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Plot, Details & Awards

The Wolf of Wall Street

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Plot & Details

The disastrous 1929 Stock Market crash was still several months in the future when Wolf of Wall Street made its screen debut. George Bancroft stars as ruthless stock manipulator Jim Bradford, who plays his customers for suckers and laughs all the way to the bank. Cornering the copper market at the expense of his hated rival David Tyler (Paul Lukas), Bradford taunts Tyler in public, prompting the latter to plan a sweet revenge. Tyler inaugurates an affair with Bradford's status-seeking wife Olga (Olga Baclanova), which indiscretion is witnessed by the Bradford's maid Gert (Nancy Carroll). Armed with plenty of "inside information," Gert decides to get on the Wall Street gravy train by talking her boyfriend Frank (Arthur Rankin) into investing in copper futures. Alas, things don't go as planned, and soon the impoverished Frank is embezzling from his boss to cover his losses. When Frank is thrown in jail, Gert confronts Bradford, blaming him for Frank's plight. Bradford laughs in her face, whereupon Gert angrily spills the beans about Olga and Tyler. Instead of buying a gun, Bradford handles his wife's infidelity in characteristic fashion by financially ruining Olga, Tyler, and himself. This last bit of stock manipulation has the salutary effect of making Gert and Frank millionaires, which pleases the inscrutable Bradford, who now has ample reason to laugh at himself.

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