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Stocks & Bonds

The Five Best Movies for Shareholders

An entertaining kind of stock screen -- on your television.

In between voting proxies, attending shareholder meetings and reading annual reports, take a break with these corporate classics, suggested by corporate-governance expert and movie reviewer Nell Minow:

The Solid Gold Cadillac, comedy, 1956, starring Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas. Adapted from the Broadway hit of the same name, the film opens at an annual meeting and tells the story of the small stockholder taking on a corrupt board. Add four zeros onto all the numbers, and the movie is right up to date.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, documentary, 2004, directed by Alex Gibney. The spectacular rise and devastating fall of Enron is chronicled through interviews and file footage.

Owning Mahowny, drama, 2003, starring Phillip Seymor Hoffman, Minnie Driver, John Hurt. Based on a true story of one of the largest embezzlements in Canada. An unassuming bank employee steals some $20 million to feed his gambling addiction. Depicts the assessment of financial risk undertaken by everyone from the embezzler to police detectives to casino owner. Excellent movie for would-be accountants.


The Hudsucker Proxy, comedy, 1994, featuring Tim Robbins, Paul Newman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Screwball parable of CEO-succession planning and stock manipulation.

Executive Suite, drama, 1954, with William Holden and June Allyson. Two executives vie for the suddenly vacant top job at a furniture company. Barbara Stanwyck must choose the one who will serve shareholders best.