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5 films about making money, based on true stories

George Brown 23rd Oct 2018 One Comment

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When it comes to films about making money, it usually ends up going horribly, horribly wrong for the main characters, who lose sight of what is important and are corrupted by the lucrative money-making exercises they’ve been involved in.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to watch them make their millions along the way….

The best films about making money are always the ones based on true stories because, more often than not, real people exceed in greed more than fictional ones ever could.

However, there are some brilliant rags to riches stories out there to provide a little more faith in humanity than the likes of Jordan Belford from the Wolf of Wall Street.

With that in mind, we wanted to share 5 of our favorite films about making money and some of their best scenes.


The Founder

making money with mcdonalds

The Founder tells the real life story of how McDonalds, the biggest fast food restaurant on the planet, came into existence.

McDonalds is one of the most recognised brands in the world and feeds 1% of the total global population each year – that’s a lot of burgers!

The Founder focuses on the battle between the McDonald brothers and Ray Croc, the man who wanted to take their business and open other restaurants with the same name all over America.

Like most stories of this nature, this one is full of lies, deceit and betrayal, but it’s a fantastic one as well, highlighting what a single man can achieve when he spots an opportunity to make his millions.

Here’s a clip of Ray Croc visiting the first ever McDonalds from the film. Keep in mind, the concept of fast food had never existed before…

Click here to view clip on Youtube.

  • 69 million customers go to McDonalds every day
  • There are 14,155 McDonalds in the US alone
  • There are over 37,000 McDonalds around the world
  • 2 billion eggs are bought by McDonalds every year


The Social Network

making money on facebook

This Oscar winning film depicts another true story and the creation of one of the biggest businesses on the planet.

Mark Zuckerberg became the world’s youngest billionaire thanks to the success of the online platform, but it was far from plain sailing for the young tech genius.

Zuckerberg agreed that every detail in the film was correct – the only difference was his own characterisation, though you would say that if you were shown to be an arrogant and slightly sociopathic individual…

Check out this clip where Zuckerberg is caught up in a legal battle over the ownership of Facebook.

View a clip on Youtube here.

Today, Facebook has;

  • 23 billion monthly active users
  • 47 billion people log on to Facebook every day
  • 5 new profiles created every second
  • 300 million photos uploaded daily
  • 510,000 comments posted every minute
  • 293,000 status updates are posted every minute


The Wolf of Wall Street

making money on wall street

Is there any film that depicts the outrageous behaviour and sums of money thrown around by traders better than The Wolf of Wall Street? The Martin Scorsese directed film follows Jordan Belford, a Wall Street Trader who learns how to make his millions selling penny stocks.

The young man quickly get involved in using heavy drugs, cheating on his wife, ripping-off thousands of people who don’t know any better and being chased by the IRS.

Though the film is a precautionary tale, it’s still incredibly funny and it’s hard not to enjoy the antics re-enacted by Jonah Hill and Leonardo Dicaprio.

We would share a clip but as there isn’t a single scene in the film without a multitude of profanities, we’ll leave it to you to find a scene if you so desire…


The Pursuit of Happyness

making money cold calling

This is a real ‘feel good’ film which will give you a little more faith in humanity than the dubious characters in the films mentioned above.

This is the true story of a father trying to make a living in the world so that he can support his son and put a roof over his head.

Will Smith plays the lead role while Jayden Smith, his son, plays the role of the little boy to perfection.

The pair have to sleep in public restrooms and exist on the edge of society just to get by but, slowly and surely, Chris Gardner makes his way to the top.

If you spend your days trying to make money cold calling, there may be some tips to take from this story.

Here’s a clip…



making money on QVC

With another performance of trademark excellence, Jennifer Lawrence plays Joy Mangano, a woman who founded a powerful business dynasty, built on a mop.

Her story is one many women will be familiar with. Joy’s family saw her as nothing more than a housewife whose only job in life was to raise the children, but this was somebody who wanted more from life.

The story is incredibly uplifting and once more, because it’s true, will make you believe that anything is possible.

Here’s a short trailer.

Here’s a short trailer.

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5 years ago

I’ve always enjoyed a true story more than fiction.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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