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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) ft. Adam Hitchcock


Guest: Adam Hitchcock, The Streaming Circuit podcast


Cast:

  • Martin Scorsese, Director

  • Terence Winter, Screenplay

  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort

  • Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff

  • Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia

  • Kyle Chandler as FBI Agent Patrick Denham

  • Rob Reiner as Max Belfort

  • Jon Bernthal as Brad Bodnick

  • Matthew McConaughey as Mark Hanna

  • Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin

  • Jean Dujardin as Jean-Jacques Saurel

  • Joanna Lumley as Aunt Emma

  • Cristin Milioti as Teresa Petrillo

  • Christine Ebersole as Leah Belfort

  • Shea Whigham as Captain Ted Beecham

  • Katarina Čas as Chantalle Bodnick

  • Stephanie Kurtzuba as Kimmie Belzer

  • P. J. Byrne as Nicky Koskoff

  • Kenneth Choi as Chester Ming

  • Brian Sacca as Robbie Feinberg

  • Henry Zebrowski as Alden Kupferberg

  • Ethan Suplee as Toby Welch

*Recognition:

  • The Wolf of Wall Street was released on Christmas Day 2013.

  • The film would go on to gross roughly $389 million on an estimated budget of $100 million dollars, and become the #28 domestic movie and #17 worldwide grosser of 2013.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street was met with some mixed reviews, but the majority of the critical response was positive. It would eventually be nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay for Winter, Best Actor for DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Hill.

  • The film has since had several controversies including the backlash to the depiction of Belfort as celebrating his debauchery, a Malaysian money laundering scandal that financed the film, and whether the proceeds of the film rights for Belfort would go toward restitution of his victims.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street was listed on many critics' top ten lists for films released in 2013, and was chosen as one of the top ten films of the year by the American Film Institute. Metacritic analysis found the film was the ninth-most mentioned film on "best of the year" film rankings, and the 22nd-most mentioned on "best of the decade" film rankings.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street currently holds an 80% on RT, a 75 score on Metacritic, and a 4/5 on Letterboxd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Greed, is in fact, not good. Even on Wall Street.


Plot Summary: In Martin Scorsese's riveting and audacious exploration of greed and excess, "The Wolf of Wall Street" takes us on a wild ride through the morally bankrupt world of high finance. Based on the real-life memoir of Jordan Belfort, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a tour de force performance as the charismatic and morally dubious stockbroker who rises from obscurity to become a titan of Wall Street.


Belfort's journey begins in the late 1980s, guided by his mentor, the flamboyant and unscrupulous Mark Hanna (portrayed with infectious energy by Matthew McConaughey), Belfort quickly learns the ropes of the financial industry. With the allure of wealth and power, he opens his own firm and embarks on a path strewn with unbridled excess, fueled by an insatiable hunger for more. As Belfort's empire expands, so does the indulgence and debauchery that define his life. Lavish parties, obscene displays of wealth, and a plethora of vices become the norm for him and his loyal followers. Together, they revel in a world where money knows no bounds and morality takes a backseat. Yet, as Belfort's empire reaches unprecedented heights, the authorities start to take notice.


"The Wolf of Wall Street" paints a mesmerizing and unflinching portrait of excess and its consequences. At its core, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a scathing critique of a system that rewards unscrupulous behavior and places unbridled ambition above all else.


Did You Know:

  • The film set a Guinness World Record for the most instances of swearing in a motion picture. It uses the word "fuck" 506 times, "cunt" thrice, "twat" twice, "fuckface" once, and "prick" four times, averaging 2.81 profanities per minute. The previous record holders were Scorsese's 1995 gangster film Casino, which had 422 uses of the word, and the 1997 British film Nil by Mouth, which had 428. The record has since been broken by Swearnet: The Movie, which uses the word 935 times, but it still holds the record for a major theatrical release.

  • The actors snorted crushed B vitamins for scenes that involved cocaine. Jonah Hill claimed that he eventually became sick with bronchitis after so much inhaling and had to be hospitalized.

  • Matthew McConaughey's scenes were shot on the second week of filming. The chest beating and humming performed by him was improvised and actually a warm-up rite that he performs before acting. When Leonardo DiCaprio saw it while filming, the brief shot of him looking away uneasily from the camera was actually him looking at Martin Scorsese for approval. DiCaprio encouraged them to include it in their scene and later claimed it "set the tone" for the rest of the film.

  • Originally, Martin Scorsese offered Margot Robbie to appear wearing a bathrobe during the seduction scene between her and Leonardo DiCaprio. Robbie refused and insisted on doing the scene fully nude; her first in her career. According to Robbie: "The whole point of Naomi is that her body is her only form of currency in this world...She has to be naked. She's laying her cards on the table." Robbie said she had three shots of tequila in succession before shooting the scene to relax. After shooting was complete, Robbie initially fibbed to her family and friends about actually doing the nude scene in order to delay any personal repercussions; claiming C.G.I. was used to superimpose her head on a body-double. She eventually changed her mind and confessed when the film was released.

  • The majority of the film's dialogue was improvised, as Martin Scorsese often encourages.

Best Performance: Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan)

Best Secondary Performance: Jonah Hill (Donnie)/Martin Scorsese (Director)/Rob Reiner (Max)

Most Charismatic Award: Margot Robbie (Naomi)/Matthew McConaughey (Hanna)

Best Scene:

  • Little Person Tossing

  • First Day

  • Martini Lunch

  • Jordan's First Penny Stock

  • Meeting Donnie

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

  • First Night with Naomi

  • Steve Madden

  • Swiss Banking

  • Feds on the Yacht

  • I'm Not Going Anywhere

  • Capsized

  • Final Fight

  • The Wire

Favorite Scene: Jordan's First Penny Stock/Martini Lunch/Meeting Donnie

Most Indelible Moment: Little Person Tossing/Martini Lunch/I'm Not Going Anywhere


In Memorium:

  • Paxton Whitehead, 85, English actor (Friends, Mad About You, The West Wing, Camelot, Back to School, Kate & Leopold). Tony Award Nominee for Camelot in 1981.

  • Teresa Taylor, 60, American drummer (Butthole Surfers) and actress (Slacker).

  • Angela Thorne, 84, British actress (Midsomer Murders, Lady Oscar, To the Manor Born, Silent Hours).

  • Glenda Jackson, 87, English actress (Women in Love, Sunday Bloody Sunday, A Touch of Class) and politician, MP (1992–2015), Oscar winner in 1970 and 1973 for Women in Love and A Touch of Class.

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Jordan Belfort: My name is Jordan Belfort. I'm a former member of the middle class raised by two accountants in a tiny apartment in Bayside, Queens. The year I turned 26, as the head of my own brokerage firm, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week.


Jordan Belfort: People say shit... I mean like, you married your cousin or some stupid shit.

Donnie Azoff: Yeah, my wife is my cousin or whatever, but it's not like what you think.

Jordan Belfort: Is she like, a first cousin?

Donnie Azoff: Her father is the brother of my mom. Like, we grew up together, and she grew up hot, you know, she fucking grew up hot. And all my friends are trying to fuck her, you know, and I'm not gonna let one of these assholes fuck my cousin. So I used the cousin thing, as like, an in with her. I'm not like, gonna let someone else fuck my cousin, you know? If anyone's gonna fuck my cousin, it's gonna be me. Out of respect.


Jordan Belfort: John, one thing I can promise you, even in this market, is that I never ask my clients to judge me on my winners. I ask them to judge me on my losers, because I have so few.


Jordan Belfort: Brad, show them how it's done. Sell me that pen. Watch. Go on.

Brad: You want me to sell you this fucking pen?

Jordan Belfort: That's my boy right there. Can fucking sell anything.

Brad: Why don't you do me a favor. Write your name down on that napkin for me.

Jordan Belfort: I don't have a pen.

Brad: Exactly. Supply and demand, my friend.


Jordan Belfort: Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I have been a rich man and I have been a poor man. And I choose rich every fuckin' time. Because, at least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of the limo, wearing a $2000 suit and a $40,000 gold fuckin' watch.


Donnie Azoff: You show me a pay stub for $72,000, I quit my job right now and work for you.

[later, on the phone]

Donnie Azoff: Hey Paulie, what's up? No, everything's fine. Hey, listen, I quit!


Jordan Belfort: On a daily basis I consume enough drugs to sedate Manhattan, Long Island, and Queens for a month. I take Quaaludes 10-15 times a day for my "back pain", Adderall to stay focused, Xanax to take the edge off, pot to mellow me out, cocaine to wake me back up again, and morphine... Well, because it's awesome. But of all the drugs under God's blue heaven, here is one that is my absolute favorite. See, enough of this shit will make you invincible - able to conquer the world. And eviscerate your enemies.

[Sniffs cocaine] And I'm not talking about this... I'm talking about this. [Shows $100]


Max Belfort: What kind of hooker takes credit cards?

Donnie Azoff: A rich one!


Donnie Azoff: Jesus Christ! I think you have a fucking drug problem...


Jordan Belfort: Oh my God! You had to deal with the Golf Course people too! What a greek tragedy! Honey oh my God!, you probably had to pay them in cash with your hands! What a fucking burden, and actually had to do some work besides swiping my fucking credit card all day? Huh? Cause I can't keep track of your professions honey! Last month you were a wine connoisseur, and now you're an aspiring landscape architect, Isn't that right?


Max Belfort: $430,000 in one month, Jordy. Huh?

Jordan Belfort: They're business expenses.

Max Belfort: Jordy, look what you've got here. Look at this! $26,000 for one fucking dinner!

Jordan Belfort: No, no, this can be explained. Dad, we had clients, Pfizer clients. Champagne.

Nicky Koskoff: The porterhouse from Argentina.

Jordan Belfort: Expensive champagne and the what, we had to buy champagne.

[to Donnie]

Jordan Belfort: And you brought in all the sides... Tell him about the sides.

Donnie Azoff: I ordered the sides, so...

Max Belfort: Sides? Sides? $26,000 worth of sides? What are these sides? They cure cancer?

Donnie Azoff: The sides did cure cancer, that's the problem, that's why they were so expensive.

Jordan Belfort: [bursting into laughter] Shut the fuck up!

Donnie Azoff: I'm serious.


Jordan/Donnie: We're going to throw the shit out of this little fucker.


Donnie Azoff: I'll tell you what: I'm never eating at Benihana again. I don't care whose birthday it is.


Donnie Azoff: You don't know shit about chop; I'll chop your fucking credit card in half, how bout that?


Jordan Belfort: The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.


Jordan Belfort: You wanna know what money sounds like? Go to a trading floor on Wall street. "Fuck this, shit that. Cunt, cock, asshole." I couldn't believe how these guys talked to each other! I was hooked in seconds. It was like mainlining adrenaline.


Jordan Belfort: This right here is the land of opportunity. This is America. This is my home! The show goes on! [quoting Norma Rae] They're gonna need to send in the National Guard to take me out, cos I ain't going nowhere!


Jordan Belfort: I'm not ashamed to admit it: my first time in prison, I was terrified. For a moment, I had forgotten I lived in a world where everything was for sale. Wouldn't you like to know how to sell it?


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 8.67

Impact/Significance: 7.83

Novelty: 5.17

Classic-ness: 5.5

Rewatchability: 7

Audience Score: 8.7 (91% Google, 83% RT)

Total: 42.87


Remaining Questions:

  • Why don't people listen to their lawyers, especially when they are paying top dollar?

  • Why would you go to the trouble of telling Donnie you're wearing a wire only to forget the card, and put yourself in jeopardy?

  • Why wouldn't you diversify your holdings after the initial surge to become more legitimate, and possibly draw heat away from yourselves?

  • Why wouldn't you have Aunt Emma sign a Power of Attorney or a will or something as she took on the money indicating you as the beneficiary?

  • Why hide the money in Switzerland when the Caymans are much closer and more discrete?

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