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In this The Wolf of Wall Street summary, I’m going to cover the following topics:
What is The Wolf of Wall Street About?
The Wolf of Wall Street – is a 2013 film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort. The screenplay is by Terence Winter and Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Belfort alongside Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Jean Dujardin, Rob Reiner, Kyle Chandler and Matthew McConaughey. It is the fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio.
The film tells the story of a New York stockbroker, played by DiCaprio, who refuses to cooperate in a securities fraud case involving Wall Street corruption, commercial banking and Mafia infiltration.
The Wolf of Wall Street Summary
The film opens with a television commercial, voiced by Gene Hackman, advertising the Stratton Oakmont company. The scene cuts to the headquarters of the same company, where many people are drugged and drunk. Jordan Belfort then talks about how he managed to have a great wife, a great mansion on Long Island and a great Ferrari and become a billionaire.
In 1987, young Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) decides to work on Wall Street in the firm of Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), who advises him on how to live on Wall Street: drugs, especially cocaine, because in his own words: “keeps your brain awake and makes you type fast”; masturbation, because in his words: “blood flows, you get tactics” and sex with prostitutes.
After passing his aptitude test, Belfort gets his stockbroker’s license, but subsequently loses his job: the company LF Rothschild goes bankrupt after the famous Black Monday.
On the advice of his wife Teresa Petrillo (Cristin Milioti), Jordan turns to a small firm on Long Island that sells stock to small businesses and is run by a man named Dwayne (Spike Jonze). He decides to apply his knowledge and makes a lot of money, so much so that he attracts the attention of his neighbour Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), who decides to quit his job and become his assistant.
Soon they decide to open their own brokerage firm: Stratton Oakmont, and hire former colleagues of Belfort that Donnie already knows: Alden Kupferberg (Henry Zebrowski), a meat and marijuana dealer; Chester Ming (Kenneth Choi), a tire and marijuana seller; Robbie Feinberg (Brian Sacca), who sells everything he can get his hands on; Nicky Koskoff (P. J. Byrne) and Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal), a methaqualone seller.
But Belfort says they were kind of outsiders: “It took Robbie Feinberg five years to graduate from high school; Alden Kupferberg did not even graduate; Chester Ming was a spoiled Chinaman, but he graduated thanks to the art of Chametz. The smartest was Nicky Koskoff: he went to law school. Because of his hairstyle, he was nicknamed Rugrat.
Stratton Oakmont soon turns over a billion dollars, he is interviewed by Forbes magazine and gets a nickname: “The Wolf of Wall Street”. He also hires his parents Mad Max (Rob Reiner) and Leah Belfort (Brisa Lerma) as accountants.
But far from living an exemplary life, Belfort and his employee’s host parties where alcohol and drugs do not stop. At a party at his beachfront mansion, Belfort meets model Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and becomes obsessed with her.
His marriage ends when his wife discovers he is unfaithful to the model and Belfort decides to marry Naomi. The years pass, Belfort is addicted to drugs like cocaine or methaqualone and becomes the father of two children.
But FBI agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) is suspicious of Jordan Belfort and the Stratton Oakmont company. Belfort learns that he is under investigation and follows the advice of one of his partners: he should deposit his money in a Swiss bank account, at the bank of Jean-Jacques Saurel (Jean Dujardin).
The latter advises him that the account holder is not himself, but someone he trusts. In this case, the FBI, when investigating him, will not discover the account. The chosen one is Naomi’s Aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley), along with a small number of other people who deposit the bills at said bank.
Agent Denham gets closer and closer to discovering Belfort, and one of his lawyers advises him to accept a small crime, pay a fine and forget about it. In short, he makes a deal with the FBI, which separates you from the management of your company.
But at the last moment, while communicating this to his employees, Jordan Belfort decides against it: he will continue to run his company and will not agree with the FBI. As a result, the FBI takes a thorough look at the company, including interrogations of its employees.
They almost get caught when Donnie has Brad, one of Belfort’s henchmen, arrested when Donnie was supposed to give Brad money; but Donnie, who is on drugs, berates him and his wife in front of several police officers. Brad is released after three months and later dies of a heart attack.
When Aunt Emma dies, Belfort sees the twenty million dollars in the Swiss bank account in danger. Saurel informs him that Aunt Emma has appointed him to succeed her in the account, but that he has only one day to get to Switzerland and claim the money in the account.
Drugged on his yacht, along with his friend Donnie, his wife and his wife’s wife, Belfort decides to give the order to sail to Monaco and from there to Switzerland to talk to Saurel. The captain of the ship advises against it: the sea is choppy and dangerous.
But Belfort is stunned, ignores the captain and gives him the order to sail. Unfortunately, the yacht sinks and they are rescued by sailors from Italy. Belfort realizes that he has put the lives of his family and friends, as well as his own, in danger.
While on the sailors’ ship, Belfort sees the plane he had sent to the rescue explode before his eyes. It turns out that a seagull got into an engine. Belfort believes that this is a message from God and decides to stop using drugs.
Two years later, Denham arrests Belfort, who is back at work and living in the United States, during a commercial. It turns out that Rugrat’s partner was arrested in Florida along with Saurel, who confessed everything and betrayed him to the FBI.
To make matters worse, he is accused of laundering drug money through boating competitions with Benihana owner Rocky Aoki. The FBI offers him a pact that reduces his sentence from twenty to three years in prison. A pact that consists in betraying his friends. Belfort accepts the offer but has no intention of denouncing his friends.
In their house, Naomi reveals to him that she wants a divorce and will have custody of the children. Jordan, who is under the influence of drugs, becomes hysterical and tries to escape with his daughter, but crashes his car.
The next day he is confronted by Denham and the FBI for his actions, but he can not tell anyone he is using. While at work, Belfort hands Donnie a letter warning him about the microphone.
Denham visits Belfort and tells him that they found the letter and that he will have to go to jail. After betraying the company, Belfort serves only 36 months in a Nevada prison. The FBI then shuts down the Stratton Oakmont company.
After serving his sentence, Jordan Belfort decides to devote himself to giving lectures to share his knowledge of the stock market. And it all starts with a proposal: “Sell me this pen”.