Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

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Released 2005

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Movie Summary

Director:
Alex Gibney (I)
Released:
2005
Rating:
R
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is a 2008 documentary that explores the notorious energy company, its corrupt management team and the eventual collapse of company because of fraudulent accounting practices. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001, and brought down the financial firm Arthur Andersen in the process, as well as wiping out the retirement savings of its 22,000 employees. The film first looks at the life stories of three of the principal executives that created the risk-taking culture: Executive Cliff Baxter, Chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeff Skillman. The management team encouraged creative accounting practices that gave the illusion of huge profits by hiding debts and encouraging profit skimming in their regional offices. Although there was evidence of financial mismanagement as far back as 1987, the company continued to thrive due to its powerful connections to the Bush family and a deregulated business environment that lacked checks and balances. Director Alex Gibney based the film on the work of Fortune magazine journalists, Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.moreless

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Metacritic Score

Peter Coyote

Peter Coyote

Narrator

Gray Davis

Gray Davis

Himself - Former Governor of California

John Beard

John Beard

Himself - Former Enron Accountant

David Freeman

David Freeman

Himself - Former Advisor to Governor Davis

Jeffrey Skilling

Jeffrey Skilling

Himself (archive footage)

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Documentary, Drama

Themes

Crime & Conspiracy, Historical, Independent, evil company, controversial