Negative Plots About Wealth Resolve Positively

Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) | Wealthy Antagonists Rarely Get Away with Things
    Jordan Belfort and his entire crew including Donnie, Nicky, Chester and lone woman Kimmie get arrested by the FBI at the Stratton Oakmont office.
    Staff Aside
    This is based on a true story so they did get caught in real life too, but we rarely see stories of white collar crimes that were gotten away with.
  • The son of a wealthy family, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), goes to prison for a crime he would have cleverly gotten away with if his defense attorney, Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey), hadn't acted unethically risking disbarment to ensure he faces the justice he deserves at the end.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Unscrupulous Users of Wealth Change Their Tune
    Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) alienates his daughter by unscrupulously taking a $100 million trust fund in her name and using it to start his own investment firm. He has a change of heart later though and gives the $100 million back which is used to help fund a new revolutionary clean energy company.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Wealthy Antagonists Rarely Get Away with Things
    Bretton James (Josh Brolin) does a lot of dodgy financial stuff in secret, but the story goes public, he gets fired from his board and the movie ends with him in legal peril.
  • The CEO of Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane, goes rogue after taking over for Tony Stark and engages in dangerous, illegal behavior out of greed. Tony Stark thwarts the plot and Obadiah gets what he deserves. Tony then retakes over Stark Industries and has a change of heart in their mission. He focuses the company on maintaining higher ethical standards than before he left and using it be a force for good over profit.
  • Erin Brockovich (2000) | Unscrupulous Companies Lose Lawsuits
    Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) wins a $330 million settlement from California energy giant Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that contaminated the groundwater of a small California community that sickened many residents.
    Staff Aside
    The film is based on a true story, but the reality is that major corporations often don't face major consequences for harm they inflict on communities. There are plenty of other stories that weren't made into movies because defendants lost or chose to settle for much less than deserved.
  • Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) starts out as a corporate raider but ends up saving a company rather than dismantling it for a quick profit after having a change of heart from being with Vivian (Julia Roberts).
    Staff Aside
    In real life, corporate raiders rarely have a change of heart.
  • Clark's (Chevy Chase) boss Frank cancels Christmas bonuses which he depended on to pay for his dream swimming pool. His cousin Eddie then kidnaps Frank and brings him to their house because he's an idiot and took an earlier rant by Clark literally. Despite all this, Frank realizes the error in his ways and restores the annual bonuses for everyone, giving Clark his same bonus as last year plus 20 percent. And refuses to press charges.
  • Frank Cross (Bill Murray) thanklessly forces his employees to work long hours on Christmas Eve in order to pull off a dramatic live rendition of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Just as in the original story, three ghosts visit Frank and he turns into a great person who promises to only do good the rest of his days.
  • Stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) has a change of heart and loses out on millions by choosing to save Blue Star airlines and its employees' pension fund from being raided by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).
    Staff Aside
    In real life, pension funds do get successfully raided by exploitative companies who don't care about the impact it has on their workers. But in the movie, the workers all keep their pension funds and the airline survives.
  • Gordon Gekko engages in insider trading and securities fraud to help make him rich and elicits the help of stockbroker Bud Fox to find new schemes. In the end, they both get caught and serve time in prison, and Bud gets a lighter sentence by wearing a wire to catch Gordon incriminating himself on tape.
    Staff Aside
    It is revealed in the sequel that Gekko serves nearly 8 years in prison which was depicted as an inordinately large sentence for his crimes. In real-life, financial crimes often get lighter sentences. But here, Bud and Gordon both get jail time for the illicit things they did. Even testifying against his boss, Bud still has to serve some time.