Actor Robert De Niro has played a Machiavellian mafia boss, a crooked Casino operator, a gun-wielding taxi driver, a master thief and a raging bull.
In his latest movie, Limitless, De Niro, 67, takes an almost professorial role (think of it as Professor Godfather teaching Gordon Gekko), explaining through his own experiences how Wall Street climbers can make the ascent in a postcrash, Fed-regulated environment. Some of the comments sound timeless, and some downright mafiaesque.
Climb up the greasy little rungs on the ladder, De Niro, who plays a corporate raider, says to an ambitious colleague who absorbs mental powers by swallowing a pill; marry the girl with the right father; and threaten, bribe and charm your way into that seat at the table.
Not only is greed good, as Gekko would have it, so are extortion, manipulation and old-fashioned bribery.