Baddest Guys on the Block: Real Estate Villains in Movies
January 9, 2011 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Watched the movie Tekkon Kinkreet last night, and now want to see more movies where the villain is a real estate developer. Hollywood and foreign!

The Goonies springs to mind, but what else is there? Thanks!
posted by sk932 to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Glengarry Glen Ross. Developer villain played by Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino and others.
posted by Gordion Knott at 9:08 AM on January 9, 2011

Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life.
posted by duckus at 9:15 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Um...not that I saw it...or that I'm recommending you see it...but, um...Burlesque?
posted by buzzkillington at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2011

Not to be pedantic but the characters in Glenngarry Glenn Ross are real estate salesmen, not necessarily real estate developers. Real estate developers usually contract out their sales efforts to third parties.

I don't know how relevant this distinction is for the OP, though.
posted by dfriedman at 9:19 AM on January 9, 2011

A Real Estate Deal - 1912 silent movie, film history
The Money Pit - romanitc comedy of getting screwed by buying bad real estate
Poltergeist - realtors/developers selling haunted homes over graveyards
Chinatown - detective uncovers fraudulent land sales
Glengarry Glen Ross - two days in the lives of 4 realtors
American Beauty - obsessed realtor mom with husband in mid-life crisis
Beetlejuice - haunted Real Estate
Superman (1978) - Lex Luther to nuke California for Nevada Real Estate
posted by Flood at 9:24 AM on January 9, 2011

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
posted by mkb at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far! I'm not so concerned about the distinctions between developers, agents, bankers, et cetera. I suppose I should rephrase slightly: I'm looking for movies where there is conflict around real estate development (land use scandals, getrification, and so forth). Also, documentaries are welcome too.
posted by sk932 at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2011

One of the subplots of Drunken Master II is that the evil British Consulate is trying to buy out Po Chi Lam, which is a martial arts school and clinic that is revered by the community.
posted by ignignokt at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2011

Lethal Weapon 3.
posted by kaszeta at 9:31 AM on January 9, 2011

Lethal Weapon 3? Isn't there a housing project fiery blowy up finale?
posted by selfnoise at 9:31 AM on January 9, 2011

Not a movie, but one of the best TV shows of the last ten years, sadly canceled before its time: Terriers.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:34 AM on January 9, 2011

Somewhat: Over The Edge
posted by rhizome at 9:39 AM on January 9, 2011

Pretty close to the save the orphanage trope on tv tropes.
posted by zabuni at 9:45 AM on January 9, 2011

Seconding Chinatown and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (which is a really skillful and loving noir pastiche.)
posted by griphus at 9:48 AM on January 9, 2011

The rest of the movie isn't really about this, but a "conflict around real estate development" sets the plot of Pixar's Up into motion.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:12 AM on January 9, 2011

Batteries Not Included.
posted by hermitosis at 10:15 AM on January 9, 2011

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:56 AM on January 9, 2011

I eschew all dignity with this answer:

The Brady Bunch Movie
posted by mostlybecky at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2011

I'm sorry I can't link right now, but Sunshine State by John Sayles is about Florida developers and the people in the community they want to impact.
posted by Ellemeno at 1:49 PM on January 9, 2011

Pom Poko, or Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko, is a fictionalized account of the construction of the Tama New Town area west of Tokyo. The movie takes the point of view of the tanuki, a popular animal in Japanese folklore. The thing is, Tama New Town was built on one of the largest remaining real tanuki, or Japanese racoon dog habitats on the main island of Japan. The movie is fantastic, and fantastical, as it imagines the mythical shapeshifting trickster image of tanuki fighting against the developers, but in the end is crushingly, heartbreakingly sad. One of my favorite films ever, but I can't talk about it without getting teary-eyed.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:06 PM on January 9, 2011

The movie version of Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World completely changes the plot of the book and turns the villain, Mr. Hazell, into a crooked land developer (rather than just a rich asshole). I guess the idea was that Dahl's book's glorification of theft - Danny is dubbed the Champion of the World for inventing a foolproof method of poaching pheasants - made the filmmakers uncomfortable so they added in this stupid plotline to make Danny and his father more morally justifiable. It turns out that Mr. Hazell is trying to buy up all the town's land to build a new town on it (which makes no sense). Danny uncovers this nefarious plan and THAT'S why he's the Champion of the World. Transcript of the not-so-thrilling conclusion.

(Jeremy Irons is always great, but that movie sucks if you like the book.)
posted by web-goddess at 9:26 PM on January 9, 2011

Who's the Man?
posted by heatvision at 8:00 AM on January 10, 2011

Isn't the big bad in Darkman a real estate developer?
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 12:36 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

The movie version of Roald Dahl's Danny the Champion of the World

Oh, and for that matter, the movie version of Roald Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox.!
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:49 PM on January 10, 2011

Ernest Goes to Camp as well!
posted by mkb at 8:57 AM on January 11, 2011

Kinda/maybe what you're looking for: Little House on the Prairie: The Last Farewell. It turns out that a railroad tycoon owns the deed to everyone's land, and instead of letting him take over their town, the townsfolk literally blow everything up.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:55 PM on January 11, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone -- I have a great list of titles for my next trip to the video store!
posted by sk932 at 7:10 AM on January 12, 2011

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