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Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

changed in rather complicated ways. Not only had they changed since the time of Oliver Stone’s original Wall Street in 1987, but they had renegotiated their relationship with institutions and the public in a dramatically short space of time: over the previous two-​and-​a-​half years. Therefore, Stone’s updating of arch protagonist Gordon Gekko’s exploits for the financially strapped twenty-​first century was a prescient cautionary tale and a morality fable of sorts; but it was also a vignette about Hollywood as an industry, as it gravitated increasingly towards box

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Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

reported in 2012 that there were, at that point, twenty-​one NFL teams playing in stadiums built or renovated using tax-​free public borrowing. The accepted wisdom has been that these deals are good for local economies, and indeed cities have vied with each other to attract teams to their locality, despite evidence that the deals bring poor long-​term value to the communities and depress federal tax revenue. Paradoxically, a provision in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 –​which restricted application of the tax exemption to circumstances where the debt payment from private

Open Access (free)

Ian Scott and Henry Thompson

second was pure Stone: a development that emerged during his preparation of the screenplay. Stone’s personal assessment of Ridley’s book was that there was a good basic plot, but that the story did not go far enough in exploring its characters’ psyches. Nonetheless, the film does follow the basic outline of the book in telling the story of a small-​time gambler, Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn), who is waylaid on a trip to Las Vegas to pay off a gambling debt. The failure of the radiator hose on Billy’s 64½ Mustang diverts him to the small Arizona town of Superior, where he