Speaking Of Business


Greed is good.—Stanley Weiser and Oliver Stone, Wall Street, screenplay, 1987 [The full statement, as uttered at a stockholders’ meeting by Gordon Gekko (portrayed by Michael Douglas in an Oscar-winning performance), is: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works.” The Gekko character was modeled after the high-flying financier Ivan Boesky, who told students at the University of California Business School in Berkeley, in 1986, that “Greed is healthy.”]

The bottom line is in heaven.—Edwin Herbert Land, shareholders’ meeting, Polaroid Corporation, April 26, 1977

He’s a businessman. I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.—Mario Puzo, The Godfather, 1969 [The Godfather, Don Corleone, preparing to negotiate with a Hollywood producer.]


Show me the money!—Cameron Crowe, screenplay, Jerry Maguire, 1996 [This insistent demand by a pro football player (a role for which Cuba Gooding, Jr., won an Oscar) summed up the go-go 1990s—and also brings us back full circle to Benjamin Franklin’s observation of 1735.]

When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience will get the money. And the person with the money will get some experience.—Leonard Lauder, February 1985 [Lauder was speaking of the early years of the Estée Lauder Company, founded by his mother.]

I just want to say one word to you—just one word… plastics.—Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, The Graduate, screenplay, 1967 [The line is not in the novel by Charles Webb on which the film was based.]