Accountants in the Movies
Oct 21, 2016 | By Aidan Anderson
Last week, The Accountant starring Ben Affleck hit the theaters. It has a great cast featuring Anna Kendrick, JK Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor, Jon Lithgow and more. But let’s face it, most people were excited to see what Ben Affleck does with his role as an accountant. IMDB’s synopsis of the storyline indicates that it has...potential:
Christian Wolff [Affleck] is a math savante with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King [Simmons], starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk [Kendrick] has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.
Alright, well, that doesn’t sound too realistic, but even the world’s most dangerous criminals need accountants, right?! They might as well be Ben. We’ll withhold judgment on Christian Wolff for now, but this puts us in the mood to recount some of the other (in)famous accountants that we remember from the movies:
- Charles Grodin as Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas in Midnight Run
- Rick Moranis as Louis Tully in Ghostbusters
- Gene Wilder and/or Matthew Broderick as Leo Bloom in The Producers
- Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List
- Thandie Newton as Stella in RocknRolla
- Danny Glover as Henry Sherman in The Royal Tenenbaums
- Kristie Alley as Molly Jensen in Look Who’s Talking
- Kevin James as Albert in Hitch
Now you might be thinking, “HEY! Where’s Andy Dufrense from Shawshank Redemption?” and we’d say that there’s a very contentious debate about whether or not Dufrense was actually an accountant. In the movie he was clearly called a banker but he knew quite a bit about tax and estate planning as well as tax return preparation. Go ahead, check it the dialogue -- no one ever calls him an accountant, the movie will be playing on cable any minute now.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see whether Affleck’s Christian Wolff will go down as one of the more memorable accountants in cinema. Hope you didn’t screw it up, Ben. We’ll all know if you did.
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