Friday's Top Five: Money movies
August 5th, 2011
09:43 AM ET

Friday's Top Five: Money movies

The pursuit of happiness, a clever phrase, actually referred to our founding fathers’ affinity for their bank accounts.

As we've seen this week in Congress, our ability to access cash has been woven into the fabric of our Constitution. So this week, we're taking a look at movies about money, the lengths we'll go to acquire it, and the curse it can carry along with it.

I think this top five is pretty money, but as always, leave your own list in the comments!

1.  "Wall Street" (1987): "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good." – Gordon Gekko

2. "Brewster’s Millions" (1985): “I'm gonna make you so sick of spending money that the mere sight of it will make you wanna throw up!” – Rupert Horn

3.  "Easy Money" (1983): “I was happy being a big fat slob, but for $10 million...I'll give up everything!” – Movie tagline

4.  "The Color of Money" (1986): "Do you smell what I smell?" – Fast Eddie Felson (the answer to the question is money, even though Vince’s reply is “smoke.")

5. "The Money Pit" (1986): “Two weeks!” – Walter Fielding (This also includes the best laughing scene ever.)

Honorable Mention:

"There Will Be Blood" (2007): “I’m finished.” – Daniel Plainview

"Let it Ride" (1989): “The 4 horse!” – Tony Cheesburger

"Casino" (1995):  There aren’t any quotes with language suitable enough to be posted on this family friendly blog, but suffice it to say there’s a lot of money won, lost, and stolen in this picture.

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Filed under: Friday Top Five • movies

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    April 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. A

    Money Pit was kinda funny, Shelly Long was a bit boring and I think is miscast in the film but I liked Tom Hanks and the crazy things that happened in the house, roof falling in, sparks from outlets, the bathtub falling thru the floors, etc.

    Remake anyone ? With Joel McHale and Jenny McCarthy ? (LOL)

    August 23, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. PlanetDrew80

    My vote for the funniest moive about winning the big money is Rat Race.
    What do you get when you get Whoopy Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr, Mr Bean, Formal Monty Python member, The guy who does the voice of Chris Griffit on Family guy and Neumen on Seinfeld on the same screen together?

    August 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. T

    Trading Places tops the list of them all....Eddie Murphy, Dan Ackroyd and uber-hottie Jamie Lee Curtis – her, breaking out of the horror genre.
    Not sure about "The Money Pit", what about "Mr. Blandings builds his Dream House" w/ Cary Grant and Myrna Loy ?

    August 9, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. K-Man

    ummm how about a little "Blank Check" anyone????

    August 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. courtjeztur

    The Sting? Awesome movie.

    August 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Diamond Rick

    Dog Day Afternoon – " Sal, Wyoming is not a country!"

    August 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. too little too late

    Slum Dog Millionaire???

    August 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OPM

    How could "Other People's Money" not make it to this list with possibly the best business speech ever made – this movie should be a "must see" for every business school in the country –and who doesn't want to see Danny Devito playing the violin?

    August 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. in IN

    What about New Jack City. All Nino Brown did wanted to do was make $ at all costs.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Aimee

    I expected Boiler Room to make this list, though I don't recall how quotable that movie was. The only one I remember: Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn't f***ing have any.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.J

      How about this one – "Go buy yourself a new car....go buy youself a house...go into debt: you are going to make a million dollars inside of six months!"

      August 25, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. acekitty

    Indecent Proposal

    August 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. A-Train50

    "Mad money"

    August 5, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matthew

    RISKY BUSINESS (says it all) was all the money: " My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment. I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?"

    August 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jdurand1970

    Sorry...Trading Places

    August 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  16. jdurand1970

    Trading Spaces???

    August 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Beth

    Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon

    August 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  18. itsamemario

    Enter the Void. Its not so much a money movie as it is more a *what the hell did i just watch* type movie. Seriously check it out people..

    August 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  19. BigSancho

    Love Wall Street but the BEST money movie of all time is "the Treasure of the Sierra Madre" with Bogart, directed John Huston. The "money" in this case is gold, but the insidious effects of greed have never been portrayed better. everyone knows this movie from the dumb "Stinking Badges" line, but it is a masterpiece deserving of viewing by all movie buffs.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Whet Beaver

    "T R A D I N G P L A C E S" ! ! ! ! Starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd was 'the' best!!

    August 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  21. IrishJen

    "A Simple Plan" with Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda. A look at what happens to ordinary people when they "find" a life changing amount of money.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ryan

    I just read this list of movies and realized these are all my favoriate moveis. So what does this say about me... that and I often walk around saying $10 million, $10 million, $10 million dollars.... (brewsters millons)?

    August 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  23. mike

    In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oknow

      Rober DeNiro quote in Casino, I love that movie and I have to agree w/ the rest about Trading Places, just a wonderful 80's Movie classic; makes me laugh everytime I watch it...

      August 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  24. david

    my favorites, Oceans Eleven (the new one), Blow and Trading Places.. oh and Vegas Vacation hahaha

    August 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Joe

    All of these movies are about how money has caused problems, conflict, and suffering.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Ethan

    Not sure if it counts, but "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" has strong ties to money and greed.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Ana

    'Money!!So they say, is the root of all of all evil today'. I wonder if the CEOs and Politicians should take a lesson from Pink Floyd!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lucas Taylor

    boiler room and glenngarry glen ross

    August 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. George Jung

    What about Blow?

    August 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  30. sarah

    Duh......ROGUE TRADER! who came up with this list?

    August 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  31. humtake

    One of the best movies about a guy trying to attain wealth...Scarface.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  32. f

    How could you leave out "Boiler Room" ? Great movie , acting, Giovanni Ribisi, story, Vin Diesel. I lived the exact same story back in the 1980s working at a 'boiler room-type' place selling mutual funds (the hot investment of the day) to little old ladies and any unsuspecting gullible fool out of a very similar suburban office building with same cast of characters. "Boile Room" is very real.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Mike

    No Trading Places?? Def woulda picked that top 5

    August 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Charles

    Notice that the majority of the movies mentioned are from the 80's? That was a great decade!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  35. natem

    Before I read it I thought about brewsters millions and the money pit....but what about scarface??

    August 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  36. citizenUSA

    I"d have picked "The Money Train" or "Cliffhanger" over "Brewster's Millions".

    August 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Litterboxrox

    "Barbarians at the Gate" should be on there. It's about the RJR/Nabisco takeover in the 80s. (Larry Gelbart wrote it.)

    August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Rob

    What? Good movies about money made outside of the mid-80's are good enough for the top 5? Treasure of the Sierra Madre, anyone? Or would you rather just keep on repeating "We don't need no stinkin' badges" and not really know what movie it was from?

    August 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  39. pj

    Interesting that almost all those movies are from the 80's. Speaks to how the Reagan era laid the foundation for the rampant greed that now engulfs this society.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Actually it illustrates how CNN, and now you, works to create that depiction.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • emma

      Greed, rampant consumerism, and no sympathy for the downtrodden. He should go down in history as the man who had ketchup legally declared a vegetable so they could cut back on school lunches while wasting billions on the so-called 'Star Wars' defence system which even the creators of the initial technology said could never work.

      September 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  40. sam

    just what we need. more focusing on money. money, money, money

    August 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  41. BobZemko

    You totally missed to great ones: The original "The Producers" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

    August 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Daniel12

    how about 'blow' ...rooms full of cash.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. vicki

    Best one All About the Benjamins .. Everyone just wants to get paid..

    August 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Craig in KC

    I can't believe Barbarians at the Gate didn't make the list. Great money movie with James Garner.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  45. kevin

    how about "trading places" with eddie murphy and dan aykroyd? "You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people."

    August 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  46. sarah

    You forgot Glen Gary Glen Ross and Boiler Room!

    August 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Cindy

    Wall Street deserves to be in the # 1 slot, because it depicts exactly how corporate raiders operated in the 80's, in a way that non financial types could understand and be outraged by. Casino was a superb film, so well-acted by all the principal players, especially Sharon Stone. Not sure it fits the financial film category any more than The Godfather does. But it is superb.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  48. DixonIll

    What about Inside Job...?

    August 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. cat

    Set it off??? c mon son!

    August 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Chris

    GlenGarry, GlenRoss should definitely be on this list.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Jimmy

    BOILER ROOM!!!! HELLO? Jim: "You Want details? Fine. I drive a Ferrari, 355 Cabriolet, What's up? I have a ridiculous house in the South Fork. I have every toy you could possibly imagine. And best of all kids, I am liquid."

    August 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikore

      "Anyone who says that money can't buy happiness is LYING to you. Look at the smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby."

      Yeah, Boiler Room should definitely be on the list. Great movie.

      August 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Cletus

    Big Booty Carwash 9

    August 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Mark

    "Friends with money" with Jennifer Aniston

    August 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  54. captain

    Barbarians at the Gate – made for HBO movie about leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco..awesome movie.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      That one is good...I ended up buying it. James Garner did a great job. You might like "Rougue Trader" too. It is also a movie based on a true story.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Andrew Johnson

    BLANK CHECK!!!!! NO BLANK CHECK???? C'MON LET'S HEAR IT FOR SOME BLANK CHECK!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  56. micky

    Boilers room topped these movies by the miles!!! how about " either you close them or they close you for the reason they cant buy !! thats it i am done!!!"

    August 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  57. The Garlock

    Other People's Money...... Danny Devito

    August 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • LG

      "maybe it would be so bad if this country goes comunist... the first thing they do is KILL ALL THE LAWYERS".

      August 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Gabe

    What, no Trading Places? C'mon now!

    August 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Take One Productions

    Secret of my Success?

    August 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Henry

    Where is Boiler Room????

    August 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter Pan

      Where it belongs, in the basement.

      God boiler room is awful – not just as a movie – but as a story – it's unbelievable claptrap with mediocre actors.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Axle Foley

    Trading Places???

    August 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Mandy

    YOU LEFT OFF GUYS AND DOLLS! I got the horse right here, his name is paul revere.......

    August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  63. Don

    "Two for the Money" starring Pacino, McConaughey, Russo.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  64. dale

    Gotta love "richie rich"

    August 5, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      Richie rich was probably the coolest rich kid of all time, considering the fact that the kid would do anything to have a good time!

      August 7, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  65. alexx

    Not sure about some of these. Boiler room easily should have been on this list!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  66. PUFF DADDY

    Great list. The song–Money, Money, Money by Abba as seen in MamaMia keeps going through my head–thanks for the start of a rich day.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  67. Frederico.

    Whats wrong with this quote from Casino?
    Nicky Santoro: **** my mother? That's what you ******* tell me? You mother******you!

    August 5, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  68. TYK

    Firsty!!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • The Pope From TV

      I don't know if this is the reason why Two for the Money didn't make it on to this list, but it seems each of these movies are touching on different themes, and Two for the Money has basically the same plot as The Color of Money. A mentor finds his "Ace in the Hole", and teaches him to hone his talent to use it to make money. These points alone might not make the movies too similar, but the fact they both revolve around sports betting is a reason they might have decided to leave the first and, in all honesty, better movie on the list.

      Boiler Room would have been a solid pick behind Wall Street and maybe Brewster's Millions for the #2 or #3 spot.

      Surprised not to see the movie Greed on this list with Kirk Douglas and Michael J. Fox. That movie was all about family greed and taking advantage of a wealthy man not able to help himself.

      August 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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