Stanley Weiser, co-writer of Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street,” penned a terrific piece titled “’Wall Street’s’ message was not Greed is Good,” for The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, in which he lamented the mythologizing of Michael Douglas’ master of the universe Gordon Gekko. While I can understand Weiser’s horror in this idolization of amoral Gekko, especially in the wake of the real Wall Street’s collapse, I also couldn’t help but think back to a column I wrote in which I dissected Malcolm McDowell’s portrayal of Alex in "A Clockwork Orange." Kubrick also was sufficiently horrified by the hero-worshipping of Alex, by the copycat crimes by droog wannabes that occurred in England after the film’s release (enough to yank it from distribution in that country). But the idea that either Weiser or Kubrick would be shocked (“utterly shocked” in Weiser’s sarcastic appraisal of Gekko’s view of the financial meltdown) by this pedestal raising strikes me as either naïve or disingenuous. Put sexy actors in passionate roles and what do you think is gonna happen?
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