINAL – DAY

BUD
(into phone, proudly)
…after spending the morning at
Kahn, Seidelman — on the 14th
floor, the junk bond department —
where Shane Mora works — he had
lunch at La Cirque with a group of
well-dressed heavyset bean-
counters…
(Gekko voice back:
“the adjectives are
redundant, sport”)
…he later stopped off at Morgan.
I’d say from all the palm-pressing
and sweet smiling going on that
Larry got some nice fat financing…
G.G.

INT. GEKKO LIMOUSINE – HEADING DOWN PARK AVENUE – DAY

Alex and Susan are with him. Gekko playing the computer,
eyes lighting up on the phone.

GEKKO
…bright but not bright enough,
Sherlock, roll the dice and play a
little monopoly… what box would
Sir Lawrence land on in Erie,
Pennsylvania?

INT. PHONE BOOTH – DAY

Bud slapping his face, realizing.

BUD
Jesus Christ, he’s buying Anacott
Steel!

INT. GEKKO LIMO – DAY

Gordon already has the closing figures punched up on his
quotron. Calls his shot.

GEKKO
When the market opens tomorrow, buy
five thousand March fifty calls.
You hear me? Start buying ten
thousand share blocks and take it
up to fifty dollars. When it
reaches fifty, you can let out a
little taste to your friends.
Then call this number — 555-7617:
tell the man “blue horseshoe loves
Anacott Steel…” You scored, Buddy!
Be in touch.
(hangs up)

 

He hangs up, looks at Alex and Susan.

GEKKO
Start buying Anacott Steel all over
the board.

INT. BLUESTAR MAINTENANCE HANGAR – SAME DAY

A large company banner hangs from the rafters: “Bluestar –
The Vision Goes On.” Buddy’s father, Carl, Charley Dent and
Dominick Amato are changing the generator on a 727. A welder
is repairing a wing seam. Buddy shouting to his Dad over the
noise.

BUD
Hey Dad!… Hi ya Charlie…
Dominick…

They wave back, Carl climbing down a maintenance stand…
lights up a cigarette.

CARL
What brings you out here…

BUD
Client. Got a private jet over at
Butler Aviation… Dad, you always
gotta light up when you see me,
it’s the…

CARL
(don’t bother me look)
Don’t start, alright.

BUD
Alright. Why so pissed?

CARL
Goddamn fare wars are murdering us.
Had to lay off five guys. Nothing I
could do. What is it… money?

Bud takes out his wallet, smiles, peels out 10 $100 bills.

BUD
Yeah, it is. In fact I’m doing
great. New client. Whole new league.
It’s starting to happen Dad. The
Big Leagues! You know what I’m saying.

He sticks the cash in his hand.

CARL
(doesn’t)
Sure…lots of guys at the track
talk like that… but how do you
know you’ll have any dough next
month…
(looking at the money)
What’s this? I gave you two hundred.

BUD
Dividend. I figure I owe you about
five thousand in nickels and dimes…

CARL
(tries to give it back)
…don’t be crazy. Put it to your
school loans.

BUD
Don’t worry about the loans. I’m
doing good Dad and it’s gonna stay
that way now… least buy yourself
a new suit.

CARL
What do I need a fancy suit for. I
don’t hobnob with the jet set. I
just fix their planes.

Buddy forces the money into his hand.

BUD
…then buy yourself a decent
bowling jacket so when you take Mom
out you don’t look like the Roto
Rooter man. Come on, for godsakes,
that’s what money’s for. Enjoy
yourself…

Touched, his father shakes his head and smiles. He takes it.

CARL
Problem with money is you never
have enough or you got too much —
and when you got it you’re never
happy ’cause somebody’s always
trying to take it away from you.
Money’s one giant pain in the ass
y’ask me… thanks.

BUD
(admiration)
… Dad, you should’ve been a CEO.
How about dinner?

CARL
Whatever night you like.

BUD
(remembering)
Wait… next week’s booked. Let me
check with my girl and get back to
you on Monday.

CARL
(laughs at his new lifestyle)
Yeah, you do that huckleberry. I’ll
still be here.

BUD
…gotta run Dad. You stop smoking,
you hear?

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud silent, an intent look on his face, gazing up at the
digital clock… as it flicks to 9:30… post time.

Tickers, squawk boxes and shouting erupt.

Bud calls in his order: “10,000 AN STL 46… and let me know
how the options are opening.”

Music skips along in a revolving madcap fashion.

INT. FLOOR OF AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE – DAY

A CLERK hands the buy order to the FLOOR MANAGER. He starts
writing a ticket as we pull back:

INT. AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE – DAY

Company floor traders are jammed into a narrow booth,
frantically takinq orders over phones and telex machines.

The FLOOR MANAGER gives the ticket to a RUNNER, a young man
wearing worn sneakers, who dashes off. We follow him across
the scruffy Exchange Floor, as he weaves through a crush of
traders crammed around horseshoe-shaped kiosks, cathode-ray
tubes slung above them, displaying the latest prices in
bright, green letters and numbers. Intermittent shrieks and
howls, calls to buy and sell, issue from the far reaches of
the labyrinthian room.

As in the final leg of a relay race, the RUNNER hands the
ticket off to a COMPANY TRADER, who is buying and selling at
the post where Anacott Steel is traded. The TRADER checks
the ticket and turns to the SPECIALIST, executing the order.

The camera moves up as the Anacott Steel (AN STL) quote
flashes across the broad tape — as the price ticks up from
46 to 46 1/4.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud paces nervously at his desk, looking at his quotron. AN
STL appears on the screen, now up to 47. Bud puts in another
order.

INT. STOCK EXCHANGE FLOOR – DAY

The SAME RUNNER races over, handing Bud’s next TICKET to the
COMPANY TRADER.

Tilt up to the broad tape.

As ANACOTT STEEL, AN STL, rises to 48 1/8.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

On Bud, eating a sandwich, eyes glued to the ticker. AN STL
has climbed to 48 3/4. Marv stalks by, shouting on the phone.
Bud looks away from the ticker, pretending to read a report.
When Marv disappears, Bud hastily calls in at 49.

INT. STOCK EXCHANGE FLOOR – DAY

On the tired RUNNER dodging through the crowd, and over to
the TRADER handing him a new ticket.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Close on the OFFICE TICKER — as Anacott Steel hits 50.

Buddy jumps up from his chair, and animatedly crosses to
Marv who is on the phone, cold calling.

MARV
Tell Mr. Ehrlich I’ve got important
financial news! It concerns his
future.

Bud presses down on the phone button, cutting him off.

MARV
What the hell…

BUD
Anacott Steel. Buy it.

Marv looks at Joe and sees a look on his face that he’s
never seen before.

MARV
(nervous)
Anacott Steel — right.

Bud leaves, Marv re-dials.

MARV
Dr. Beltzer, you’re gonna love this!

Lou Mannheim hangs up the phone, a troubled look. Bud leans
into his office.

BUD
Mr. Mannheim, got a sure thing.
(whispering)
Anacott Steel.

MANNHEIM
(scoffs)
No such thing Bud – ‘cept death and
taxes. Not a good company anymore,
no fundamentals. What’s going on
Bud? Do you know something?
(Bud uncomfortable,
Lou reads it)
Remember there’re no short cuts
son, quick buck artists come and go
with every bull market but the
steady players make it through the
bear markets.
(Bud anxious to go)
You’re part of something here, Bud.
The money you make for people
creates science and research jobs.
Don’t sell that out.

BUD
You’re right, Mr. Mannheim, but you
gotta get to the big time first,
then you can be a pillar and do
good things.

MANNHEIM
Can’t get a little bit pregnant, Bud.

BUD
It’s a winner Mr. Mannheim, trust
me — buy.
(exits)

 

Charlie Cushing’s on the phone.

CHARLIE
Gotcha baby, its do-able… meet
you at the Wyatt Club… 3pm Dinner
Thursday… Indochina. Then we’ll
kamikaze down to Nell’s, chase a
little cotton underwear–I know
this 18 year old bimbo, man… you
can take it to the bank…
(hangs up)

 

BUD
(intersects)
Wanna play some tennis Saturday?

CHARLIE
You mean teach you how to play.
Can’t. Going fly fishing in Canada,
big client…

BUD
(disappointed)
…you take that Anacott Steel?

CHARLIE
(winks)
…light snack, but good, thanks
pal, you’re sharking your way up…

Dan Steeples’s talking confidentially on the phone.

STEEPLES
I’ve just heard the most lovely two
words… ‘Anacott Steel.’

Buddy dialing the phone number that Gekko gave him. He
speaks into the receiver, in a hushed voice.

BUD
…Blue horseshoe loves Anacott
Steel.
(hangs up)

 

INT. WALL STREET JOURNAL OFFICE – DAY

The REPORTER on the other end of the phone hangs up. He
rises from his desk, strides across the busy news floor,
over to an ASSOCIATE.

REPORTER
Anacott Steel’s in play. Check the
arbs.

EXT. GEKKO BEACH HOUSE – BRIDGEHAMPTON – TWILIGHT

Wind and waves. Gekko’s modern, Sante Fe structure house
sits on a dune overlooking the grey Atlantic.

GEKKO (V.O.)
Sweeten the offer, throw 2 bucks
more in a convertible preferred.
And 5 year contracts for themselves.

INT. GEKKO LIVING ROOM – DAY

Immense slanted ceilings, a vast clean modern space filled
with dozens of contemporary art objects, junk sculptures,
floor to ceiling windows radiating light, that look out on a
cantilevered deck and pool – and the ocean beyond.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
(on the phone)
… Cromwell wants to play
financial chicken with me, we’ll
see who swerves first. Where the
hell’s Gene?

Gekko slumps down on a sofa, exhausted, watching one of
several news reports he master-controls with a remote.

SUSAN
(on phone)
You sent him to Vermont to get the
deposition from the CEO Cromwell
fired.

GEKKO
…done and done. Night gang, and
Susan no legs waving in the air
tonight. I want you dreaming about
Teldar Paper.

During this, RUDY, Gordon’s 3 year-old son, drives in in the
latest electronic baby toy — a Porsche-bodied electric car.
Gekko hangs up, checks out a Reuters quotron positioned nearby.

GEKKO
Rudy Kazootee, how’s my cutie!

The kid jumps out of the car and scoots into his father’s lap.

RUDY
Daddy bad boy! Bad boy! — play
with Wudi… Now!

GEKKO
No, not now Rudy. Daddy’s making
money to buy you toys. Daddy work.

RUDY
Daddy work bad boy!

Gordon absently tossles Rudy’s hair, his eyes glued to the
TV. The kid senses it, jumps back off his lap and into the car.

BUSINESS ANALYST
…the big story tonight is Anacott
Steel which closed at 51 1/8. Up 5
1/8 from yesterday’s close on heavy
trading…

Kate, Gordon’s beautiful, raven-haired wife, homemaker and
antiquer, enters with the bovine-eyed AU PAIR GIRL from
France… just at Rudy drives his car into a wall where it
stalls, engines grinding.

KATE
I think somebody’s playing hooky
from the bathtub. Rudy, say good
night DAddy…

GEKKO
(can’t hear, to Kate)
Shut that off, willya!

Kate, upset with the noise, tries to pull her son nicely out
of the car.

The Korean HOUSEBOY coming in.

HOUSEBOY
Calls for you, sir, a reporter from
Time magazine on two, says it’s
important… and a Mr. Fox on three.

GEKKO
(annoyed)
I come to the country and it’s
worse than the city! I’m not home…
(changes mind, pushes in)
Yeah?

BUD
(off)
Mr. Gekko, I’ve been trying to
reach you. We got the options. We
got a good execution on them!

Meanwhile, the kid has no intention of going anywhere and
plants his feet and emits the loudest shrieking this side of
the fat lady in the opera.

GEKKO
Nicole! Take him will you…

Handing the bawling, writhing mass of anger to Nicole as if
it were laundry she doesn’t want to touch… Nicole takes
him screaming out of the room… Gordon trying to concentrate
on the TV.

INTERCUT TO:

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Papers and charts are strewn around, trailing down to a box
of take-out pizza and empty beer bottles. Bud has stayed late.

BUD
(almost apologetic,
speeding on the high
of the buy…)
I got all I could get which was
750,000 shares plus 5000 March 50
calls. Average price of $47 a share
And $4 per contract for the call. I
just wish I could’ve got more.

GEKKO
Don’t expect to get it all, sport,
you’ll burn out. First rule of
business is never get emotional
about stock, clouds the judgment.
Where do we stand?

BUSINESS ANALYST
In response to an inquiry from the
New York Stock Exchange, management
issued a terse no comment. Wildman
would not return phone calls.
Analysts believe the company is
worth $75 per share in a transaction.

KATE
John and Carmen are here and the
Livingstons are on their way…

GEKKO
(nods, listening to phone)
I’ll be right there, fix them a drink.

BUD
(shifting the figures)
…we have 37.2 million invested.
At this point, we’re up 3.1 million
and some change. If it goes to 75
bucks we can clean close to 12 mill.

GEKKO
(smiles)
You’re walking between the
raindrops kid. I expect Sir Larry
is choking on his royal chamber pot
by now.

BUD
My firm needs your signature on
these option agreements tonight,
sir, otherwise we could take a real
bath tomorrow.

GEKKO
(sighs)
…Can’t it wait? I’m good for it.
(Bud waits, “Sir”)
…Awright. Come out, get the
directions from Natalie and hurry up.

EXT. GEKKO’S BEACH HOUSE – BRIDGEHAMPTON – NIGHT

Bud’s P.O.V. as he pulls up to an austere, ultra-
sophisticated monolith of glass and wood dominating a
stretch of dune overlooking the Atlantic’s angry surf.
Several Jags, state of the art Jeeps and a Rolls are drawn
up outside.

Bud, getting out of his faded Honda, goes up the stairs to
the door. He rings several times.

A BLACK BUTLER opens it and looks at Buddy somewhat warily.
Laughter and voices are heard from inside.

BUTLER
(pretentiously: high
English accent)
Can I help you?

BUD
Bud Fox. Got some papers for Mr.
Gekko to sign.

BUTLER
Wait a moment please.

Without thinking he closes the door in Joe’s face. He stands
there, harrassed peering around through a window on the lawn.
A small gathering of friends in progress around a glowing
fireplace. The butler waves him in from the door.

INT. GEKKO ALCOVE – NIGHT

Bud enters, as Gekko approaches. He seems annoyed to be
disturbed at his country home.

BUD
(apologetic)
Sorry, Mr. Gekko.

GEKKO
(takes the papers)
Allright. Wait here…

About to go when his wife, Kate Gekko, comes over. A pretty
dark-haired woman.

KATE
Problems?

GEKKO
No… Bud Fox, my wife, Kate…

They exchange pleasantries.

KATE
You came from the city?
(with a look to Gordon)
Long drive, have a drink.

Gekko doesn’t seem to like the idea, but…

GEKKO
Yeah, why not, Bud boy…

Kate’s walking back inside to her guests, as Bud sidles over
to Gekko.

BUD
…if you’d rather not, Mr. Gekko,
I can leave…

INT. GEKKO LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

They cross to the main living room.

GEKKO
…It’s okay Buddy, you know Alex…
Candice Rogers.
(Alex and his date
shake hands, faintly aloof)
…This is Stone Livingston… and
his wife Muffie.
(a young stuffy
banker in weekend
corduroys looks at
Bud as if he
obviously doesn’t belong)
…Darien Taylor, Sam Ruspoli,
Carmen Winters, Dick Brady… All
old friends.

Bud looking wide-eyed at the beautiful “Calvados” BLONDE
he’s been dreaming of for weeks… she’s with Mr. GQ and
doesn’t recognize Bud, nods back, they all nod back,
naturally suspicious of the young outsider… Rudy’s TOY
ROBOT wheels around the floor with a drink on its tray,
talking computer talk…

STONE LIVINGSTON
(charmed by it)
…good idea Gordon, good help is
hard to find these days but can he
whip up a dry vodka martini…

GEKKO
…well he doesn’t talk back or
steal the silver and Dick’s gonna
get me an exemption on him, aren’t
you…
(Dick Brady is
obviously an accountant)

 

Bud plucks a glass of wine from the robot’s tray and plunks
himself down on a sofa, overhearing the conversation between
Muffie Livingston and Candice Rogers.

MUFFIE
…there I am in St. Kitt’s in my
new Kamali leopard skin V-cut
bikini which is going to turn back
the clock on our marriage five
years, you know what I mean, and I
can’t even fit into it, my skin’s
all pink and inflamed, and I look
like a walking social disease all
because this Ukranian bitch botched
the wax on my bikini line.

CANDICE
(revolted)
Oh my god, how ghastly, you should
sue her…

The Korean houseboy has come over to Gekko.

HOUSEBOY
Call for you sir. Sir Larry
Wildman, he says it’s important…

Bud tightens, so does the whole room hearing the name of the
moment. Gekko smiles at Buddy.

GEKKO
(to houseboy)
Make Mr. Livingston a martini would
you Nyung, and this gentleman…
(to Bud)
Stick around, this could be fun…

He goes to the alcove to take the call.

MUFFIE
So, I had to sit around the beach
wearing a moo-moo for 10 days, my
whole vacation ruined.
(noticing as Bud
laughs, chokes on the
wine, spilling some
on the couch)
You just spilled your wine.

Bud noticing the stain, starts wiping it.

CANDICE
You’re just making it worse.

INT. GEKKO ALCOVE – NIGHT (RAIN)

GEKKO
(on phone)
Larry, what a surprise…
(beat)
Can it wait till tomorrow. I got
some people over.
(dryly)
…if you feel that way Larry, come
over.

INT. GEKKO LIVINGROOM – NIGHT (RAIN)

The blonde, DARIEN TAYLOR, is examining a modern sculpture
as Buddy comes over with two Calvados.

BUD
Hello again, I been holding these
drinks for us for the last three
weeks.

DARIEN
(uncomprehending)
Excuse me.

BUD
Grand Marnier. A romantic and
tragic drink.

DARIEN
Oh yes, I remember you.

BUD
Destiny took us apart, but I knew
it would bring us back together.

DARIEN
Aha. Poet or philosopher?

BUD
Stock broker. As in: never have so
few done so little for so much. So
what do you see in this?

Bud indicates the painting in front of them — a buffalo
skull in the desert by Georgia O’Keefe.

DARIEN
I’d give anything to have this in
my house, even for a week.

BUD
…few thousand dollars down the
drain if you ask me.

DARIEN
Oh really?
(looks at him quizically)
Well, I guess you can kiss that
career as an art appraiser goodbye,
because we paid over four hundred
thousand for it at the contemporary
picture sale last June.

BUD
(chokes)
You could have a great beach house
for that.

DARIEN
Sure you could, in Wildwood, New
Jersey. If you sold this,
(indicates a Rothko
hanging near the O’Keefe)
you could have a pretty nice
penthouse on Fifth. But you
wouldn’t have much left over for
decoration.

BUD
Boy, I thought Gordon was a tough
businessman, but somebody’s really
taking him to the cleaners here.

DARIEN
Not really. I’d say that Gordon is
one of the most astute collectors
around. He has a great eye and he
only buys the best. Like this rug
for instance, a silk Tabriz, the
finest of its kind. The day after
he bought it in London, a dealer
representing the Saudi Royal Family
offered him twice what he paid. It
absolutely makes the room. See how
this little bit of celadon in the
border is picked up in the cushions
oh the sofa… although…
(she’s really warming
up to her subject now)
I don’t know if I would have used
that tea dipped linen for the
upholstery – too dingy.
And it’s a sacrilege having that
Pre-Columbian pot in the center of
the coffee table. Some dope might
use it as an ashtray.

BUD
I gather you’re a decorator.

DARIEN
You got it, a great spender of
other people’s money.

BUD
Well, if you’re that good, you
could probably do wonders at my place.

DARIEN
Where is it?

BUD
Upper West Side.

DARIEN
(losing interest fast)
Oh really. Home of the exposed
brick wall and the
(shudders)
houseplant.

BUD
Oh it’s just a rental. I’m moving
to the East Side soon. I’ve got a
couple of deals brewing with Gordon.
(shifts uncomfortably
with his pretension)
but that’s just conversation…
what about real things? Like dinner.
The two of us. Friday. Cafe. Santo
Domingo.

Bud waits, staring suddenly and deeply into her eyes.

DARIEN
What if I have a previous engagement?

BUD
Break it.

DARIEN
I guess this must be destiny
alright. My first yuppie apartment
and…
(pats him on the
cheek flirtatiously)
my first yuppie.

BUD
(gives her a steely glare)
You may call me a yuppie… It’s
Mister Yuppie to you.

They both laugh.

BUD
(gets serious)
So. See you Friday.

DARIEN
You really do believe in destiny?

BUD
Only if I want something bad enough.

Her date, Mr. GQ, SAMMY RUSPOLI intersects with Kate. A
cultivated European air.

SAM
…there you go again, Darien,
talking with strange men.

KATE
That’s our Darien: elusive,
reclusive, exclusive.
(to Sam)
You know Bud right? He works for
Gordon…
(Sam nodding, makes
conversation, big smile)
Sam’s in banking. You staying for
dinner Bud?

BUD
(hesitant, eyes Darien)
No, I’m afraid I’ve got to get some
work…

Kate noticing the doorbell ringing.

KATE
…excuse me.

Sam muttering something in Darien’s ear of an intimate
nature. She glides away with him.

DARIEN
(to Bud)
Call me next week, I’ll give you an
estimate…

An ironic promise in her eyes… Bud ecstatic inside…
looks over, goes to the foyer…

INT. GEKKO ALCOVE – NIGHT (RAIN)

SIR LARRY WILDMAN walks in, his country gentleman clothing
somewhat softening his imposing figure but not the cultured
rapacious eagle’s face. With him a lawyer.

KATE
(strained)
Larry, how have you been? Get you a
drink?

WILDMAN
(slightly impatient)
Oh fine. Travelling actually.
Nothing thank you. Is…

KATE
Gordon?… He’s right here.

As Gordon intersects, casually tasting a spot of the dinner.

GEKKO
Larry! Excuse me “sir” Larry, great
to see you again, you’re looking
good.
(handshakes)

 

WILDMAN
Gordon…
(sniffing the guests
and furnishings in
the room as if they
were stale air)

 

BUD
(leaving, to Gordon)
I guess I’ll head back…

GEKKO
(spontaneously)
Stick around… Larry, one of my
“gang” — Bud Fox.

Pleasantries. Bud nervously shakes hands, sensing Wildman
might recognize him from being tailed in the elevator. There
indeed is a moment but Wildman’s attention blurs as…

GEKKO
Shall we go upstairs?

INT. GEKKO DEN – NIGHT (RAIN)

Gordon enters a den lined with old books hunting prints; he
proudly picks up something from his gun collection.

GEKKO
Rarest pistol in the world, Larry,
a .45 Luger. Only six were ever
manufactured.

WILDMAN
Congratulations but rarer still is
your interest in Anacott Steel.

GEKKO
The same interest as yours Larry.
Money. I thought it’d be a good
investment for my kid…

WILDMAN
No. This time I’m in for the long
term. This is not a liquidation,
Gordon. I’m going to turn it around.
You’re getting a free ride on my
tail, mate, and with the dollars
you’re costing me to buy back the
stock, I could modernize the plant.
I’m not the only one who pays here
Gordon. We’re talking about lives
and jobs; three and four generations
of steel workers…

A strong hint of the cockney working class east and London
boy whiffing through his speech and manner. The “mate” is
tough and to the point but not insulting…

GEKKO
(has to smile)
You must be wearing a mask you’re
laughing so hard behind it Larry.
Let’s cut the “sir” crap. Correct
me if I’m wrong, but when you took
CNX Electronics, you laid off 8,000
workers, Jessmon Fruit about 6,000,
that airline…

WILDMAN
(cold, deliberate)
I could break you, mate, in two
pieces over my knees, you know it,
I know it, I could buy you six
times ever, I could dump the stock
just to burn your ass but I happen
to want the company and I want your
block of shares. I’m announcing a
tender offer at 65 tomorrow, and
I’m expecting your commitment.

Bud watching this drama unfold. Gekko is about to blow,
controls it.

GEKKO
Showdowns bore me Larry, neither
side wins. You can have the
company, in fact it’s gonna be fun
watching you and your giant ego try
to make a horserace out of it…
(turns to Bud)
What do you think is a fair price
for our stock Bud?

Bud in the spotlight. The eyes all shift to him — his
moment. After an initial panic, he’s cool as a cucumber —
and ruthless as his mentor.

BUD
The break up value is higher. It’s
worth 80.

GEKKO
But we don’t want to be greedy now,
so let’s let him have it at $72.

His eyes to Wildman who looks at him, cold, icy mean.

WILDMAN
You’re a two bit pirate and a
green-mailer, Gekko, nothing more…
not only would you sell your mother
to make a deal, you’d send her COD…

Bud looking sharply as Gekko’s eyes flare with hot white anger.

GEKKO
My mail’s the same color as yours
Larry. Or it was till the Queen
started calling you “sir”. Now
excuse me before I lose my temper…

He rises and exits.

WILDMAN
$71…

Gekko stops at the door, a beat.

GEKKO
Considering you brought my mother
into it, $71.50.

WILDMAN
Done. You’ll hear from my lawyers.
8 a.m. Good night.

He walks out with the silent lawyer. Past Gekko who watches.
“Ta Ta”.

GEKKO
(to Bud)
He’s right. I had to sell. The key
to the game is your capital
reserves. You don’t have enough,
you can’t pee in the tall weeds
with the big dogs.

BUD
(mimicking Gordon now)
“All warfare is based on
deception…” Sun Tzu says, If your
enemy is superior, evade him, if
angry, irritate him, if equally
matched, fight… if not, split and
reevaluate.

GEKKO
You’re learning, sport…

INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – PRE-DAWN

Exhausted from the drive back, Bud takes off his sweater and
tie and collapses onto the bed, closing his eyes. The phone
rings. With a start he wakes and answers it.

BUD
Yeah?…

INTERCUT TO:

EXT. GEKKO’S BEACH HOUSE – DAWN

The sky is still dark, the first rays of light coming up
over the ocean. Gekko, a lonely figure in a windbreaker,
restlessly prowls the edge of the beach, waves crashing
around him. He’s been up all night and has an exhausted,
driven look as he whispers over the wind into the cellular
phone…

GEKKO
Money never sleeps pal. When I came
in in ’69, they traded six hours a
day, now the clock don’t stop,
London’s deregulated, the Orient is
hungrier than us. Just let the
money circle the world, sport,
buying and selling, and if you’re
smart it comes back paying. I just
made $800,000 in Hong Kong gold.
It’s been wired to you — play with
it. You done good, but you gotta
keep doing good. I showed you how
the game works, now school’s out.

BUD
(protests)
Mr. Gekko, I’m there for you 110%.

GEKKO
You don’t understand. I want to be
surprised…astonish me, sport, new
info, don’t care where or how you
get it, just get it… My wife
tells me you put a move on Darien.
Here’s some inside info for you.
That Euroflash GQ guy she’s going
with’s got big bucks but he’s
putting her feet to sleep. Exit
visas are imminent. So don’t lose
your place in line.
(gazing at the surf)
Oh, jeez, I wish you could see this.
The lights coming up over the water.
I’ve never seen a painting that
captures the beauty of the ocean at
this moment.
(suddenly fatigued)
…an old Russian proverb – “a
fisherman always sees another
fisherman from afar.” I like you
sport, I ever tell you that…
Gordon, call me Gordon from now on.

BUD
(off)
…Gordon.

GEKKO
Yeah, I’m gonna make you rich, Bud
Fox. I’m gonna make you rich enough
you can afford a girl like Darien.
Remember, power is the best
aphrodisiac. This is your wake-up
call. Go to work.

He lets the phone drop to his side, staring glazed-eyed at
the ocean.

INT. ROGER BARNES’ OFFICE – EARLY EVENING

A SECRETARY leads Bud into the plush, private office of a
cocky young lawyer, ROGER BARNES, about tho same age as Bud,
his his feet up on the desk, sleepily waving to Buddy to
park his ass… The pictures an his walls and desk indicate
a rich family.

ROGER
Fox, Bud D. is this deja vu or has
it really been a year. You’re not
hitting me up for NYU are you?

BUD
Well we’re thinking of putting up a
statue of you in the subway. I hear
you’re moving up in the world. An
associate already. Not bad. How’s
Margie?

ROGER
Can’t complain. Got a house in
Oyster Bay. Market treating you
good? Still seeing that sexy French
gal?

BUD
Nah, she asked the wrong question.

ROGER
What was that?

BUD
“What are you thinking?”…that was
it. The hours are hell, but the
money’s starting to tumble in. I
know this guy who’s got an iron-
clad way to make money, I can’t
lose and I can’t get hurt.

ROGER
(interested)
So, does “this guy” have a tip for
an honest lawyer?

BUD
Yeah, check out Teldar Paper, it’s
still not over.

ROGER
Okay.

BUD
What about you, I hear you guys are
handling the Fairchild Foods merger
and it may not be going through.
Any surprises I haven’t read about
in the Wall Street Journal?

ROGER
(casually)
Come on Buddy, you wouldn’t want to
got me disbarred now would you?

BUD
(equally casual,
looks at the walls)
Who’s listening? It’s just one
college buddy talking to another.

ROGER
(sarcastic)
Yeah, right…

BUD
Relax, Roger, everybody’s doing it
but you don’t know, you don’t know.

ROGER
…and if I did, what’s in it for moi?

He obviously has thought about it before. Bud smiles back,
nonchalant.

BUD
More money than you ever dreamed,
Roger. And the thing is no one gets
hurt…how bout a beer?

ROGER
(some doubt)
Too much to do…but I’ll walk you
out.

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROGER BARNES’ OFFICE – EVENING

They walk out past the CLEANING CREWS coming in for the
evening, drones of the vacuum cleaners…

Bud looks – his POV… A CLEANING WOMAN as she pulls the
vacuum cleaner into one of the senior partners offices, the
desk crammed with proposals, Bud is lost in thought.

ROGER
(teasing)
…Get inside my uncle’s door
Buddy, all the secrets of the world
are yours… the life blood of
companies, but you gotta go to law
school first…

EXT. BARNES’ OFFICE BUILDING – NIGHT

Bud comes out of the building and starts walking away. As he
passes the freight entrance, Bud abruptly notices a van
marked MARSALA MAINTENENCE COMPANY. He looks back, thinks
for a moment: a look in his eyes.

EXT. LONG ISLAND CITY – LIGHT INDUSTRIAL PARK – DAY

Bud walks past a row of small warehouses and enters one.

INT. MARSALA MAINTENANCE OFFICE AND GARAGE SERVICE – DAY

He steps into a shabby reception area. A chain-smoking OLD
LADY looks up from the switch-board.

BUD
I need to speak to the owner about
some business.

INT. BACK OFFICE – DAY

The owner, a GREEK with bushy mustache and hardened face,
sits at his desk eating lunch, eyeing Bud suspiciously.

BUD
(handing him a card)
Mr. Panos, I’ve charted the growth
of new office space in the city,
and I think you’re in the right
business at the right time.

PANOS
Thank you for telling me what I
already know.

BUD
I’m impressed with your work and I
could use a tax break. This is a
growing business. Are you interested
in some working capital and a partner?

Panos puts down his sandwich, measuring Bud.

PANOS
What makes you think I need a
partner?!

Bud smiles, ready with his spiel.

An elevator opens. A body steps out. A set of keys. Boom up
past a clipboard and pen to a shirt pocket with MARSALA
MAINTENANCE written on it, up to Bud dressed in janitorial
clothing.

We move with him to the CREW SUPERVISOR who introduces THREE
CLEANING WOMEN who nervously absorb Bud, worried for their
jobs.

Bud strolls from office to office, looking official,
overseeing his crew, making notations on a checklist.

Bud slips into the Senior Partners’ office, thumbs through a
calendar on the desk. Sees the list of people, moves to the
computer, punches the client’s name in. The code number
comes up.

Bud nods to a SECURITY GUARD down the hall and enters the
file room where he looks at the Cleaning Lady and points to
his watch. As she exits, he scrambles nervously through the
files — finds the code number — then anxiously flips the
pages to the critical tender offer document — with the
target name — INVESTMENT IN RORKER ELECTRONICS CORP. It’s
stamped “DRAFT” across the page. His face lights up. The
secret to the kingdom. He puts it back, exits.

WIPE TO:

INT. GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Gekko on the phone, smiling.

INT. PHONE BOOTH – DAY

Bud, obviously exhausted from his day and night roles, is
telling him something on the phone.

INT. SECOND LAW FIRM – NIGHT

Bud furtively xeroxes a document on a small hand-carried
copy machine in his pocket or photographs it if it is too
large.

INT. RESTAURANT – DAY

Bud and Alex, Gekko’s assistant, having lunch. Alex gives
him the briefcase he’s carrying. Pan from Alex to Bud back
to discover Darien in the next scene.

INT. RESTAURANT – DAY

Bud dines with Darien, small talk, intimate looks.

INT. THIRD LAW FIRM – NIGHT

Bud is in an office, eyes panning the shelves.

VOICE (O.S.)
Can I help you?

Bud’s head jerks around. A young female PARALEGAL is burning
the midnight oil. She looks at him from behind a stack of
briefs.

BUD
(backing off)
Uh. Wrong office. Sorry…

EXT. BRIDGEHAMPTON BEACH – DAY

Gekko, Kate, Bud, Darien and A FIFTH PERSON roar over the
dunes, each in their own dune buggy, laughing and hollering
at one another…

Buddy driving right up precariously close on Darien, who
screams… Buddy flips over his vehicle… comes up
laughing… we sense he is getting wilder now…

EXT. HORSE FARM – BRIDGEHAMPTON – DAY

Darien rides expertly. A beautiful, immaculately-groomed
stallion is being shown to Gekko by the trainer.

Bud is sipping wine as he looks on with Kate.

GEKKO
(proudly)
Got him at an auction in Kentucky.

BUD
How much?

GEKKO
(fondling the head)
Close to two million.
(Bud whistles)
But this sucker can go all the way
to Devon and the nationals.

Darien rides in, smiling to Bud.

BUD
Devon? He looks like Seattle Slew.
What about the Triple Crown?

DARIEN
He’s not a racehorse, Bud, he’s a
jumper.

BUD
How would I know? I once bet a
horse. He went out at ten to one
and came in at quarter to five.

He laughs, a little sloppy.

EXT. OCEAN – DAY

Darien swims in the ocean, long looping athletic strokes.

EXT. POOL AND PATIO – GEKKO’S BRIDGEHAMPTON HOUSE – DAY

They’re finishing lunch by the pool framed by a lush flower
garden where Kate and son Rudy play. HAROLD SALT, Gekko’s
chief lawyer, thick glasses, smart eyes and bags of worry
that could only come from watching other people’s money,
looks very city-like in his clothing, examining his
paperwork before passing it to Bud, who is the picture of
relaxation.

HAROLD
…You understand Mr. Gekko is
constantly barraged with nuisance
litigation and IRS audits.

BUD
(nods)
Of course.

HAROLD
…So it’s in both our interests to
put a safe distance between you and
us…
(passing a document
with a 2nd pen)
…this gives you limited power of
attorney for Mr. Gekko’s account.
Every trade you make is at your
discretion. Every ticket you buy
must be marked “power of attorney.”
That means you call the shots and
Mr. Gekko has no official knowledge
of what stocks you’re buying. Sign
here and here…

Buddy looks, then up to Gekko, who smiles, casual.

GEKKO
…just the beginning, sport, just
the begining…

Bud smiles, signs.

HAROLD
(a worrier)
…you understand if any problems
arise, you’re out there on your own.
The trail stops with you…

BUD
All’s fair in love and war.

GEKKO
The art of which is deception.
Spread the buy orders through
different accounts and you won’t
get burned…

BUD
I think I got some friends that
won’t mind making some easy money…

As Kate drifts over with Rudy and the French au pair GIRL,
NICOLE.

GEKKO
Rudy, viens ici, dit bonjour a
Monsieur Bud.

Rudy either says “No!” or “Bonjour Monsieur Bud!’ depending
on the mood of the kid. Gordon sweeping him up and playing
with him. The kid squeals with glee.

GEKKO
(proudly)
Already speaks a little French, kid
got the highest score on his IQ test.

KATE
(to Darien)
…it’s so tough to get into a good
nursery school now. They even visit
your home to make sure your
paintings and furnishings are
acceptable.

BUD
What’s it cost these days?

KATE
$5,000 just for the tuition… plus
the books and supplies…
(with a look to Gordon)
…some parents even have bodyguards.
It’s not a bad idea…
(picking up Rudy)
…now that’s it for you with the
grown-ups young man.

As Rudy smashes the strawberries around his face and resists
going. “No! No!” Kate exasperated gives the child to Nicole.

KATE
Nicole, take him for a nap, please.

NICOLE
He doesn’t nap anymore, Madame.
It’s been…

KATE
(stung)
Then play with him till he gets
tired. We’re going out tonight but
we like to see him at, let’s see,
six; give him a bath and put that
cute little black suit on him…
(to Bud and Gordon)
Black clothes are the newest
things, so chic and milk stains,
carrot juice stains just don’t show
up. Kids — boy, can they take it
out of you!

Nicole’s “Oui, Madame” is lost in the wrestling match she
goes through to drag him out screaming. Kate walking off.
Harold gives Buddy another piece of paper…

HAROLD
This is a contact at one of our
banks. On settlement day you’ll
open an account there for Mr. Gekko
under the name of Geneva, Roth
Holding Corp. Then you’ll wire
transfer the money to this account
in the Cayman Islands…

GEKKO
(rising, finished
with lunch)
Think about incorporating yourself
there, Bud, Harold will take care
of it for you.
(with a look to Harold)
… at a reasonable fee. You’re
gonna make a lot of money now Bud…
stakes are gonna go up, no mistakes…

BUD
…piece of cake, Gordon…

EXT. BEACHFRONT – DAY

The camera glides off some FISHERMEN hauling their catch off
their beached boat to Darien who comes tromping out of the
surf, water glistening off her lean athletic body. Bud
stands before her, cool seductive eyes, holding out a towel.
She steps up to him and smiles inscrutably. Takes the towel
from him, drying herself, instead.

DARIEN
(gazing at the beach)
If I could have anything… this
would almost do.

BUD
Yeah, almost…

Looks at her, stifles his thought.

DARIEN
(teasing)
So, how did your conference go with
Gordon?

BUD
The conference, oh yeah. Fine. We
reached an agreement and decided to
divide up the world between us.

DARIEN
(laughs)
You have modest wants. I like that
in a man.

BUD
And what do you want?

DARIEN
…a Turner, a perfect canary
diaiaond… a Lear jet… world
peace… the best of everything…

BUD
Well, why stop at that?

DARIEN
I don’t.

BUD
(has to smile)
You’re not trouble by any chance.
Are you?

She looks at him, tosses the towel over her shoulder and
starts back toward the house. Buddy watches her go.

INT. HOTEL BALLROOM – DAY

The annual Teldar Paper stockholders’ meeting is in session:
400 stockholders are there — many middle aged and older,
one bag lady. Cromwell sits on an elevated platform at the
front of the room surrounded by an army of bulky EXECUTIVES,
none of them weighing less than 200 pounds, ACCOUNTANTS and
LAWYERS. Gekko in contrast seems like Robin Hood seated with
Alex, Harold, Bud and the other stockholders. Cromwell is
delivering his prepared attack on Gekko in a highly
sarcastic, gruff manner.

CROMWELL
…Your company, ladies and
gentlemen, is under siege from
Gordon Gekko.
Teldar Paper is now leveraged to
the hilt, like some piss poor South
American country…instead of using
our cash to build plants, build our
business, all this man really wants
is to get paid to withdraw his
tender offer and that will cost us
approximately another $200 million
in greenmail which will be passed
on to the consumer…

Gekko seething, jumps up.

GEKKO
Where do you get off speaking about
me like that, making remarks to the
press, I resent these remarks, I
demand the right to speak.

CROMWELL
Sit down, sir, you’re out of order,
haven’t you done enough damage to
Teldar as it is?…have you no
sense of decency?
(to shareholders)
How can your management…

Gekko is urged to sit down by his people but we hear various
catcalls, “Let the man speak!” “Sit down, Gekko!”

CROMWELL (CONT’D)
…concentrate on long term growth
when we’re busy fighting the get-
rich-quick, short term profit, slot
machine mentality of Wall Street
when we should be fighting Japan!
The original fundamental reason for
Wall Street was to capitalize
American business, underwrite new
business, build companies, build
America. The “deal” has now
succeeded goods and services as
America’s gross national product
and in the process, we are
undermining our foundation. This
cancer is called “greed”. Greed and
speculation have replaced long-term
investment. Corporations are being
taken apart like erector sets,
without any consideration of the
public good. I strongly recommend
you to see through Mr. Gekko’s
shameless intention here to
strip this company and severely
penalize the stockholders. I
strongly recommend you to reject
his tender by voting for
management’s restructuring of the
stock.

CUT TO:

Gekko is now at floor level with a microphone. He’s calmer,
makes his pitch to the stockholders, looking up at the
management.

GEKKO
…I appreciate the chance you’re
giving me, Mr. Cromwell, as the
single largest stockholder in
Teldar, to speak.
(gets some laughter
and applause, loosens)
On the way here today I saw a
bumper sticker. It said, “Life is a
bitch… then you die”.
(gets another laugh)
…well ladies and gentlemen, we’re
not here to indulge in fantasies,
but in political and economic
reality. America has become a
second rate power. Our trade
deficit and fiscal deficit are at
nightmare proportions. In the days
of the ‘free market’ when our
country was a top industrial power,
there was accountability to the
shareholders. The Carnegies, the
Mellons, the man who built this
industrial empire, made sure of it
because it was their money at stake.
Today management has no stake in
the company. Altogether these guys
sitting up there own a total of
less than 3% and where does Mr.
Cromwell put his million dollar
salary? Certainly not in Teldar
stock, he owns less than 1%.
You own Teldar Paper, the
stockholders, and you are being
royally screwed over by these
bureaucrats with their steak
lunches, golf and hunting trips,
corporate jets, and golden
parachutes! Teldar Paper has 33
different vice presidents each
earning over $200,000 a year. I
spent two months analyzing what
these guys did and I still can’t
figure it out.
(a big laugh)

 

Cromwell is pissed.

CROMWELL
This is an outrage Gekko! You’re
full of shit!

GEKKO
One thing I do know is this paper
company lost $110 million last
year, and I’d bet half of that is
in the paperwork going back and
forth between all the vice
presidents…
(increased laughter,
he’s getting them)
The new law of evolution in
corporate America seems to be
‘survival of the unfittest’. Well
in my book, you either do it right
or you get eliminated. Teldar Paper
is doomed to fail. Its
diversification into casualty
insurance has not worked. Its crown
jewels are its trees, the rest is
dross. Through wars, depressions,
inflations and deterioration of
paper money, trees have always kept
their value, but Teldar is chopping
them all down. Forests are
perishable, forest rights are as
important as human rights to this
planet, and all the illusory
Maginot lines, scorched earth
tactics, proxy fights, poison
pills, etc. that Mr.
Cromwell is going to come up with
to prevent people like me from
buying Teldar Paper are doomed to
fail because the bottom line,
ladies and gentlemen, as you very
well know, is the only way to stay
strong is to create value, that’s
why you buy stock, to have it go up.
If there’s any other reason, I’ve
never hear it.
(laughter)
That’s all I’m saying…it’s you
people who own this company, not
them, they work for you and they’ve
done a lousy job of it. Get rid of
them fast, before you all get sick
and die. I may be an opportunist,
but if these clowns did a better
job, I’d be out of work. In the
last seven deals I’ve been in,
there were 2.3 million stockholders
that actually made a pretax profit
of $12 billion. When I bought the
Ixtlan Corporation it was in the
exact same position Teldar is
today — I turned three of its
companies private and I sold four
others — and each of these
companies, liberated from the
suffering conglomerate has
prospered. I am not a destroyer of
companies, I am a liberator of them.
The point is, ladies and gentlemen,
greed is good. Greed works, greed
is right. Greed clarifies, cuts
through, and captures the essence
of the evolutionary spirit. Greed
in all its forms, greed for life,
money, love, knowledge, has marked
the upward surge of mankind — and
greed, mark my words — will save
not only Teldar Paper but that
other malfunctioning corporation
called the USA…Thank you.

Much applause as he sits. Now a standing ovation; shouts of
approval. Cromwell knows he has lost the day, tries to
continue the meeting by calling for “order”.

Bud watches, impressed.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

BROKERS mill at their desks quietly. Bud enters, notices
immediately the uneasy silence. His eyes go to Lynch’s
office… across the windows, he’s talking to a very somber
Dan Steeples.

BUD
What’s going on?

MARV
(looking in the same direction)
Lynch is giving him the boot…
He’s not pulling his quota.

Bud’s soft “no” matched by that second, tighter look. His
POV — closer on the glass… Dan Steeples pleading for his
job… we know the things he’s saying, we’ve heard them
before… just one more chance, Mr. Lynch… Lynch shaking
his head…

MARV
(reminding him)
…we’re all just one trade away
from humility, Buddy…

Dan Steeples steps out of the office, obviously close to
tears but trying to maintain face… Buddy’s eyes dart away,
not wanting to deal with it. Dan Steeples walks by his as
Lynch, on the loudspeaker, starts his morning announcements.

LYNCH
New research report on GM and a
conference call on defense stocks
at my office at 11. No RSVP
required, just be there. And on an
inspiring note I’m pleased to
announce the new office record for
a single month’s gross commission
goes to Bud Fox. Who more than
doubled the old mark. Way to go Bud.
Super job! Come on up here.

As Dan Rickey passes him during this, Bud catches a glimpse
of the older man’s eyes. Dan tries to look brave. Heads
turning to Bud with awe and envy…

MARV
Congrats buddy buddy, you just made
my life twice as hard around here…

Bud moving toward Lynch, past Lou Mannheim.

MANNHEIM
You’re on a roll kiddo. Enjoy it
while it lasts — ’cause it never
does.

BUD
(cocky)
…just kickin’ ass and taking
names, Mr. Mannheim.

Bud passes Charlie Cushing, yawning on the phone as usual.

CHARLIE
So whaddaya say pal, wanna play
some doubles at Piping? Meet the
membership? I got a little blonde
named Mandy, about nineteen, avec
cafe au lait boobs… she’s mine
but she’s got a cousin who has
great muffins.

BUD
…sounds dubious Chuck, but Piping
Rock any day.

Chuck laughs, Bud’s “in” now. Lynch indicates for Bud to
follow him into an outer glass-enclosed office.

LYNCH
Come in, Bud…

INT. BUD’S NEW OFFICE – DAY

Neatly furnished, with a window overlooking Wall Street, and
attractive CHINESE SECRETARY filing papers into a cabinet.

LYNCH
(points)
Congratulations. This is yours
now… your own file cabinets… a
window … your private secretary,
Janet,
(under his breath)
significantly more attractive.

JANET
Nice to meet you, Mr. Fox.

She smiles at Bud, who heaves a sigh of relief, noticing his
name plate on the desk.

BUD
(thrilled)
Thank you, Janet…thank you, Mr.
Lynch.

LYNCH
No, thank you. I knew the minute I
laid eyes on you, you had what it
takes Bud. Just keep it going.

He winks and leaves. Charlie Cushing comes in, Marv sticks
his head in the doorway, a grudging smile.

MARV
So, its Mister Fox now.

INT. CONDOMINIUM APARTMENT – UPPER EAST SIDE – DAY

A splendid four-room thirtieth floor aerie overlooking
Central Park. SYLVIE DRIMMER, anchored down with jewelry and
a large fur purse, shows Bud around.

SYLVIE
…everybody tells ya they hate the
Upper East Side and they wanna live
on the West Side but honey when it
comes to resale time, believe me
the East Side’s the one that always
moves. What do you get on the West
Side?
(contemptuously)
Madonna and Sean?… between Sly
and Billy and Christie, I’ve shown
every apartment on the Upper East
Side. Everybody lives here… Mick,
Gloria and Barbara Wa-Wa. Even
Klaus von Bulow buys his fresh
fruit from the Korean on Madison.
It’s so expensive and it’s just
like the ones on Eighth Avenue but
it’s an attitude is all, you pay
for attitude
(pointing to a walk-
in closet)
…two walk-in closets…upstairs
on the roof you lot a health
club…massage, sauna, jacuzzi,
sunlights, best schools in the
city, cute boy like you gotta think
of a ladyfriend when you’re
finished wolfing around —
(‘course I’m taken)
…oak strip floor…my husband can
get you a 10% mortgage…I’d do it
myself if we weren’t into four
other deals already…so?…
(beat)
I got a four o’clock and a
five…one of them’s an all-cash
type, Monique something or
other…I guarantee you this place
is history tomorrow…

Bud looks around. The city at his feet. Lost in thought.
Sylvie has to call him out of it: “honey? — The meter’s
running. Anybody home?”

BUD
All right. Offer 950…

Sylvie tries to play it cool, her expression conveying a
somewhat stunned look at the speed and certainty of the
response.

SYLVIE
…I think you gotta deal, honey…
you sure you don’t wanna see
somethin’ I got on Sutton Place.
It’s a million and a half but…

BUD
Nah…this is it..home…

Looking it over, proud.

INTERIOR DECORATING MONTAGE

The music is geared to speed, money, triumph and just plain
material fun.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY/NIGHT

In its first stage, Darien supervising. It’s expanse of
white walls devoid of mouldings, a blank plaster canvas. The
city views are great, the apartment identical to hundreds of
other cookie cutter condos. Several young artists are
working on a neo-classical mural on the long side of the
living room. They are colorfully dressed, listening to a
TALKING HEADS tape while they work. A carpenter who looks
like a member of Duran Duran is installing a pair of old
columns from Urban Archaeology on either side of the
entrance to the living room while another fits a brass sink
into an antique sideboard which has been turned into a bar.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY/NIGHT

INTERIOR DECORATING MONTAGE – SECOND STAGE

Living room furniture arrives. A fantail shrimp chaise from
Art Furniture’s “Sushi Collection” arrives, along with an
enormous sofa encased in an ecru linen slipcover made
deliberately baggy and tied on with rows of self bows on
each end, several faux Etruscan pots wired up as lamps, a
poured concrete coffee table that looks like it came from
Pompeii, and a hand-painted floor cloth instead of a rug for
the bleached floor with the stencilled border… Darien
sitting in a fantastical adirondack chair made from gnarled
branches, amused by Bud’s reactions to the furniture.

THIRD STAGE. The kitchen has the latest compact computer
dishwasher and compact microwave, garbage compactor, and
sinks with infrared controls… A brief food montage gives
us a sense of the modernist approach to food and its
preparation:

1) Darien hones the knives on the electric knife sharpener as

2) Bud uses a stainless steel Cape Cod oyster opener to work
on two dozen oysters…

3) at the same time working on the automatic vinaigrette
mixer, the phone ringing to the tune of Mozart’s “Jupiter”…

BUD
(picking it up)
Yes…no…at 37 1/2. Convert the
bonds right…and check the price
in Tokyo at 8:00 LA time. Thanks…

4) As he starts his pasta sauce flame an his O’Reilly fat-
free grill with a flexible neck fire starter…

5) A freshly heated roll pops out of a hanging space-saving
toaster, as Darien works the electric pasta maker while
melting the frozen ice cream cartons in the microwave.

6) Bud manages to sneak a kiss an her lips humming the bars
from Verdi’s “Rigoletto” as he works the piece de la
resistance–the automatic sushi maker…

7) Dinner is finally served on a demolished dinner table.
Red wine, pasta, sushi…it looks perfect, lit by
candlelight, the view of the city below.

DARIEN
…isn’t it perfect!

BUD
…too perfect…let’s not even eat.
Let’s just watch it and think about
it.
(pause)

FOURTH STAGE – INT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY

Bud goes over a stack of bills with something approaching
concern as the gothic oak refectory table which seats 20 is
carried in, followed by a Jean Michel Basquiat featuring a
skull on a rough board. Darien instructs the movers to place
an important pair of satinwood Art Deco armchairs upholstered
in buttery suede (last Saturday’s auction purchase for
$20,000) at either end of the titanic sofa. No vestige is
left of the cookie cutter space we first saw. Walls have
been removed, mouldings and architectural found objects
added, imitation rare woods, marbles and frescos have been
created from nothing by the magic hands of the tromp l’oeil
crew. The point is, decorating can transform.

INT. CONDO – NIGHT

The look of the place is evocative of ancient times, yet
sumptuous. Darien and Bud sink into the bales of down in the
sofa and are dwarfed. She rests her head on a hand stencilled
velvet Venetian throw pillow, looking like a Pre-Raphaelite
madonna. A terracotta pot with a spray of white phaleonopsis
graces the coffee table. As the sun sets over the canyons of
highrises, Bud walks around his new home totally in awe.
This apartment, perfect in its restrained taste with all the
“correct” flowers and objects, has nothing to do with him.
Perhaps he can understand the state-of-the-art kitchen, the
computerized telephone, stereo and light system, but he
needs a set of instructions just to be able to switch on
David Letterman.

This apartment is Darien’s fantasy, and Bud is merely the
incidental client who paid for it. Most importantly to her,
it is ready to be photographed by House and Garden.

BUD
(dubiously looking at
a rough plaster wall
of fading fresco)
You know, the elevator man couldn’t
believe I paid $300,000 to have my
walls looking like this, he’s got
them for free in Brooklyn.

DARIEN
I’ll bet he’s got an opinion on the
stock market too. This apartment is
already ahead of its time. I call
it the “demolished” look. They’ve
already heard about it at House and
Garden and they’re coming next week
to photograph it before it gets…
lived in. Is that alright? I’d love
to have it in my portfolio.

BUD
Sure… But your fee… considering
you’re way over budget, should be
negotiable.

As he nuzzles her neck, she feels threatened, stops.

DARIEN
Let’s get things straight, Bud. I’m
not going to take a cut. I worked
hard and you can’t decorate a room
in New York for less than $100,000.
Curtains alone…

BUD
I’m kidding, I’m kidding, we’re
still young, Darien. So what’s
money anyway when everybody’s
making it, it’s all relative. After
all, this is not the house in
Connecticut, this is just a crash
pad good for a couple of
years…before we slip our two
lovely kids, Yuppie and Fruppie
into the Lycee Francaise.

DARIEN
You got it all charted out don’t
you, like a stock projection.

BUD
That’s right — one with high
yield, rich assets and no downside…

As the kiss grows, his hands move into her nether regions.
She looks at him, sober.

DARIEN
Do you think you’re ready?

BUD
It’s not me I’m worried about…You
know Darien, the only reason we
haven’t slept together is because
we both know we will — and not
knowing when was the only surprise
left. You owe me, I want you, what
else is there…but you, me, the
world.
(he folds back her
palms in his)
…right here…make love to
me…now…
(more kissing)
Stop me if I’m going too far.

DARIEN
I’ll let you know.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – BEDROOM – NIGHT

Bud making love to Darien. Camara closing on them.

Her face — from his point of view. Her smile.

His face — looking down. Covered with sweat and passion.

BUD
Is this real? Is this really real?

EXT. BUD’S CONDO – TERRACE – NIGHT

Bud walks out alone in his blue bathrobe on his parapet
overlooking Central Park. The wind stirs his hair. The East
and West sides of the park wrap the city in a diamond
necklace of brilliant light.

Bud stares down at the world. He has it all now. The money.
The girl. The magic palace apartment. What more is there?
Something…because Bud suddenly throws a wrenching
dislocated look into himself that makes us wonder as he
brushes his hand across his face and mutters to himself.

BUD
Who am I?

There is no ready answer. As he finally turns and goes back
inside and closes the door.

INT. BUD’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Darien lies curled in the bed, eyes open, looking at him.

DARIEN
Come to bed, Bud…

EXT. PHONE BOOTH – SOUTH STREET SEAPORT – TWILIGHT

Cocktail hour in the background, yuppies trying to score for
the weekend. Bud on the phone, strained look transforming to
a bright, upbeat personality as the phone is answered.

BUD
Dixon! It’s your lucky day! That’s
right. I want to give you some
stock and you don’t have to put up
a penny…

INTERCUT:

EXT. CABIN – ASPEN COLORADO – DAY

A small cabin in the mountains.

INT. CABIN – ASPEN COLORADO – DAY

Whole earth furnishings. DIXON, a long-haired ski bum
dropout listens skeptically.

DIXON
Sure, and I’m never gonna die
either, is this one of your chain
letter schemes or do I gotta buy a
door to door cosmetic franchise in
Northern Arkansas?

EXT. PHONE BOOTH – SOUTH STREET SEAPORT – TWILIGHT

BUD
No, no Dixon, my client wants to
buy a large, large block of stock
and needs to spread it around. I’ll
park some money in your account and
if it hits, you get a big cut. I’m
telling you, this is the easiest
money you ever made…

INT. ROGER BARNES’ OFFICE – DAY

Roger listens on the phone.

BUD
(off)
…and you don’t have to put up a
dime, Roger.

ROGER
(tentatively)
All right, Bud… let’s do it.

A look on his face. As if he knows he’s making a fatal mistake.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

BUD
(on the phone)
…it’s easy Jack! On settlement
day, you endorse a check to Blue
Horseshoe Trading Company. Then I
send you your cut.

Marv waves across the glass partition and knocks. But Bud
waves him off, closing the blinds.

BUD (CONT’D)
…that’s the bottom line. And
nobody gets hurt.

Marv now walks it, exasperated.

MARV
…things are so bad, even the
liars are complaining. And you’re
making money. So what gives? What’s
the bottom line?

As he tries to peak at Bud’s quotron screen, but Bud flicks
it off, pissed.

BUD
Hey, I’m tired of playing nurse to
you all the time, alright. Do your
own home work!

Marvin abruptly walks out, “asshole!”. Bud books the order
for Morning Star Corp — MSC — 50,000 June options.

INT. AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE – LATER THAT DAY

The COMPANY FLOOR MANAGER gets Bud’s order, hands a ticket
to a RUNNER who dashes off across the exchange floor, and
over to a TRADER who starts to execute the order.

CLOSE on the broad tape. As Bud’s large buy order flickers
across it — MSC — 50,000 June options.

INT. AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE – S.E.C. OPTIONS WATCH OFFICE –
DAY

A CLERK sits before a computer routinely tracking all of the
exchange floor trading. He runs a check on a transaction.

Computer Screen — The same numbers and letters are seen
that just flickered across the broad tape… Bud’s buy.

The clerk swivels his chair to a second computer and punches
up data. A MAN appears behind him, leaning over his
shoulder, and wears an ID BADGE. The clerk vacates his seat
to the man with the badge, who now takes over.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – NIGHT

Bud is in silk boxers on the phone, number crunching on the
computer, foot pounding to a music beat on the stereo, while
his telex spews out overnight currency data.

Darien in the background lies in bed in panties reading Vogue.

BUD
(into the phone)
Buy me 20 June Euro Dollar CDs.
Twenty March gold and sell 10
September Deutsch marks. That’s
right…

He hangs up, back to the computer a growing look of
excitement and revelation in his eyes.

On the computer screen we see a break up Of Bluestar
Airlines — its assets and liabilities.

Bud hits the command key, printing it out. He’s exuberant.

BUD
Bud, I hate to tell you this but
you’re a genius!
(to Darien)
Darien…lightning has struck! The
lightbulb has been invented.
Edison, Da Vinci, Einstein are
watching…

DARIEN
(grumpy)
…are you going to trade all night
again? You got to go to work in a
couple of hours.

BUD
You think I’m gonna broker the rest
of my life… I’m going to be a
giant, Darien, an entrepreneur in
the Italian 15th century sense of
the word — a mover, shaker.

Bud dances over to the bed turning the stereo down on his way.

BUD
I love you, baby. Did I tell you
that sometime in the last 24 hours?

DARIEN
Get in bed. Y’ever hear of the
sixty hour work week? You’re
turning into a yuppie Frankenstein,
you love money so much.

Bud grabs a bottle of Ferrier off the night table and drinks.

BUD
Sure, why not, money’s the sex of
the 80’s. I never had it like you
when I was growing up, baby, it
wasn’t the upper east side.

DARIEN
You’re so naive Bud, you don’t even
know. Your dad took care of you. I
might’ve been rich when I was a
kid…but my father lost all his
money…in the seventies, in the
stock market, at the track. He was
a lousy gambler…

BUD
(teasing)
…that changes all my plans, I
thought you were loaded…

DARIEN
(laughs woefully)
So did I, till I hit 19 and found I
had all the royal habits and no
throne. Mom got by but I had to go
to work just like you.
Only the skills I had were shopping
and making friends. So…that’s why
I do what I do, what makes you
tick, Buddy?

BUD
Fear. The fear of being poor I
guess, just like you, Darien… But
that’s all gonna change sweetheart.
I’m catching the express…
(making love to her)
… and you’re going along for the
ride.

INT. GEKKO’S PRIVATE PLANE (GULFSTREAM – 4) – DAY

A salon interior. Gekko on a couch reading, with eyeglasses,
a stack of financial reports. Alex is on the phone, Susan,
and others accompanying the caravan on a business trip. Bud
is excited.

BUD
…Bluestar’s an unpolished gem,
Gordon, right out of the garbage. A
half assed management being
decimated by a price war they can’t
win. But the gates at LaGuardia
alone can bail us out, it’s worth
25 bucks a share if it’s worth a
dime! They’re ripe to fall.

Gekko, the poker player, hasn’t seen enough cards.

GEKKO
Mixed emotions, Buddy: like Larry
Wildman going off a cliff in my new
Maserati. Men as smart as myself
have got their asses handed to them
on a sling with the airlines, fuel
could go up, unions are killers…

BUD
Yeah aren’t you forgetting
something Gordon: rule one, capital
reserves. This company has $75
million cash in an overfunded
pension. That buys us a lot of
credibility…
(Gordon looks up, interested)
…and the beauty is you already
own close to two percent of this
sucker…

ALEX
(interrupting, on the phone)
Gordon, the insurance people are
balking on the logging trucks…

GEKKO
Tell those spineless toads we’ll
self-insure if they don’t write
it… You fire 33 vice presidents
and nothing changes…
(back to Bud)
You eating twinkies today, Bud, or
are you schtupping some stewardess…

BUD
(deadly serious)
Gordon what I want–and I never
asked you for anything–is to be
your co-pilot on this. I want to
take this airline, turn it around,
and make it work. It’s gonna make
us a fortune!

GEKKO
(to Susan)
I’m talking to a stockbroker who
wants to run an airline. It’s gonna
take me two years and 2000
headaches to turn Teldar Paper
around, what do I need this dink
airline for? I’m up to my ass in
more nuts than a fruitcake.

BUD
Gordon, I worked at Bluestar, I
know my way around, I have friends
there…inside.

GEKKO
(getting the drift)
What does that mean?

BUD
(playing out his ace)
The three unions. It’s 43% of
Bluestar’s operating budget, the
hourly cost of a flight crew is
$850 an hour, that’s the real
hidden value G.G., if you can
negotiate that out, get a crew down
to $350-400 an hour a run, this
airline is gonna be the hottest
thing since Texas Air…

GEKKO
What makes you think you can?

BUD
I can talk to these people Gordon,
they trust me…and my father can
be a big help in getting cuts.

GEKKO
(pause)
Alright… Susan, get Buckingham on
the box. I want him to look at it.
And tell Jock Taylor at Thwick,
Jensen…
(smiles wickedly,
back to Bud)
So sport, the falcon has heard the
falconer…tell me more…

INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Bud, in high gear, all smiles, expensive Armani suit, opens
the door. His father stands before him, looking like a man
on his way to the dentist.

BUD
Dad, well come on in. Everybody’s
here. We couldn’t start the show
without you.

Wide-eyed, Carl follows Bud through the foyer, taking in the
furnishings, paintings, antiques.

CARL
(under his breath)
Well I’ll be a lousy Republican.

DARIEN
(overhears him)
I decorate for Democrats too, lots
of them.
(she extends her hand
and gives him a warm smile)
I’m Darien Taylor.

CARL
(sardonically)
I know. You’re one of the art works
that go with the apartment.
(softens a little)
Pretty creative. Doesn’t look
anything like the place my son
bought a few months age.

DARIEN
Listen, I hope you’ll come here
often, and under less formal
circumstances.

Halfway won over Carl enters the living room where Darien
has set up a table with miniature gourmet pizza, etc. The
atmosphere is strained, the camps separated. Gekko stands by
the bar, conferring with his lawyer, Harold Salt. Darien
walks over to the couch with drinks for the Ixtax Union
Reps: DUNCAN WILMORE, ALPA Leader, a rugged silver-haired
uniformed pilot; TONI CARPENTER, AFA Rep, hard looking,
40ish flight attendant.

BUD
Dad, you know Duncan Wilmore,
pilot’s union, and Toni Carpenter,
flight attendants…

CARL
I met them before you were born.

They exchange nods.

BUD
And I’d like to introduce you to Mr.
Gekko, and his lawyer, Mr. Salt.

GEKKO
A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Fox.

Carl stares at Gekko, sizing him up.

GEKKO
I’d be proud to have a son like Bud.
He’s got a great future ahead of him.

Carl looks to his fellow union representatives, then to Gekko.

CARL
(gesturing at Salt)
I thought this was an informal
meeting. What’s he doing here?

GEKKO
(dismissing him)
Harold, you don’t mind strolling
around the block a couple hundred
times, do you?

HAROLD
(looks at his watch)
Of course…

Salt gathers his jacket to leave, as Gekko and Carl eye one
another, tentatively.

DARIEN
…please help yourselves to some
food…

CUT TO:

The food is half consumed. Gekko addresses the union leaders.

GEKKO
Look, I have no illusions about
winning a popularity contest with
any of you. I was roasted the other
night, and a friend of mine asked–
why are we honoring this man–have
we run out of human beings?

His joke breaks the ice; they laugh, except for Carl.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
It’s not always the most popular
guy who gets the job done. You got
losses of 20 to 30 million dollars,
dividends cut to zero, you’re
getting squeezed to death by the
majors. Present management may not
be the worst scum of the earth, but
they’re the ones who’ve put you on
a kamikaze course, and pretty soon
everybody’s going to be scrambling
for the parachutes. Only there
aren’t enough to go around.
Management has them. You don’t. If
they throw Bluestar into Chapter
11–which I think they will–then
they can use bankruptcy laws to
break your unions and your
contracts and throw you guys off
the property.

We hear a loud crunching sound as Bud’s father bites into a
roll, glaring at Gekko.

WILMORE
(pilot)
With all due respect, Mr. Gekko,
what’s to prevent you from doing
the same thing?

GEKKO
Cause I have a way around all this,
a way we can all make money and
make this airline profitable again.
What do you say we cut to the chase.
I’m asking for a modest twenty
percent across-the-board wage cut.

Carl drops his fork on the plate. Gekko goes on.

GEKKO
And seven more hours a month.

Toni Carpenter and Duncan Wilmore exchange questionable looks.

CARPENTER
What kind of time frame are we
talking about here?

GEKKO
Give me a year. If we’re still
losing money, the reductions stand.
If however, we move into the black,
I return part of the givebacks,
salaries go back to present levels,
and…
(a beat)
we institute an employee profit
sharing program with stock. You’ll
own part of the airline.

Carpenter and Wilmore react with surprise, it’s obvious they
weren’t expecting the profit sharing part. Bud smiles at
Darien and looks to his father, who examines a sushi roll
before putting it back.

WILMORE
Are you prepared to put that in
writing?

GEKKO
I’ll have a letter of agreement
drawn up within two days.

CARPENTER
What’s your marketing strategy? How
do you plan to return us to
profitability?

GEKKO
Why don’t I give Bud an opportunity
to answer that.

Darien and Carl turn to Bud, who puts down his wine glass.

BUD
Thank you Mr. Gekko. First of all I
want you to know my door will
always be open to you cause I know
from my Dad it’s you guys that keep
Bluestar flying. One — Modernize.
Our computer software is weak, we
update it, we squeeze every dollar
out of each seat and mile flown.
You don’t sell a seat to a guy for
$89 when he’s willing to pay $389.
Effective inventory management
through computerization will
increase our load factor by 5 to
20%, that translates to
approximately 50 to 200 million
dollars in revenues; the point is,
we can beat the majors at a price
war. Two — Advertising — more,
more, and aggressive, attack the
majors. Three — expand our hubs to
Atlanta, North Carolina and Dallas,
reorganize all our feeder schedules,
think Big — guys, we’re going
after the majors!

The men are visibly shaken by Bud’s determination.

GEKKO
(looking for reactions)
Cards are on the table. What do you
think?

WILMORE
(restrained, hopeful)
If you mean what you say, I think
we’re in the ball park. I’ll take
it to my people.

CARPENTER
(approvingly)
You’ve sketched some broad strokes.
I’d like to see the fine print. But
so far so good.

Gekko looks to Carl Fox who, putting down knife and fork,
breaks his silence.

CARL
I guess if a man lives long enough,
he gets to see everything. And I
mean everything. What else do you
have in your bag of tricks, Mr. Gekko?

Bud tenses, looking at his father. Gekko ignores the
innuendo and replies softly.

GEKKO
Frankly, Carl, I can’t see giving
much more. If you have any
suggestions I’ll be glad to listen.

CARL
There came into Egypt a Pharoah who
did not know.

GEKKO
(smiling)
I beg your pardon. Is that a proverb?

CARL
(smiling)
No, it’s a prophecy. The rich have
been doing it to the poor since the
beginning of time. The only
difference between the Pyramids and
the Empire State Building is that
the Egyptians didn’t have unions.
(looking at Wilmore
and Carpenter)
I know what this guy is about–
greed–he’s in and out for the buck
and he don’t take prisoners. He
don’t give a damn about Northstar
or us …

BUD
Now, wait a minute, Dad…

GEKKO
(shrugs, keeping his composure)
Sure. What’s worth doing is worth
doing for money. It’s a bad bargain
where nobody gains. And if this
deal goes through, we all gain.

Carl throws down his napkin, rises from the chair, looks at
the others.

CARL
(looks at Bud)
‘Course my son did work three
summers as a baggage handler and
freight loader. With those
qualifications, why should I doubt
his ability to run an airline?

There is frozen silence at the table.

GEKKO
Fine, if you don’t want us, stay
with the scum in present
management–dedicated to running
you and Bluestar into the ground.

CARL
…that “scum” built this company
up from one plane in thirty years,
they made something out of nothing,
and if that’s a scum I’ll take one
over a rat any day…

Carl turns and leaves. Bud glances at Gekko, reading his
piercing look. He hurries after his father.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Bud catches up to Carl, waiting for the elevator, hammering
him.

BUD
(seething)
Congratulations. You did a great
job of embarrassing me in there–
not to mention yourself! Save the
“workers of the world unite” speech
for next time Dad, I heard it too
much growing up. You’re gonna get
axed Dad, no two ways about it, you
and the whole airline are going
down the tubes, you hear me, just
like Braniff, you don’t have a
chance in hell, and if it isn’t
Gekko it’s gonna be some other killer.

INT. ELEVATOR – NIGHT

Carl steps into the elevator, Bud follows.

CARL
He’s got your prick in his back
pocket, son, and you’re standing
naked in the display window of
Macy’s. He’s using you. Only you’re
too blind to see it.

BUD
No, what I see is a jealous old
machinist who can’t stand that his
son’s become more successful than
himself.

CARL
What you see, son, is a man who
never measured success by the size
of a man’s wallet.

BUD
That’s because you never had the
guts to go out into the world and
stake your claim.

CARL
(lamentably)
Boy, if that’s what you think, I
must’ve really screwed up my job as
a father.

INT. BUILDING LOBBY – NIGHT

Bud and Carl exit the elevator and head across the luxury
lobby.

CARL (CONT’D)
…as far as being axed, I’m still
here and as long as I am, I have a
responsibility not just to me but
to the union members I represent…

BUD
(pleading now)
Your responsibility, Dad, is to
present the facts, not your
opinions, to the men… you’re
gonna destroy their lives, Dad!
Don’t do it to ’em. Give it a
chance. Let the membership decide
for themselves, Dad. Please.

CARL
I’ll be damned that when my men
come to me tomorrow morning,
wanting to know what’s going on,
I’m going to lie to them!

BUD
Your men! All my life “your men”
have been able to count on you? Why
is it that you’ve never been there
for me?

They head through the doors, out onto the street.

EXT. BUILDING – NIGHT

Bud following Carl.

BUD
And what if you’re wrong? What if
one day, the sun didn’t rise in the
East and birds didn’t fly South in
winter and for once in your life
your compass was off? Huh?

He grabs Carl by the arm, stopping him.

BUD (CONT’D)
Would you be willing to wreck your
men’s future? My future? Please…
Dad. Think. Be practical, for a
change. I’m asking you, I’m fucking
begging you…

Bud lets go of Carl’s arm. Carl looks at his son, seeing the
desperation. Sadness and confusion take hold of him.

CARL
I don’t sleep with no whore and I
don’t wake up with no whore. That’s
how I live with myself, Buddy. I
don’t know how you do.
(a beat)
I hope I’m wrong, I’ll let them
decide for themselves, that much I
promise you.

He walks away. Bud watches him go, knows he has won.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud, increasingly frazzled and determined, dark circles
under his eyes paces with the phone…

JANET
(his secretary)
Mr. Dixon Brandt on 3…

BUD
(wearily switching over)
What’s up Dixon?
(stopping, focusing)
Calm down! What are you talking about?

INTERCUT TO:

INT. DIXON’S CABIN – ASPEN COLORADO – DAY

Dixon, the rich man’s son and ski bum, is yelling on the
other end of the line.

DIXON
…this guy who said he was from
the Security Exchange Commission,
whatever the hell that is, calls
and wants to ask me about that
stock I bought…

BUD
(nervous)
What’d you tell him?

DIXON
I told him I was in the bathroom
and I’d call him right back. What
the hell was I supposed to say
Buddy, you got me into…

BUD
Look Dixon, calm down! It’s not
illegal to buy stock or to be right.
And it’s not all that unusual to be
spot checked on a big buy. Tell him
you did your homework and you
thought the stock was a sound
investment.

DIXON
What if he asks where I got the money?

BUD
Tell ’em your father gave it to you.

DIXON
What if they call him?

BUD
They won’t. That’s not their
jurisdiction.

DIXON
You sure?

BUD
Yes! Read the Constitution, it’s
all in there. And remember–you
don’t know anything, nothing.

DIXON
I don’t know anything!

BUD
Good. Then call him back. And call
me back. Don’t worry.

He hangs up, a worried expression, Marv entering to break
his concentration.

MARV
Hey you hear the news. I just got a
job at a new firm: “Dewey, Cheat
’em and Howe.” Yuk yuk.

BUD
(icy)
Didn’t I tell you to knock before
you came in here?

MARV
Hey the door was open.

BUD
Then get out and close it behind you.

MARV
(pause)
You know what you need, buddy
buddy–an optorectomy. That’s when
they cut the nerve that runs from
your brain to your rectum–to
change that shitty attitude of yours.

BUD
Get the hell out!

Marv slams the door on his way…

EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING – DOWNTOWN NEW YORK – DAY

Long shot of the towering stone structure. A tall angular
figure crosses through the glass doors with a bulky folder
under his arm…

INT. LOBBY – DAY

The man flashes his ID to a SECURITY GUARD who buzzes him
through the gate… He walks towards us and we see he is the
familiar tall, baby-faced INVESTIGATOR from the S.E.C.
Options Watch Office… he gets in an elevator.

INT. S.E.C. INVESTIGATION OFFICES – DAY

He walks into the office of a CHIEF INVESTIGATOR. A balding
sharp-featured man in a drab suit with bags of hard work
under his eyes looks up as the young investigator places the
large file in front of him.

INT. ROGER BARNES’ OFFICE – DAY

Bud enters, preoccupied. Barnes is nervous.

BUD
So what’s the problem?

ROGER
(whispers)
…got a strange call from the SEC.
They asked to see my records…
Bud, this is a heavy…

BUD
(shrugs)
….Relax Roget
(French pronunciation)
You’re 82M in the account numbers
and I’m the Invisible Man…
they’re always looking for red
flags, Gekko’s always getting
checked by them, they never come up
with anything… we’re invulnerable
on this…

ROGER
Alright… I just wanna slow down
Bud… no more calls for awhile, no
lunches… we suspend our business,
alright…

BUD
Sure Roger, whatever you want, it’s
cool.

A young lawyer pops his head in the room.

LAWYER
Rog, come on, bring the cost report.
They started.
(exits)

 

ROGER
(standing, to Bud)
Gekko asked us into the Bluestar
deal. We’re reviewing the
timetables, wanna come?

BUD
(surprised)
He never told me…

ROGER
You’re just the President of the
company, what do you know? … Come
on.

As they walk out.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY

Smoky, coffee cups and food. THREE LAWYERS, TWO INVESTMENT
BANKERS, THREE COMMERCIAL BANKERS, sleeves rolled up, ties
askew. A blackboard with Bluestar’s assets diagrammed. A
combat mood in the room. Bud walking in, feels vaguely
worried, something is not quite right.

ROGER
You guys know the new chief of
Bluestar… Bud Fox.

They nod vaguely respectful but Bud’s obviously a figure
head to them, takes a seat off to the side. The bull-like
INVESTMENT BANKER, Vietnam vet, in shirt and suspenders, is
on the attack against the stuffier Commercial Bankers.

INVESTMENT BANKER
Look guys, what’s the problem,
let’s for the kill…Gekko’s got
12% and climbing plus the unions
are in his pocket for now,
everybody on the street knows the
stock’s in play
(overlapping voice:
up 2 1/4 since the open)
by next week the street’s gonna own
Bluestar and management won’t be
able to do anything but poison
their own pill. Why are you guys
dicking around? Is the bank
financing in place or are we gonna
have more and more meetings? Our
firm’s gonna guarantee 25% of the
total debt structure in long-term
junk bonds, now you guys either
sign this piece of paper right now
or we’re gonna pull and head for
another bank for the 75…

COMMERCIAL BANKER
(older man, appeasing)
…look, we have 30 banks ready to
participate in a 4 year revolving
credit line but we have to have
your assurance to pay back most of
the loan in the first 6 months, and
the only way…

INVESTMENT BANKER
(intermittently interrupting)
… 30 banks, isn’t that
wonderful…you got it, no problem.

COMMERCIAL BANKER
(insistent)
…and the only way we can see this
happening is liquidating the
hangars and the planes. Can you
people guarantee that?

Bud freezes where he sits…it all comes crashing down in a
milli-second on that word “liquidate” — shock now spreading
on Bud’s face…

INVESTMENT BANKER
Guaranteed! No sweat…we already
got the Bleezburg brothers lined up
to build condos where the hangars
are, we can lay off the planes with
Mexicana, who are dumb enough to
buy ’em and Texas Air is drooling
at my kneecaps to get the slots and
the routes. What’s the problem?
it’s done..

ROGER
(passing a paper to
the commercial banker)
This is the pricetag on the 737s,
the gates, the hangars, the routes,
we got it all nailed right down to
the typewriters…

Bud sits there numbly, a sickening feeling taking hold of
him as the camera and music track and trap him tighter and
tighter. The lawyers’ voices distorting in the background.

INVESTMENT BANKER
…’course the beauty of it is the
overfunded pension fund. Gekko gets
the 75 million in there. Fifty
million buys him the minimum
annuities for 6,000 employees and
he walks away with the rest. All
in, he’ll net 60 to 70 million. Not
bad for a month’s work.
(to Bud)
Your man did his homework, Fox,
you’re gonna have the shortest
executive career since the Pope who
got poisoned…now he’ll really
start believing he’s “Gekko the
Great.”

INT. RECEPTION AREA – GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud walks intently past the receptionist and down the long
white marble hall.

INT. NATALIE’S DESK – DAY

Natalie is on the phone. Bud marches past her desk.

NATALIE
Yes, he wants to change that
appointment to…
(cupping the receiver)
Bud–you can’t go in there. He’s in
a meeting!

He ignores her and throws open Gekko’s door.

INT. GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Gekko is talking with the LAWYERS and BANKERS from the
Bluestar deal, as Bud barges in.

GEKKO
(looks up)
I didn’t know we had a meeting
schedule for this morning.

BUD
I’m sorry, this can’t wait.

Gekko stares at him with piercing eyes.

GEKKO
Will you gentlemen excuse us for a
few minutes?

The lawyers and bankers get up and discreetly leave the room.
Gekko waits for them to go, turns back to Bud.

GEKKO
What the hell do you want?

BUD
I found out about the garage sale
down at Bluestar. Why?

Gekko is taken by surprise.

GEKKO
Last night I read Rudy the story of
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey pot.
Know what happened: he stuck his
nose in that honey pot once too
often and got stung.

BUD
Maybe you ought to read him
Pinocchio. You told me you were
going to turn Bluestar around. Not
upside down. You used me.

GEKKO
You’re walking around blind without
a cane, sport. A fool and his money
are lucky to get together in the
first place.

BUD
Why do you need to wreck this company?

GEKKO
Because it’s wreckable. I took
another look and I changed my mind.

BUD
If these people lose their jobs,
nowhere to go. My father worked at
Bluestar for twenty-four years. I
gave ’em my word.

GEKKO
(hard)
It’s all about bucks, kid, the rest
is conversation…
(loosening)
Bud, you’re still going to be
president. And when the time comes,
you’ll parachute out a rich man.
With the money you’re going to
make, your father won’t have to
work another day in his life.

BUD
Tell me, Gordon–when does it all
end? How many yachts can you
waterski behind? How much is enough?

GEKKO
Buddy, it’s not a question of
enough. It’s a zero sum game, sport.
Somebody wins and somebody loses.
Money itself isn’t lost or made,
it’s simply transferred from one
perception to another. Like magic.
That painting cost $60,000 10 years
ago. I could sell it today for
$600,000. The illusion has become
real. And the more real it becomes,
the more desperately they want it.
Capitalism at its finest.

BUD
(again)
How much is enough Gordon?

GEKKO
The richest one percent of this
country owns half the country’s
wealth: 5 trillion dollars. One
third of that comes from hard work,
two thirds of it comes from
inheritance, interest on interest
accumulation to widows and idiot
sons and what I do — stock and
real estate speculation. It’s
bullshit. Ninety percent of the
American people have little or no
net worth. I create nothing; I own.
We make the rules, Buddy, the news,
war, peace, famine, upheaval; the
cost of a paper clip.
(picking one up)
We pull the rabbit out of the hat
while everybody else sits around
their whole life wondering how we
did it…
(crosses to Bud)
…you’re not naive enough to think
we’re living in a democracy are
you, Buddy? It’s the free market.
You’re one of us now…take
advantage of it. You got the killer
instinct, kid, stick with me. I got
things to teach you…

BUD
Obviously…

As he puts his arm around Bud, leading him to the door.

GEKKO
Believe me, Buddy, I was gonna
discuss this with you at the right
time. Look, why don’t you calm down
and come to the apartment for
dinner tonight. Bring Darien…

BUD
(at the door,
confused, drained)
…I can’t make it tonight.

GEKKO
Are you with me Buddy?

At the door, a look of unmistakable power…and danger.

GEKKO
I want you with me.
(waits)

 

BUD
I’m with you Gordon…

He walks out the door, the misery he is in washing his brow.

GEKKO
(to Natalie)
…be another minute, Natalie.

As he crosses back to the coffee table and punches up a
phone number.

GEKKO
This is Gordon Gekko. Now…
(a beat, with
controlled rage)
I want zip-locked mouths on
Bluestar, or I’m gonna personally
come down there and rip out your
fucking throats!

EXT. GEKKO OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Bud walks out, heading up the street, absent amid the
scurrying mid-day hordes tearing up the street for the loot
inside.

EXT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY

Darien approaches, carrying groceries, enters the building.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY

Bud is slumped on the couch, a spent bottle of tequila in
front of him. Outside the twilight is quickening into night,
shadows, scurrying across the unlit room…. for the first
time we see him sucking on a cigarette.

Darien opens the door and freezes, surveying the living room.
A broken vase on the carpet, a curtain ripped off a window,
a painting upended, a chair overturned, selected but not
frenzied damage…

DARIEN
Bud?…What’s going on?

She puts down the grocery bags, frightened.

BUD
I’ve been played like a grand-
piano–by the master, Gekko the
Great…and today was the big crash.
Liquidation sale. He’s gonna carve
Bluestar into little pieces and
sell it all off…

Darien registering this, is picking up pieces of the broken
vase.

DARIEN
I’m sorry. I was afraid something
like this could happen.

BUD
Talk about being bent over the sink
of life and being dry humped. I
handed it to him on a silver
platter. I told my father and those
people…

DARIEN
Buddy, it’s not your fault, and
it’s not your decision.

BUD
(evenly)
I’m not gonna let it happen Darien.

She stops, lights a cigarette, growing concern.

DARIEN
Don’t cross Gordon. He’ll crush you.
You’ve worked hard to get where you
are. If Gordon doesn’t buy Bluestar
someone else will; and who’s to say
they won’t do the same thing.

BUD
At least I wouldn’t be pulling the
trigger.

She sighs…comes over, tries to shake some sense into him!

DARIEN
Are you mad! Why are you doing this!
We’re so close, the town is going
to be ours. Don’t throw away your
future Bud!

BUD
I can stay with the brokerage firm.
And you’re doing fine. We can
survive without Gordon Gekko.

DARIEN
(pointed)
I’m not looking to just survive.
I’ve been doing that all my life.

BUD
(getting the drift)
What the hell’s that supposed to mean?

Darien moves out from his approximate circle, wrestling with
what she wants to say…until she turns and says it.

DARIEN
That if you make an enemy of Gordon
Gekko, I won’t be there to stand by
you.

Bud is stunned…and hurt.

BUD
You really mean that?
(lashing out)
What’d he promise you? To take you
public? I guess without Gordon’s
money and seal of approval, I’m not
such a hot investment anymore.
You’re just the best money can buy,
Darien…

DARIEN
You’re not exactly pure Bud, you
went after Gekko with the same
vengeance you went after me. Look
in the mirror before…

BUD
(glaring at her)
I’m looking…and I sure don’t like
what I see.

She collects her things and walks to the door.

DARIEN
Fair enough…but it’s not that
simple, Bud. When I was down and
had nothing, it was Gordon who
helped me. He got me all my
clients — you among them…
(snaps her fingers)
and he can take it away like that.
(a beat)
You may find out one day — that
when you’ve had money and lost it,
it’s worse than never having had it
at all.

Bud steps across to her in a rage.

BUD
That’s bullshit! Step out that
door, I’m changing the locks.

She opens the door saddened.

DARIEN
You may not believe this Bud but I
really do care for you. I think we
could’ve made a good team…but
that’s how it goes…

BUD
Get the hell out!

She does. Bud stares at the closed door, mute, numb, totally
devastated…. the loss is not just Darien, it is total…
He looks at his face in the reflection of a wall mirror…

INT. BUD’S APARTMENT – CORRIDOR – DAY

Waiting for the elevator. Darien also looks at herself a
beat in the hall mirror. She’s crying. Then she steels
herself and enters the elevator.

INT. BUD’S CONDO – DAY

The same realtor, SYLVIe DRIMMER, who sold him the place, is
back. The phone is ringing, unanswered…

SYLVIE
…well, the market’s dead, hon,
even the rich are bitching,
nothing’s moving except termites
and cockroaches, and with my
commission being what it is…

BUD
(cutting her off)
Save the rap, just sell it — fast!

He’s in his socks, unshaven, smoking, he looks like he’s
been on a bender for the weekend. The phone stops ringing.
He turns and walks into the bedroom, slamming the door
behind him.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud walks in, a different, more serious look in his eye,
purposeful. Past CAROLYN and JANET at the outer desk. They
stop what they’re doing and look up at him surprised.

CAROLYN
Bud! Where you been the last two days?

BUD
(ignoring the tone in
her voice)
…Janet get my father on the phone
and the two other union reps,
urgent…

He notices her face, something’s wrong.

JANET
Your mom just called, Mr. Fox. Your
father… he…

BUD
(sensing it)
What! What happened?!

CAROLYN
He had a heart attack, hon, but
he’s okay, he’s at the hospital…

BUD
(runs out)
Oh Christ!

INT. BUD’S BMW – DAY

Bud weaving fast through traffic.

INT. HOSPITAL – DAY

Bud races past the nurses’ desks and down the hallway.

EXT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Bud’s MOTHER is outside with Dominick Amato and another
neighbor just visiting, bringing candies.

BUD
(lighting a cigarette)
Mom! How is he?

MOM
(shaken)
…he was complaining about chest
pains at work. Next thing I know he
collapsed… Oh Buddy, talk to him,
he’s so stubborn.

AMATO
(to Bud)
…don’t worry, he’s got another 20
years in him. He’s a tough ol’ nut,
your Dad…

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

The blinds are drawn. His Dad lies there, tubes down his
nose, hooked up to an IV unit and monitors. Bud comes over.
Carl, glassy-eyed, significantly frailer, nods to him. It’s
obvious that more damage was done than Bud expected. Mom
comes into the room with him, stands there.

BUD
Hiya Dad…
(sits, smiles)
What was it? Mom talked too much or
was it her spaghetti? I mean
pasta…
(Mom bringing a
handkerchief to her eyes)
I told you never to lift a 747 by
yourself…

Carl, smiles weakly, on pain killers. Bud pulls out a
cigarette. He fumbles with it before putting it away, trying
to keep a gruff tone between them.

BUD
…you even got me smoking
now…second one Dad, you’re
pushing your luck, I guess you know
that…I guess you gotta pull
through this one Dad…for mom, for
me…I guess I never told you
but…I love you Dad, I love you
more than I ever.
(begins to weep)
…I didn’t mean those things I
said to you…you’re a hero all the
way Dad, you’re a rock…the best.

The words seem to come flowing out of Bud as Carl’s eyes
fill with tears.

BUD
…and you were right about Gekko.
He’s one son of a bitch…through
and through.

Carl stares at him, beginning to understand.

BUD (CONT’D)
He’s gonna break up Bluestar.

Carl reacts violently in his eyes but Bud soothes him…in
dead earnest, trying to be deliberate and clear in his meaning.

BUD (CONT’D)
…but I gotta plan Dad, it can
work, I can save the airline, I
know you got no reason to believe
me but I want you to trust me…I
need to talk to the unions…Can I
speak for you?

Carl’s eyes.

BUD (CONT’D)
Your words, not mine…

CARL
(weakly)
You speak for me, son.

INT. AUCTION ROOM – DAY

Gekko and Darien are seated together in the back row. Darien
looks serious and distracted in spite of all the excitement
going on around her. It is the big spring Impressionist sale
and all the major players, or their representatives are here.
Gekko is bidding.

GEKKO
Look over there sunshine. I’m up
against Richard Feigen.

He is on a roll, electric. As the price mounts and surpasses
the two million dollar mark, Gekko rises and walks down the
side aisle to the front, never taking his eyes away from the
auctioneer. He stands agressively, arms akimbo, in a nose to
nose confrontation.

AUCTIONEER
Once, twice, three times. Sold to
Mr. Gordon Gekko.

EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF AUCTION HOUSE – DAY

They walk the sunny streets, a jubilant Gekko, savoring his
triumph, grabs Darien’s arm.

GEKKO
What do you say we go get a suite
at the Carlyle? Caviar? Champagne?
Celebrate, just like the old times
Sunshine.

DARIEN
(indignantly)
Those days are over, Gordon. They
were over a long time ago.

GEKKO
(condescendingly but
paying little
attention to the rebuff)
Can’t blame me for trying. You look
as beautiful as that painting I
just bought.

He pats her on the back in a preprietary fashion.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
(mockingly)
So what’s the problem Sunshine? You
look like Black Thursday. Bad case
of puppy love?

DARIEN
(indignant)
It’s not puppy love, Gordon.
Anyway, Buddy and I are splitting up.

GEKKO
(off handed)
Sorry to hear that. I thought the
kid had staying power.

DARIEN
It’s over you, Gordon.

GEKKO
(cooly)
You told him about us?

DARIEN
No, are you crazy? And I don’t want
him ever to know. Do you
understand?…

She moves closed and takes Gordon’s hand.

DARIEN (CONT’D)
I want to ask you a big favor,
Gordon. Please drop the Bluestar deal.

GEKKO
(stroking her face)
Now tell me, why would I want to do
that?

DARIEN
Because I don’t want to see him hurt.

GEKKO
Don’t worry Sunshine. Bud and I had
a little talk. We came to an
understanding.
(takes her hand paternally)
I want you to go back to him.
Soothe him. Help keep his head
straight. Okay?

DARIEN
I can’t…and I won’t.

GEKKO
Come on, we both like Buddy. But
this bleeding heart puppy love act
is over the top… It doesn’t fit.

DARIEN
Maybe it does. Don’t patronize me
Gordon.

GEKKO
You and I are the same, Darien.
We’re smart enough not to buy into
the oldest myth running: love… A
fiction created by people who got
nothing to keep them from jumping
out of windows.

DARIEN
You’re really twisted, Gordon.
You’re incapable of giving to
anybody because deep down inside
you there’s a poverty that every
last dollar in the world won’t fill.

GEKKO
Ooh ooh, tough talk from a scared
little girl all wrapped in a pretty
grown-up package. Does this mean
you’re ready to cut the umbilical
cord and step out into the world on
your own? Because, Darien, if
you’re through with me, you’re
through with everything I’m a part of.

Darien’s eyes cloud over…the look of a scared child being
banished by her father. Then…

DARIEN
I know…but maybe, just maybe
Gordon, I’m good enough so I don’t
need you anymore.

She walks away.

INT. MCGREGOR’S BAR – QUEENS – DAY

Bud is seated at a corner table with the BLUESTAR UNION
REPS: Duncan Wilmore, ALPA LEADER and Toni Carpenter, AFA
rep; also jointed by machinists, Dominick Amato and Charley
Dent, sitting in for his father’s union.

BUD
…the stock’s at 19 1/4 and it’s
going up. Gekko figures by breaking
up Bluestar, it’s worth at least
$30 a share. That means he’ll buy
up to 23 or 24 and still think he’s
making money.

WILMORE
How do you know that the stock is
going to go up?

BUD
(pointedly)
You really don’t want to know any
more than that, Mr. Wilmore. Let’s
just say I have some friends.

WILMORE
(getting his drift)
Okay. What happens then?

BUD
When the stock hits 23, you guys go
to Gekko and lower the boom. Once
he learns he has no union
concession, he’s going to head for
the hills. He’ll sell everything
he’s got.

CARPENTER
Yeah. But who’s going to buy then
and what’s to prevent another shark
from coming along and devouring us?

INT. WILDMAN BUILDING – FIFTH AVENUE APARTMENT – DAY

Bud, Duncan Wilmore, Toni Carpenter, Dominick and Charley,
an unlikely looking group in the plushness of the apartment
lobby.

BUD
We have an appointment to see Mr.
Wildman.

INT. WILDMAN APARTMENT – DAY

Lofty windows overlooking the Park, an impeccably-decorated
apartment with coffee and rolls laid out, a young AIDE
quietly moving around. Bud and the others are on sofas
around the imposing figure of Wildman in a chair across.

BUD
Sir Lawrence, what would you say to
owning Bluestar Airlines with union
concessions–at $18 a share…and
in the process hanging Gordon Gekko
out in the wind to twist…. ?

Sir Lawrence leans back in his chair, equably…

WILDMAN
I might be very interested, but why?
Why you mate — how’d you get mixed
up with Gekko? He doesn’t know the
difference between raiding and
insider trading. I do. The SEC does.
I hope you do…

BUD
Let’s just say Mr. Gekko and I have
a conflict of interest. I want to
see this airline work…
(pointing to the
documents in front of Wildman)
…the figures here show it can.

WILDMAN
(to the others)
… and you’re prepared to take
these large salary cuts.

WILMORE
…we are. But we want a contract
agreement — iron-clad — that if
you buy it, you can’t break it up.

WILDMAN
(hands behind his head)
I’m still listening…

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud hurries in, past Marv on the phone with an irate customer.

MARV
Well, if that’s how you feel–the
hell with you too. And strong
letter to follow.

He slams the phone down.

BUD
You don’t have to agree with me,
Marv; but I think I’ve been a bit
of a schmuck lately.
(beat, waits)

 

MARV
(off the cuff)
I agree. Go thou and sin no more.

BUD
I want to make it up to you.
Bluestar, put all your clients in it.

MARV
(animated, grabs the phone)
Thanks, buddy, buddy, I’m back.
Say, Buddy, those optorectomies do
work wonders.

Bud intersecting Lou Mannheim smoking a cigarette and having
a hard time walking.

BUD
Bluestar, Mr. Mannheim. Put all
your clients in it.

Davls looks gravely at Bud.

MANNHEIM
I don’t know where you get your
information, son, but I don’t like
it. The only reason I’m gonna do it
is…I need the money, that’s the
problem with money–it makes you do
things you don’t want to do.

Bud hears him, walks on…

MARV
(into phone)
Miss Bloom, Marvin. You got cancer
in your portfolio, but I got the
cure…Bluestar Airlines…

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud on the phone, checking his quotron.

BUD
Listen I need a favor and it’s a
quick scalp for you. Two hundred
thousand at 19 1/2; can you
position it in one of your equity
funds?

JANET
(voicebox)
…call waiting on 7.

BUD
Hold on…
(switches over, hushed)
…listen “blue horseshoe loves
Bluestar Airlines”…

Immediately goes back to the other line.

INT. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL OFFICES – DAY

The REPORTER, who Bud anonymously called on the earlier
Anacott Steel buy, hangs up. He rises from his desk and
crosses the busy news floor, over to his EDITOR.

WSJ REPORTER
Bluestar’s in play.

INT. NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE – DAY

A RUNNER dashes up to the BLUESTAR AIRLINES post, where a
heated crowd is gathered, amidst heavy trading. He elbows
his way over to a TRADER, handing him the ticket. The TRADER
holds up the buy order, screaming, making frantic hand
signals, in search of a seller. Faces in the crowd look up
at the broad tape.

CAMERA TILTS TO:

BLUESTAR (BST), the stock quote flashing across the BROAD
TAPE–upticking to 20 1/4.

INT. BROKERAGE OFFICE – DAY

Marv, on the phone pitching, eyes glued to the office TAPE–
as BST jumps to 21 1/4.

MARV
I love it…I do love it so!

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

The quotron now climbs to 22 1/8!

BUD
(into phone)
Yeah. I see it at 22 1/8 and I
don’t know what to make of it.

INT. GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

He paces on the other end of the phone, real anger showing;
now Alex and Susan seen in b.g.

GEKKO
The word’s out. Your union buddies
are talking. Get me in at a 45
degree angle and I mean all the way
in! Slash and burn, buy everything
you can get up to 22. Then call me.
When I get the sonofabitch who
leaked this I’m gonna kill him! I’m
gonna tear his eyeballs out, I’m
gonna suck his skull!!

As he glances at his quotron the stock ticks up another 1/8th.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

All the BROKERS have jumped into the action, avidly watching
Bluestar’s stock climb on the BROAD TAPE. Bud sweeps into
the room and looks up at the board as the stock hits 22 7/8.

MARV
The stock’s going to Pluto!

BUD
Start unloading.

MARV
Sell?

BUD
Now! Tell everyone to dump!

Marv nods, and rushes away. Bud crosses past Mannheim’s office.

BUD
Get out of Bluestar!

In background Marv is spreading the word, brokers frantically
grabbing phones, calling clients to sell.

INT. GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Gekko looks up from his quotron and shouts to his troops on
the phones.

GEKKO
Who the hell’s out there? What are
the arbs saying? It’s gotta be a
big hitter.

ALEX
They don’t know what’s going on!

SUSAN
Everybody and his mother is buying!

Natalie enters the room, flustered.

NATALIE
Mr. Gekko, there’s a whole bach of
people from Bluestar Airlines
outside demanding to see you.

GEKKO
What the hell do they want?

WILMORE (O.S.)
I’d be happy to tell you.

As Duncan, Toni Carpenter, Dominick Amato, Charley Dent and
SEVERAL other assorted UNION MEMBERS march into the room.
Gekko is taken by surprise, but stays calm.

WILMORE
We know what you’re up to, Gekko,
and let me tell you this from here,
(hits his heart)
you suck eggs, mister, over my dead
body you ain’t gonna break up
Bluestar.

GEKKO
You guys must know something nobody
else knows. If those are my plans,
it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

CARPENTER
Would you care to put that in writing?

GEKKO
I’d like to remind you we already
have an agreement, which I expect
you to honor.

WILMORE
Well in that case, I hope you have
your pilot’s license.

AMATO
Don’t worry, Gekko, we wouldn’t let
the engines fall out of the plane.

CARPENTER
(regretfully)
But the reservations systems can
get awfully screwed up, if we’re
not paying attention.

CHARLEY DENT
And a lot of baggage headed to St.
Petersburg could easily find its
way to Pittsburgh.

GEKKO
Listen, you clowns, there’s
somebody else out there trying to
buy your airline, if you want to be
Pac-manned and gobbled by Atilla
the Hun be my guest!

WILMORE
We’ll take our chances.
(tips his hat)
Nice to see you again, Mr. Gekko.

They file out of the room. The phone lines have lit up like
a Christmas tree. Alex answers a call.

ALEX
(to Gekko)
Fox says Bluestar just hit 23. What
do you want him to do?

GEKKO
(fractional pause, mad)
Sell it all.
(then, evenly)
What the hell, so I’ll only make
ten million.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud switches lines from Gekko to Larry Wildman.

BUD
Gekko’s on the ropes–he’s trying
to sell, but there’s not many
takers, the stock’s plummeting.

EXT. WILDMAN’S YACHT – DAY

Wildman is off the Long Island Sound waters in his boat
lighting a cigar. Two beautiful women and an aide are with him.

WILDMAN
Well then… guess I’ll have to
carry him a few rounds before he
drops.

Switches lines, checking his quotron…

WILDMAN
Bluestar. Don’t make a big deal.
Buy it lightly on the way down.
(emphatically)
When it hits 18–buy it all.

INT. NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE FLOOR – DAY

Wildman’s broker takes the order with a curt “got it” and
dashes out of the cubicle over to the Bluestar post where a
chaotic crowd is gathered, traders frantically screaming to
sell Bluestar shares. He looks at the Big Board–sees an XTR
drop to 17. When he raises his hand to buy, he is mobbed.

DISSOLVE TO:

The Big Board…a series of snappy dissolves accompanied by
lively music shows the stock price falling to 16 1/2 …

INT. GEKKO’S OFFICE – DAY

Alex, Ollie, Susan on the phones.

OLLIE
The arbs are getting killed.
Where’d the buyers go!

ALEX
(worried)
We’re being devoured, Gordon.

Harold Salt, walking on egg shells, looks to Gekko, who sits
with the phone receiver crooked to his neck.

HAROLD
There’s got to be a way out of
this, Gordon.

GEKKO
(livid, losing it)
Yeah, Harold, why don’t you dial
911.
(into the receiver)
Fox, where the hell are you? I’m
losing millions.
(a beat)
Look, you got me into this airline,
and you damn well better get me out.
Because if you don’t the only job
you’re going to get on the Street
is sweeping it! You hear me, Fox–

INTERCUT TO:

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

Bud scribbling an order ticket, replies on the other end.

BUD
(hard)
You once told me don’t get
emotional about stock. Gordon,
don’t. The bid is 17 and going down.
As your broker, I advise you to
take it.

Bud moves the phone away from his ear, at Gekko’s cursing,
and signs the ticket.

BUD
(urgent)
Gordon, it’s two minutes to close.
What do you want to do?! Decide.

GEKKO
(a long beat)
Dump it.

Bud hangs up and rushes off with the ticket.

INT. GEKKO’S DEN – NEW YORK APARTMENT – TWILIGHT

The 35″ television is on to:

NEWSCASTER
The big Wall Street story tonight
is the roller coaster ride of
Bluestar Airlines. Fueled by
takeover rumors, the stock soared
to an all-time high of 24 1/8. Then
when contradictory rumors later
surfaced that the takeover was
unfounded, buyers went running for
cover, and the stock plummeted on
gigantic volume to as low as 16 1/2
before closing at 17.

Camera discovers Gekko sitting, grimly watching the report.
Rudy seen riding his toy car in background.

NEWSCASTER
…but then tonight, amidst all the
scuttlebutt, another rumble shook
(a beat)
According to many sources, raider
Sir Lawrence Wildman has stepped in
and bought a substantial block of
Bluestar and is going to announce a
deal tomorrow at 18 that includes
the support of the unions.

Camera now tracks in close on Gekko as he absorbs the
unexpected blow. O.S. Rudy yelling and squealing. Gekko
leans back, putting the pieces together, his eyes narrowing
into burning slits. He smashes the glass cocktail table with
a massive paperweight as Kate hears it, shocked.

EXT. WALL STREET – MORNING

People rushing to work. Bud crosses the street, his face
buried in The Financial Times. Insert: “SIR LAWRENCE WILDMAN
MOUNTS BLUESTAR BUY WITH UNION SUPPORT”.

Satisfied, Bud folds the paper and heads into his office
building.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

He walks past Carolyn the receptionist who is strangely mute…

BUD
Smile, Carolyn, there’s justice in
the world…

INT. MAIN OFFICE – DAY

He passes the CHINESE STOCKLADY. She sees him and manages to
look away. Marvin exchanges a look with him but can’t bring
himself to talk. Bud wonders…the whole office seems
silent, the other BROKERS stealing glances.

…as he passes Lou Mannheim with Charlie Cushing, who
ignores Bud…

BUD
How’s it going Mr. Mannheim? Got
out of Bluestar in time I hope?

Mannheim stops, winds up. Bud impatient but polite.

MANNHEIM
(with gruff affection)
Bud I like you, just remember
something. Man looks in the abyss,
there’s nothing staring back at him.
At that time a man finds his
character–and that is what keeps
him out of the abyss…
(a beat, looks deeply)

 

BUD
I think I understand what you mean
Mr. Mannheim.

But not really. As, on this increasingly strange morning, he
moves on past Janet who wants to tell his something but he
cuts her off.

BUD
Get my father will you Janet?

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

As Bud walks in, the camera glides to reveal the young SEC
INVESTIGATOR, who has been tracking Buddy, going through his
files. A SECOND MAN, PATTERSON, is standing behind the desk
using the phone as a bored-looking 3RD MAN and POLICEMAN
stand off to the side with Hieronymus Lynch, who gives Bud a
withering glance.

PATTERSON
(into phone)
He just came in. I’ll talk to you
later.

On Bud–a struck-dumb look passing to resignation, as if for
a long time now, he has been expecting this.

BUD
I guess you’re not here to open an
IRA.

PATTERSON
Mr Fox, I’m Henry Patterson from
the Postal Inspection Service…
this is Evan Morrissey with The
Securities and Exchange
Investigation Office.
(presents his ID and
indicates MAN 3)
… Mr. Ebanhopper from the US
Attorney’s Office.

MORRISSEY
Mr. Fox, you’re under arrest for
conspiracy to commit securities
fraud and for violating the Insider
Trader’s Sanction Act.

The handcuffs come out.

EXT. SHEEPSMEADOW – CENTRAL PARK – TWILIGHT

Long shot. Activity is winding down, a few sunbathers
collecting their blankets. A solitary figure stands on a
hill silhouetted by the sunset. A second figure appears on a
footpath and starts climbing the hill towards the other man.

Gekko waits, expressionless… Bud approaches him. They
stand facing each other.

GEKKO
Hello Bud.

BUD
Gordon.

GEKKO
You sandbagged me on Bluestar.
(smiles)
I guess you think you taught the
teacher a lesson, that you can make
the tail wag the dog, huh?

Bud looks away. Gekko’s smile fades.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
Well let me cue you in: the ice is
melting under your feet sport…

Without warning, he grabs Buddy roughly by the lapels and
lets out his inner rage with a series of smacks and slaps
across his face.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
You think you could’ve gotten this
far this fast with anybody else?
You think you could be out there
dicking somebody like Darien? No,
you’d be cold calling dentists and
widows to buy twenty shares of some
dog stock! I took you in! A nobody!
I opened doors for you!…I showed
you how the system works!…

Gekko slapping him harder and harder, Buddy staggering with
the blows, saying nothing, not defending himself.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
…the value of information! How
you get it! Anacott Steel, Brant
Resources, Transuniversal, Fulham
Oil. And this is how you pay back,
you cockroach! I gave you Darien, I
gave you your manhood. I gave you
everything.

He backhands Bud across the face. Bud lies on the ground,
spent, as is Gordon breathing hard. Bud gets to his knees,
blood streaming from his nose, his suit muddied. Passersby
look on, wondering.

Gekko seems to relent, the rage going into hurt, remorse. He
hands Bud a handkerchief. Bud staunches the flow of blood
from his nose.

GEKKO (CONT’D)
(softly, innocently)
You could’ve been one of the great
ones Bud…I look at you and see
myself…Why?

Bud looks at Gordon, torn by mixed emotions: the bonds they
share and the betrayal wrought.

BUD
(shakes his head, thoughtfully)
I don’t know. My Dad once told me,
“money is something you need in
case you don’t die tomortow.” I
guess I realized I’m just Bud Fox.
And as much as I wanted to be
Gordon Gekko–I’ll always be Bud Fox.

He looks at Gordon, as if wanting to say more, but doesn’t.

In long shot, Gordon stands alone as Bud walks away.

EXT. TAVERN ON THE GREEN RESTAURANT – EVENING

The DOORMAN looks askance. Bud, mud-splattered suit and
bloody nose, walks straight past him thru the door.

INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

Several well-heeled DINERS look up from their haute cuisine,
at the sight of Bud making his way toward the men’s room.

INT. MEN’S ROOM – NIGHT

Tight on Bud, staring at his reflection in the mirror, as he
unbuttons his shirt, revealing adhesive tape swathed across
his chest. Camera paces back as he winces when…

MORRISSEY and AGOSTINI, the two investigators, rip the tape
off his chest, retrieving a small tape recorder. Morrissey
of the S.E.C. rewinds the cassette. We hear Gekko’s voice
being played back on the tape, the mention of their deals.

MORRISSEY
You did the right thing, Bud.

Bud looks searchingly in the mirror. Faint CLICKING NOISE
comes up over the shot.

INT. BUD’S OFFICE – DAY

CLICKING of the Broad Tape grows LOUDER. Shots of Lou
Mannheim, Lynch, Marv; silently looking up at the green
fluorescent print-out.

THE TAPE–THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TODAY ANNOUNCED
CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST CORPORATE RAIDER GORDON GEKKO AND
STOCK BROKER BUD FOX, FOR CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT SECURITIES
FRAUD, TAX EVASION, VIOLATIONS OF SECURITY ACTS, AND MAIL
FRAUD…

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CARL FOX’S HOUSE – QUEENS – DAY

Carl, dressed in a suit and tie, sits at the dining table,
finished breakfast plates in front of him, refilling his
coffee cup. Mom clearing off the table, anxious…

As Bud walks in, wearing a suit and tie. He looks tired,
beaten, the eyes lifeless, in a dark mood.

MOM
(disapproving)
…don’t wear that tie Buddy, it…

She cuts off on Bud’s look.

CARL
Another cup of coffee?

BUD
No, thanks, I’m nervous enough.

CARL
(checks his watch)
I guess it’s time to hit the road.

BUD
Yeah, don’t want to be late for my
own funeral.

INT. CARL FOX’S SEDAN – LOWER MANHATTAN – DAY

Driving towards the Federal Courtrooms in Lower Manhattan.
Busy traffic all around.

CARL
(supportively)
…you told the truth, you gave the
money back. All things considered–
in this cockamamie world–you’re
shooting par…

MOM
…you helped save the airline and
the people at the airline are gonna
remember you for it.

CARL
…if I was you, I’d think about
that Bluestar job Wildman’s offered
you…

BUD
Dad, I’m going to jail and you know
it.

CARL
(shaking his head, sober)
Maybe that’s the price, Bud, maybe
so. It’s gonna be rough on you but
maybe in some screwed up way,
that’s the best thing that can
happen to you…stop trading for
the quick buck and go produce
something with your life, create,
don’t live off the buying and
selling of others…

MOM
…you can do it, Bud, once you set
your mind to something, I believe
you can do anything in the world…

Bud stares ahead, registering it.

CARL
(nods, then)
…got any friends gonna be there?

As he pulls the car into the curb. The Federal Building, in
approaching POV, looms large before them.

BUD
(looks around, ironic)
Like who? Who really wants to know
a convicted felon…I don’t even
like myself.

Carl knows something Bud doesn’t…

Darien is standing there waiting as they approach the main
entrance… Bud seeing her, suddenly stunned. His POV–
easing along the curb.

CARL
So, why don’t you get out here and
go in with your friend, I’ll park
the car. Try to be cool, okay?

A last look with his father.

EXT. CURBSIDE – FEDERAL BUILDING – LOWER MANHATTAN – DAY

Bud getting out…crossing to Darien. A pause.

DARIEN
(nervous)
Hi.

BUD
Why?

DARIEN
I figure a guy who’s made some
mistakes should be able to
understand a girl who’s made some
of her own…

Bud looking at her, moves closer, longing and hope and
happiness have returned to his dull eyes… and forgiveness,
the greatest of all.

They embrace. Bud will never know about her past, nor need
he. The camera leaving them on a slanting, circular crane,
lifting past the Federal Building to a panorama of Wall
Street in all its icy magisterial splendor…and thus ends
our tale.

THE END

 

 

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