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A look at THE BOILER ROOM script

Ok folks, here's a look at the script for THE BOILER ROOM, that Ben Affleck movie that... well, we keep hearing is "Wall Street meets Glengarry Glenn Ross", but is it... really? Well, our spy here is about to tell us, the review does go into details, but doesn't reveal the third act. If you don't want to know the entire set up, etc... then Don't read this. If you do... then by all means continue...


Just read Ben Younger's screenplay for The Boiler Room which I've heard described as both "a really mean Wall Street" and "Wall Street meets Glengarry Glenn Ross".

Indeed, it is similiar to both films. The hero (Seth Davis, who I assume Ben Affleck will be playing) is a college dropout who runs an illegal casino out of his house, much to the chagrin of his Federal Judge father.

One of the casino goers is impressed with Seth and invites him to check out the investment firm that he works at which, unlike most, trains hungry, driven, white trash kids from around the outskirts of New York.

The kids, who are rushed through training for their brokers' licenses, work in a large room called (natch) the Boiler Room. As in Glengarry, they are given cards of prospective investors to call but it is much more like the scenes in Wall Street when Budd Fox (Charlie Sheen) is a peon broker calling potential investors. Competative, rough and tumble wannabe players, the young men in the Boiler Room are fierce to each other and to the real power players.

Unlike other finance films, however, Boiler Room is not about a changing of the guard but about the fierceness of the young up-and-commers. It doesn't take long before Seth begins to realize that the firm plays fast and loose with the law. Soon, he gets involved with the black, streetsmart secretary (Nia Long's character) - who is the only minority at the firm (because, she explains, they pay her 80 grand a year and she has a sick mother to take care of).

ANYHOW, Seth considers quitting but his father (who believes Seth has finally found a legit job) is finally proud of him and finally treating him well. The FBI begin to catch onto the firm, which basically can afford to give hugely illegal percentages to the "kids" because it is running a scam that takes fake companies public - all of the stock sold to investors climbs really fast and then crashes into nothing. The feds squeeze Seth's girlfriend, wanting her to give him up so he can turn states evidence and bring the firm down.

I won't give away the 3rd act but basically Seth and his father get mixed up with the law as they try to get him out of the firm. The ending is clever and involves the vengeance of one of the faceless investors who was victimized by the firm. I say "clever" but not very good or very satisfying - it's a little too neat and it avoids some of the interesting moral problems raised in the script.

Oh, well, should yield a "Rounders" quality film.

Call me

Ro-Bear Berbil

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 20, 1999, 2:05 a.m. CST

    BOILER ROOM script

    by Moriarty

    Hey, all... "Moriarty" here. I just read this one as well, right smack dab between AMERICAN BEAUTY and the awesome STEINBECK'S POINT OF VIEW. I thought it was okay, although the actual direct referencing of WALL STREET became tiresome after a while. All the kids worship Michael Douglas in the film and can do the movie, line for line, which they do at a party. I thought the ending was so abrupt that I had to check to make sure I wasn't missing pages. BTW, I think Affleck is playing the older guy who trains Seth. I think that Giovanni Ribisi (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, SUBURBIA) is actually the lead in the movie. "Moriarty" out.

  • Jan. 20, 1999, 3:30 a.m. CST

    what's steinbeck's point of view?

    by reni

    moriarty what is Stienbeck's point of view all about? I'm sure I've heard about this on the site before, please refresh my memory and keep me from doing anymore work today.

  • Jan. 20, 1999, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Boiling Over...

    by Day4Night

    Based on the first two acts, this script has been done already. It's called THE FIRM.

  • Jan. 20, 1999, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    Apparently, the writer/director, Ben Younger, is an actual "survivor" of the boiler room, and, in my opinion, his script is strongest when it deals with the fact that, once these kids start making obscene amounts of money, they have no idea what to do with it. The most talked about scene in the script, which depicts the guys doing Gordon Gekko verbatim while watching WALL STREET, is more interesting due to the fact that it takes place in a sizable, but completely empty house. I wouldn't say I liked the script, but it did move along at a decent clip. I will agree with Moriarty, however, in saying that the ending is thoroughly rushed. Hopefully, a re-write, or two, will remedy this, as the final twist could prove quite satisfying.

  • Jan. 20, 1999, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Down with Affleck!

    by Solt

    Seems to me Ben Affleck needs to take a page from his buddy Damon's book. Damon chooses parts that are challenging in fairly original, ambitious films. Affleck, on the other hand, seems to be chasing the Movie Star image, as "Armageddon" and that new Sandra Bullock crap-fest prove. "Boiler Room" may very well be an okay movie, but if it turns out to be the hybrid of sixteen other movies as it does on the page, it'll be one step closer for Ben to his true destiny - a sitcom on the WB.