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What can’t be denied is the film's assertion that the business world is now the domain of Gen-Y entrepreneurs, who have the smarts and creativity to bring their billion-dollar ideas to life. Spurred on by the success of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, young men such as Zuckerberg have created successful businesses all through the typing of code on a computer screen.
Jerry Maguire delved behind the scenes and looked at the business side of sports. Tom Cruise starred as the title character, a sports agent whose radical idea of taking on less clients, asking for less money and focusing on developing relationships with the clientele, has him fired from his prestigious position in one of the premiere sports firms in the country.
Most business films tend to feature male lead characters, yet Working Girl featured not one but two strong female characters, with Sigourney Weaver countering Melanie Griffith with a bitchy turn sure to make many a viewer grind their teeth. Both women followed several female execs on their hectic daily schedules in New York City, sitting in on meetings and taking in life as a businesswoman in a male-dominated world.
The big daddy of films dealing with business ethics and excess, Wall Street was not only a damnation of the financial sector; it also became an unintentional recruitment video for inspiring stock traders everywhere. Although it was director Oliver Stone’s attempt at saying the opposite, the film -- and especially Gordon Gekko -- are now seen as inspiration by stockbrokers who can recite the film from beginning to end.
Click around the tube and it is apparent that big business and TV have become inseparable. The nightly news is no longer one anchorman in a suit looking down the camera, delivering the daily doom and gloom. Production value, scandal and celebrity are now the tools used to drive up ratings, strengthen shares, and make the news profitable. Such a world was first prophesied in the 1976 classic Network.
The brainchild of 27-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles who starred, wrote and directed, Citizen Kane tells the story of media tycoon Charles Foster Kane and how his relentless ascent to the top brings him unparalleled power but leaves him a lonely old man. What made Welles’ work that much more special was that he based Kane on the life of powerful, real-life business magnate William Randolph Hearst, who didn’t take too kind to the less than flattering depiction.