My Favourite Movies on Finance

Published: December 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Last Updated on

I am a movie buff. Here is a list of my favourite movies with a financial theme.  This is an off-beat listing and is obviously non-exhaustive. When  I ask myself to make a list, many wonderful movies escape my memory. This is all I could muster. All posters are from Wikipedia and all storylines and from IMDB.

Feel free to list your favourite finance-themed movie in the comments section.

All posters are from Wikipedia and all storylines and from IMDB.

To reiterate, this is an off-beat listing. I enjoyed watching too big to fail, the wolf of wall street, Wall Street 1 and 2, the inside job, boiler room, but I don’t feel like listing them here.

Double Indemnity (1944) – Life Insurance

Storyline:  An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions.

An extraordinary jaw-dropping film noir which has not its sheen one bit. Might make you a bit paranoid about how the claims settlement department works though!
Double indemnity.jpg

 

It’s a wonderful life (1946) – Real Estate Loans

Storyline: An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Features my favourite actors James Stewart and Donna Reed. Saw it for the first time more than 20 years ago. When the movie ended, I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed inconsolably in joy! A truly cathartic experience. It is a holiday season fav. So it should play in Star Movies this month.

Its A Wonderful Life Movie Poster.jpg

Margin Call (2011) – Value At Risk

Storyline: Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the  (2008) financial crisis.

Not exactly a classic but I saw it at a time when I had given up on movie watching and it revived the habit for me. So it is special.

Margin Call.jpg

Arbitrage (2012)  –  price convergence

Storyline: A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Many people believe that the title is incorrect and confusing, but I think it is absolutely brilliant.

Arbitrage 2012 Poster.jpg
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Real Estate, Salesmanship

Storyline:  An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

An Extraordinary movie about selling pressure. A favourite.

 

Glengarrymovie.jpg

The Pursuit of Happiness  (2006)

Storyline:  A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavour.

Hate ads but would like to support the site? Subscribe to our ad-free newsletter and get beautifully formatted full articles delivered to your inbox!

Not exactly a ‘finance’ movie but shows the struggles of a driven man with a dream, who has trouble meeting ends.

Poster-pursuithappyness.jpg

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Ashal Jauhari

Storyline: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Don’t ask me why, but this movie remains me of Ashal Jauhari! It is the second most cathartic movie I have ever seen (Its a wonderful life, is the first, the dark knight is the third).

ShawshankRedemptionMoviePoster.jpg

The Big Short – The housing bubble

Some great movie making. The story of how six investors bet against the market in anticipation of the US housing bubble to burst. This is the way complex financial terms should be served to the general public.

Babette’s Feast – True Devotion

A Danish gem released in 1987.  What brings you happiness? Is it money? Is it devotion to god? What is the difference between being religious and being pious?  The movie answers such deep questions in a subtle way that fills you with a strange sense of joy or melancholy depending on when you view it.  What is extraordinary is that these answers become clear over the course of an exquisite feast prepared by Babette. It also offers fantastic points of view on love, missed opportunities and spiritualities.

Food is central to the climax of this movie. I have seen many movies centred on food (I love to watch people cook), but I cannot think of any in which food plays a crucial role in the climax.

I saw it again a couple of days back and realised that the movie is also about money or to use a much better term, It makes you ask, ‘What is true wealth?’

Here is a fantastic write-up about the movie: Babette’s Feast – A Fable for Culinary France

Have you seen this movie? If not, I strongly recommend you to watch this as soon as possible.

Here is the movie trailer and a short montage of food scenes from the film.

Trailer:

 

 

Food Scenes:

I will stop here with an uneasy feeling that this list is woefully incomplete. More such lists to come.

Do share if you found this useful
Hate ads but would like to support the site? Subscribe to our ad-free newsletter and get beautifully formatted full articles delivered to your inbox!

About the Author

M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Linkedin
Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com

About freefincal & Content Policy

Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. We operate in a non-profit manner. All revenue is used only for expenses and for the future growth of the site.
Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)

Connect with us on social media

Our Publications


You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingMy first book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.  It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You WantGamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantMy second book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

The ultimate guide to travel by Pranav Surya

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step.  Get the pdf for ₹199 (instant download)  

Free Apps for your Android Phone

All calculators from our book, “You can be Rich Too” are now available on Google Play!
Install Financial Freedom App! (Google Play Store)
Install Freefincal Retirement Planner App! (Google Play Store)
Find out if you have enough to say "FU" to your employer (Google Play Store)

Comment Policy

Your thoughts are the driving force behind our work. We welcome criticism and differing opinions.Please do not include hyperlinks or email ids in the comment body. Such comments will be moderated and I reserve the right to delete the entire comment or remove the links before approving them.

42 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing sir. I haven’t even heard of those 1942 and 1944 movies. Will see them.
    Just to add my favorite movies to the list:

    Other People money – 1991
    Rogue Trader – 1991
    The wolf of wall street – 2013
    Boiler room – 2000

  2. Thanks for sharing sir. I haven’t even heard of those 1942 and 1944 movies. Will see them.
    Just to add my favorite movies to the list:

    Other People money – 1991
    Rogue Trader – 1991
    The wolf of wall street – 2013
    Boiler room – 2000

  3. can watch pursuit of happyness & shawshank redemption a million times & still not get bored. awesome movies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *