Accountants in the movies. By Rob Lewis

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Those that consider accountancy insufficiently glamorous as a profession may be surprised to know that this profession has appeared in the movies at least 26 times since 1971. Here's a quick break-down of bean counters on the big screen:

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

Jack Nicholson plays a deeply dysfunctional certified public accountant in this racy and frankly depressing movie, which bagged two Oscars.

Save the Tiger (1973)

A man-in-crisis movie, similar to Network or Falling Down. Jack Lemmon played the 50 year-old central character, Harry Stoner, and won a Best Actor Oscar for it. Comedian Jack Gilford played Stoners accountant, often acting as his mo...

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By Anonymous
28th Feb 2009 10:25

The Firm (1993)
Not exactly accountants, but Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman are tax lawyers, who even manage a joke about the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Brighton Accountant

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06th Mar 2008 12:18

Two movies still missing
Impressive list of movies here by Rob Lewis, but I do believe two movies are still missing. One of them is already indicated by himself at the end of his story: Casino Royale, the latest Bondmovie, introducing not only Daniel Craig but also Eva Green as the beautiful accountant Vesper Lynd, who is supposed to keep an eye on Bond's expensive game of poker to protect the millions of the British government he is playing with. She dies in the end though.

Another important and recent movie is the 2005 blockbuster Hitch, with Will Smith as 'New York's greatest matchmaker', who succesfully introduces Kevin James, playing accountant Kevin Brennaman, to his gorgeous client societygirl Allegra Cole (played by supermodel Amber Valletta, a Cameron Diaz-lookalike). Note the AICPA-coffeecup held by Brennaman during his first scene. During the movie he seems to be more of a tax adviser than an accountant though. Personally, I thought Eva Mendes was the most impressive of them all...

Reply to a previous comment: no, the person played by Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption was not an accountant, but a banker.

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06th Mar 2008 10:50

Accountants and the mafia

What about "The Accountant" 1989 starring Alfred Molina.?

Alfred Molina plays a tall chartered accountant in Edgware, London who is busy planning for his son's bar mitzvah, worrying about clients who either pass away or dump him because he is too honest and trying to help a friend collect a business debt. This last matter, the 3,000 pounds owed to his friend, a paper merchant, gets Molina's character into all sorts of trouble, since he becomes a target of criminals. This seldom shown movie is loaded with idiosyncratic details, including information on British tax dodges that may or may not be authentic.

Contains the classic line "the whole point of a cash deal is that you get the cash".

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By mgh
05th Mar 2008 18:48

Party animals
"Vinz Clortho at first goes unnoticed as he waits in the bedroom of Louis Tully's apartment where a party is being held to celebrate Louis's fourth year as an accountant..."

Fourth year as an accountant? Who would want to go to that kind of party?

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By jford
05th Mar 2008 17:11

Shallow Grave
1994 debut for Christopher Eccleston playing an accountant who becomes rather mad.

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05th Mar 2008 16:17

Accountants in the movies
There was a very good BBC TV film made around 1990 starring Alfred Molina called "The Accountant" in which he played a typical hard working and harrassed sole-practicioner based in north London. It's worth digging out if its available on VHS or DVD.

Of course, the character Leopold Bloom in Mel Brook's film "The Producers" is an accountant (who is scared of his own shadow). That film was made in 1968 but a remake was done taking into account changes made as a result of the hugely successful Broadway version. Bloom is still an accountant - this time played by Matthew Broderick.

And isn't the Tim Robbins' character in "The Shawshank Redemption" an accountant too?

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05th Mar 2008 16:14

Greatest film accountant
But the greatest of all was Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) in The Producers.
Presumably pre 1971, though.

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By Anonymous
05th Mar 2008 13:11

26 times in 37 years. Wow. Apparently that makes it glamourous. Bar tenders must have the most glamourous occupation in the world.

How do we nominate this for the non story of 2008?

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05th Mar 2008 13:03

Louis Tulley aka "the gate keeper" was a CPA in this film played by Rick Morranis.

"Vinz Clortho at first goes unnoticed as he waits in the bedroom of Louis Tully's apartment where a party is being held to celebrate Louis's fourth year as an accountant; but then the minion becomes impatient and crashes the party. Louis flees into Central Park.

Who you gonna call ?

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