Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Best Business Movie lists

The Smart Lemming blog has Lori Grant's lists of the best business movies along with some others she found:

While three out of the four sites chose the Citizen Kane, I love comedies like Baby Boom, The Secret of My Succe$s, Trading Places, and Office Space. Here are my top 10 business movies:

Baby Boom (1987): I love this movie. Forget the adorable baby. I love seeing J.C. Wiatt build a business from scratch, ultimately having the option to be acquired by her former employer. This movie is perfect when you need some motivation on your startup.
The Secret of My Succe$s (1987): Another movie perfect for getting motivated about your career. Brantley Foster played by Michael J. Fox plays an ambitious upstart who gets ahead by sleeping with his aunt! Sounds creepy, but it works. And he eventually becomes CEO, which is the feel-good ending for up and coming knowledge workers who aspire to run a company.
The Godfather: Part II (1974): I love this movie. It’s about family business, loyalty, and about consequences (at least from my perspective). Today, I’m no longer “loyal” anymore to employers, but committed to my work for employers. This movie resonates with me because deep down I do believe in loyalty. I think it’s a noble trait and love this movie for it. And the quotes! My favorite quote: “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
The Godfather (1972): “Go the mattresses…” “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” Need I say more?
In Good Company (2004): Dennis Quaid’s character is seasoned and graceful as he’s demoted after a corporate takeover. Quaid must report to a younger boss, Topher Grace, who’s inexperienced, a little arrogant, and frankly a corporate fool. However, by movie’s end, Quaid returns to power as he graciously offers to mentor Grace, who wants to find what he really wants to do. I like the realism of movie. It’s sucks to be demoted, but it was encouraging to see Quaid’s character handle it as a seasoned professional.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992): Sales is hard. Managing sales is a tough job, but doing sales? You couldn’t pay me enough to be a sales person. This film depicts how sales people handle stress differently. My description doesn’t give it justice.
Wall Street (1987): A great movie that compares and contrasts a father and son’s values. Moral of the story for me was “there are no short cuts.”
Trading Places (1983): I love this movie just because I like rags to riches stories. Or in Dan Aykroyd’s case, from riches to rags to riches.
Office Space (1999): Cubes. I hate cubes. This movie perfectly depicts cubeland. I think I resigned from a job because my employer moved locations, only to put is in new cubes that were 1/3 smaller than our old ones.
Antitrust (2001): There aren’t many movies about the technology industry so it was great watching a fictional vertical in my industry.

Here's my own list of Corporate Governance movies:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room Brilliant documentary about what happened at Enron. I only wish they had included the fake trading floor and of course the compromised and negilgent board of directors.
The Solid Gold Cadillac This is the one I showed my children to tell them what mommy did at the office. Add two zeroes on to the end of each number, and every bit of it would be just as apt today.
The Hudsucker Proxy The Coen brothers bring their uniquely cracked sensibility to a 30's-style movie with stunning visuals.
Other People’s Money DeVito (Money) vs. Peck (Heart) for the future of a quaint little company.
Roger & Me Michael Moore's take on General Motors.
Wall Street If Michael Douglass as Gordon Gekko was not an obnoxious crook, his "greed is good...greed, for want of a better word, works" speech would not be so outrageous.
Boiler Room "Wall Street" on crack.
Executive Suite The quinessential post WWII corporate conundrum -- should the new CEO be the cost-cutting green-eyeshade CFO (Fredric March) or the benvolent believer in corporate citizenship (William Holden)?
It’s a Woman’s World The choice of the new CEO will depend on their wives.
Owning Mahoney Based on the real-life story of the largest bank fraud in Canadian history, this story about a bank officer who steals and gambles away $20 million brilliantly dissects the risk assesments of everyone in the story, from the bank loan officers to the casino operators to the federal authorities.
Erin Brockovich Many movies have corporate bad guys, but this one has two advantages -- a real-life story of utter despicability and a heroine of utter irresistibility.
Silkwood Another real-life story with brilliant performances, this is about more then corporate corruption; it is about the soul-deadening nature of bureaucracy and meaningless piecework.
The Corporation If a corporate is considered a "person" under the law, this movie diagnoses it as sociopathic.
Modern Times Charlie Chaplin gets (literally) caught in the corporate machine.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying This wild musical is less of an exaggeration than you might think.
Office Space A cult classic examination of the soul-destroying aspects of office life, and absolutely hilarious. An extraordinary documentary about madness with unforgettable characters.
Tucker Based on the real story of the man who tried to take on the big three auto makers.
Who Killed the Electric Car? Brilliant documentary about how a better idea that threatens the status quo was killed by corporate pressure on the politicians.

And now, from smartlemming:

Here are the Forbes,, Inc. blog, and Meryl Notes for your reference
Forbes The Ten Greatest Business Movies by Dan Ackman, 12.16.02

Citizen Kane (RKO Radio Pictures, 1941)
The Godfather: Part II (Paramount, 1974)
It’s a Wonderful Life (RKO Radio Pictures, 1946)
The Godfather (Paramount, 1972)
Network (MGM-United Artists, 1976)
The Insider (Touchstone Pictures, 1999)
Glengarry Glen Ross (New Line Cinema, 1992)
Wall Street (20th Century Fox, 1987)
Tin Men (Touchstone Pictures, 1987)
Modern Times (United Artists, 1936) Best Business Movies Ever By Ash Karbasfrooshan

Citizen Kane (1941)
Wall Street (1987)
Trading Places (1983)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
Goodfellas (1990)
Pirates of Silicon Valley (2000)
Clerks (1994)
Boiler Room (2000)

Inc. Blog Top 10 Business Movies Posted by Laura Rich

The Aviator
It’s a Wonderful Life
Citizen Kane
Wall Street
Tucker: The Man and His Dream
Glengarry Glen Ross
What Women Want
Working Girl
The Hudsucker Proxy
The Insider

Meryl’s Notes 10 Best Business Movies
Wall Street
It’s a Wonderful Life
Nine to Five
Shall We Dance?
All About Eve
Woman of the Year and Adam’s Rib
Stand and Deliver
Erin Brockovich
Office Space


Anonymous said...

Hi Nell,

Great list on Corporate Governance! I haven't heard of the documentary, thanks for the info.


Anonymous said...

sad to see that office space only made one of the lists ... to me, it epitomizes this century's business industry.

surfed on through my friend reelfanatic ... love your reviews!

karen said...

hi nell!
thanks for the info...
i teach corporate social responsibility here in the philippines and your site is a great help! thanks again!