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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director:

Alex Gibney

Writers:

Alex Gibney, Bethany McLean (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
John Beard John Beard ... Self - Former Enron Accountant
Tim Belden Tim Belden ... Self (archive footage)
Barbara Boxer ... Self (archive footage)
George W. Bush ... Self (archive footage)
James Chanos ... Self - President, Kynikos Associates (as Jim Chanos)
Dick Cheney ... Self
Bill Clinton ... Self (archive footage)
Carol Coale Carol Coale ... Self - Ex-Stock Analyst, Prudential Securities
Peter Coyote ... Narrator
Gray Davis ... Self - Former Governor of California
Reggie Dees II Reggie Dees II ... Self - Young man the stripper dances in front of (as Reggie Deets II)
Joseph Dunn Joseph Dunn ... Self - California State Senator
Max Eberts Max Eberts ... Self - Former Spokesman, Enron Energy Services
Peter Elkind Peter Elkind ... Self - Co-Author, 'The Smartest Guys in the Room'
Andrew Fastow Andrew Fastow ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

Enron dives from the seventh largest US company to bankruptcy in less than a year in this tale told chronologically. The emphasis is on human drama, from suicide to 20,000 people sacked: the personalities of Ken Lay (with Falwellesque rectitude), Jeff Skilling (he of big ideas), Lou Pai (gone with $250 M), and Andy Fastow (the dark prince) dominate. Along the way, we watch Enron game California's deregulated electricity market, get a free pass from Arthur Andersen (which okays the dubious mark-to-market accounting), use greed to manipulate banks and brokerages (Merrill Lynch fires the analyst who questions Enron's rise), and hear from both Presidents Bush what great guys these are. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's just business. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the protesters who disrupt the meeting with Jeff Skilling at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club is Marla Ruzicka. The former Global Exchange activist founded CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict), which worked to help the victims of the war in Iraq. She died in Iraq on April 16, 2005, the victim of a suicide bombing. See more »

Quotes

Kenneth Lay: [Q&A session with employees] All right, we are down to questions. And I got a few up here.
[reads question from the floor]
Kenneth Lay: 'I would like to know if you are on crack, if so that would explain a lot. If not, you may want to start because it's going to be a long time before we trust you again.'
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Connections

References Romeo + Juliet (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Straight to the Top (Vegas)
Written by Tom Waits and Gregory Cohen
Jalma Music
Performed by Tom Waits
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Insightfully informative
17 May 2007 | by anupam-satyasheelSee all my reviews

Based on and named after the bestseller book Smartest Guys in the Room, this documentary provides an insightful look into the scandalous fall of Enron Corp. There are no actors in this documentary and yet it is dramatic. Such were the factors leading to the 'amazing rise and scandalous fall' of Enron that even a documentary featuring events preceding that historic day in December 2001, when Enron filed for the largest bankruptcy in the corporate US history, seems like a tale of epic imagination.

This documentary is neither as detailed nor as insightful as the book, but it does a great job of providing an insightful and reasonably detailed account of the Enron saga. Overall, it is not of any incremental value for the people who have read the book. However, if you can't go through 464 pages, this does a great job of enlightening you on the drama that Enron was.


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,639, 24 April 2005

Gross USA:

$4,071,700

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,854,164
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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