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USA: New Line Cinema
Cast: Ben Affleck, Nia Long, Ron Rifkin, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Nicky Katt, Scott Caan, Jamie Kennedy, Taylor Nichols, Bill Nichols, Tom Everett Scott, David Younger, Desmond Harrington, David Martel, Jared Ryan, William Sage, Mark Webber
Director: Ben Younger
USA: 120 mins
USA Rated: R for strong language and some drug content
UK Certificate: 15 for very frequent strong language, some coarse language and strong sexual references
USA Release Date: 18 February 2000
UK Release Date: 5 May 2000
Welcome to the infamous "boiler room" of J T Marlin - where twentysomething millionaires are made overnight. Here, in the inner sanctum of a fly-by-night brokerage firm, hyper-aggressive young stockjocks peddle to unsuspecting buyers over the phone - and are rewarded with mansions, Ferraris and more luxury toys than they know what to do with. In this unassuming Long Island enclave, Gen Xers chase the green at breakneck speeds, sometimes one step ahead of the law.
19 year-old college drop-out Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi) has just joined the inner circle of the boiler room boys - fired-up young men who get off on the adrenaline rush, the silver-tongued lingo, the ego boost of finagling hard sales for outrageous commissions. Seth wants to earn just two things in life: a million dollars and his perpetually disappointed fatherīs respect. After failing to do either one by running an illicit casino out of his Queens apartment, Seth has decided to go legit by joining the only brokerage firm that promises him a fast road to the top: J T Marlin.
At first the boiler room seems the perfect way to ride the monster economic wave of the '90s to riches, success and parental approval. Seth sports a suit and tie, works extreme hours and passes the stockbroker exams with record scores. Heīs fast on his feet, has a sharp cold-calling style and it seems as if his bank account - and his worth as a good son - are about to rise.
Soon Seth is hanging out with his boiler room buddies including Chris (Vin Diesel), a millionaire broker whose mouth is as fast as his money, and Greg (Nicky Katt), Sethīs arrogant and envious mentor. He even begins to date the firmīs receptionist, Debbie (Nia Long). And like everyone there, he feeds on the greed and fear of unsuspecting investors, selling them stocks they never wanted.
But as Seth watches his colleagues get richer and his customers get poorer, he begins to wonder just what makes the money go round at J T Marlin. His insatiable curiosity leads to a series of fatal choices and a Federal investigation that brings him to the brink of losing everything - not just his friends, his job and the millions promised him, but his father. The longer Seth stays in the boiler room, the more things begin to heat up.
BOILER ROOM is a riveting expose of one of the biggest and most lucrative scams in American history - and a dramatic look at a generation obsessed with the speed of wealth and success. The film is written and directed by newcomer Ben Younger. The ensemble cast also includes Ben Affleck as the head recruiter, Tom Everett Scott as J T Marlinīs boyish leader, Ron Rifkin as Sethīs father, as well as Scott Caan, Jamie Kennedy as the ambitious boiler room boys and Taylor Nichols as a victim of their ambition. Produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd, BOILER ROOM is a Team Todd production for New Line Cinema.
Boiler Room Terminology
ABC - Stands for the motto "Always Be Closing," from David Mametīs GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, a bible of bad behavior for the boiler room set
COLD CALL - A sales call to a customer who does not know you or your product; the initial pitch to reel the customer in
IPO - Stands for initial public offering; a companyīs first offering of stock to the public, often followed by a rapid rise in price in the case of a "hot" stock
NASD - The National Association of Securities Dealers, the self-regulation body of the securities industry, which develops trading rules and conducts reviews of membersī activities
OPENER - Usually a junior broker or trainee who "opens" the customer with a cold call, before a senior broker comes in for the hard-sell close
PIKER - A coward, a chicken, a spoil sport - in the boiler room, it refers to a customer who commits to a buy but then doesnīt send a check
PITCH THE BITCH - sell stock to women, a boiler room no-no
RIP - The brokerīs commission for making a stock trade
SEC - Securities Exchange Commission, federal agency that regulates the securities industry
SERIES SEVEN - a standardized course of study that certifies a person to become a stockbroker
WHALE - A customer with a vast net income
WOOD - A cold call that gets no results for the senior broker