Poster Film Description Length of the Scene Location on the DVD
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) In this amusing scene, a woman describes why her online Ebay business has a store front (people bring things in and she sells the items on Ebay and she gets a share of the proceeds). Her rationale is much like the economic rationale for branding or advertising; the same reasoning has been used as a suggestion about why (pre FDIC) banks were stately buildings. - Economics of the Internet (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 4 minutes Scene 5 (from 33:28-35:30) and Scene 10 (from 1:04:57-1:06:47)
Along Came Polly (2004) Rueben (Ben Stiller) is fluffing throw pillows and placing them on his bed like he does everyday when Polly (Jennifer Aniston) asks why he spends so much time placing and replacing the pillows. Rueben has never really thought about the opportunity costs involved in keeping the bed looking nice. - Efficiency, Optimal Behavior 2.5 minutes Chapter 13
American Gangster (2007) Denzel Washington's character goes straight to the source of heroin in SE Asia to buy it in bulk.  He then is able to sell a better (= more pure) product at a lower price than existing dealers. In order to accomplish this he brands his heroin "Blue Magic"—a good illustration that brands convey information to consumers. Competitors respond by asking him to collude. - Competition, Collusion, Branding, Economics of Crime, Entrepreneurship (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 5 minutes Chapter 8 (from 51:44-54:03) and Chapter 14 (from 1:31:56-1:34:17)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) Will Farrell is an anchor in the male-dominated broadcasting business of the 1970s. Things change when Christina Applegate is hired as the station’s first female anchor. - Discrimination 3.5 minutes Chapter 5
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) Imagine if you were cryogenically frozen in the 1960’s and revived 30 years later. Advances in technology, culture, and higher prices would all come as a shock. After viewing this scene you can encourage students to think about demand-pull and cost-push inflation. In the intervening time period demand-pull inflation occurred (as a result of an increase in population) and cost-push inflation (resulting from the 1970’s oil embargos) also caused prices to rise. - Inflation, Real and Nominal Prices 5 minutes Chapter 6
A Beautiful Mind (2001) The film won the Academy Award for best picture in 2001 and it chronicles the life of John Nash who is noted for his pioneering work on general equilibrium theory. This scene is a great way to discuss self-interest and contrast it with the social optimum. Nash’s work has augmented Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” theory by extending how self-interest is modeled. This is must viewing even though the scene itself contains flawed economics. - General Equilibrium 3 minutes Chapter 5
Bedazzled (2000) Elizabeth Hurley, as the Devil, attempts to buy the soul of a nerdy computer programmer played by Brendan Fraser. She grants him seven wishes and he promptly wastes the first wish on a Big Mac and drink. The amusing part is that Hurley takes him to McDonalds, orders the meal, and because she “forgot her purse” he ends up buying the burger and drink with his own money. - No Free Lunch 1.5 minutes Chapter 5 (from 15:48 to17:00)
Blood Diamond (2006) Conflict diamonds are a crucial factor in prolonging armed conflict in parts of Africa. - Black markets, supply and demand 2.5 minutes Chapter 2 (from 6:30-8:55)
Blow (2001) Johnny Depp is a West Coast cocaine dealer who decides to market his product on the East Coast because he can sell it there at a higher price. The clip illustrates an imbalance in supply and demand, partnerships, entrepreneurship, and the calculus (cost-benefit analysis) behind the decision to commit a crime. - Supply and Demand 3 minutes Chapter 4
The Bourne Identity (2002) Matt Damon is desperate to find a ride to Paris so he offers $10,000 to a stranger for a lift. He is aware that she needs the money but she is reluctant to take him up on his offer because no one pays $10k for a ride unless they are in trouble. Eventually she agrees to help him after he offers to pay her an additional $10k when they get there. The scene shows how trade can be beneficial to both parties. - Consumer and Producer Surplus, Gains from Trade 1 minute Chapter 8
Career Opportunities (1991) Frank Whaley plays a young man who has a job as a night janitor at Target after washing out of several other jobs.  Instead of cleaning the store as he’s supposed to do, we see him shirking on the job by doing things such as roller skating around the store, eating candy bars from the shelves, and watching movies. While roller skating he is surprised by a young woman (played by Jennifer Connelly) who has hidden in the store to escape her overbearing father and crashes into a display.  When she approaches and asks what he’s doing in the store, he replies “I work here.”  The scene provides a great example of the principal-agent problem. - Principal-Agent Problem (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 7 minutes Chapter 8, 24:15-31:10
Catch 22 (1970)

This clip shows a military unit’s mess officer explaining to his commanding officer than he can turn a profit acquiring eggs, olive oil (they’re stationed in the Mediterranean  in WWII), and other commodities for the unit. Gains from trade and Kirznerian entrepreneurship.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

4 minutes Chapter 3 (from 14:25 to 18:10)
Catch Me If You Can (2002) A high-end prostitute snags a playboy with a unique strategy to determine the price to be paid. - Upward sloping supply curve 2 minutes Chapter 11 (from 1:00:15-1:02:15)
Cast Away (2000) Tom Hanks plays a Fed Ex employee who is stranded on a deserted island for four years. In this scene we see him learning to make fire. There is no one there to help him so he has to find out the best way accomplish this task by himself. Effectively, he is forced to live a life without specialization. The irony is that before he became stranded he helped deliver important packages around the globe so that people could specialize using their comparative advantage. This movie is poignant reminder of how difficult life would be if we had to do everything for ourselves. - Specialization, Comparative Advantage 7 minutes Chapter 17
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Roald Dahl’s well-known classic is filled with economics.

- Supply and demand, substitution effects, scarcity

5 minutes Chapter 5 (from 14:45 to 19:35)
A Civil Action (1998)

“A Civil Action” is a 1998 film starring John Travolta as a trial lawyer who brings suit against two corporations accused of causing wrongful deaths by dumping toxic pollution. The last two scenes illustrate the concept of externalities; the first two clips are excellent examples of cost-benefit analysis (by Travolta’s firm in initially deciding not to take the case).

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

8 minutes From 0:30-1:20, 7:10-11:25 and 27:30-30:30
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

When People discover that sardines are gross they stop buying sardines and the island's sardine cannery closes because of the drop in demand. Concepts:  tastes and preferences; derived demand for labor.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

1 minute Chapter 1, 3:54-4:33
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) A shopping addict decides to sell all her clothes to pay off her credit card debt. Contrary to what usually happens, she leverages here notoriety as someone with exceptional taste to sell her used clothes for what she paid for them. The end of the scene also shows an auction for a green scarf that can be shown to discuss subjective value. 4 minutes Chapter 17 (from 1:29:15 to 1:33:15)
Cool Hand Luke (1967) Paul Newman decides to eat 50 eggs on a whim in order to spice things up while in captivity. - Diminishing Marginal Utility 7 minutes Chapter 12
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) The scene makes a very powerful point about the nature of economics and expenditures. - What is Economics? 15 seconds Chapter 12 (from 47:11 to 47:26)
The Cove (2009) This Oscar winning documentary is filmed mostly in Taiji, Japan, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. However, in a remote cove, under the cover of darkness, the fishermen of Taiji, drive hundreds of dolphins to shore each day to collect dolphins for captivity, and slaughter the remaining mercury-tainted animals for consumption. The movie is a chilling and a powerful reminder of what some people will do to exploit a common resource for personal profit. The film is a very useful starting point for a discussion of the exploitation of common resources. 15 minutes Chapters 11 and 12 (1:12:38-1:27:00)
Coyote Ugly (2000) This is a great example of a successful auction with an unusual ending. The auctioneer, Violet Sanford, needs to raise $250 quickly to keep her job. When the bidding reaches $250 she ends the auction, oblivious to the fact that the bidders would have gone higher (incurring a significant opportunity cost in the process). This scene can be used to introduce or discuss auctioning mechanisms. - Auctioning Mechanisms 4 minutes Chapter 11 and the beginning of Chapter 12
The Dark Knight (2008) The opening scene of the movie provides an intense example of backwards induction. The entire movie is about Game Theory. ( 5 minutes Scene 1 (from 1:00-6:00)
The Darwin Awards (2006) Has two short scenes that would be useful for discussing risk aversion.  Joseph Fiennes plays an insurance company investigator who is risk averse; in the clips we see him taking what seem to be excess precautions against a low probability event (slipping in the tub or shower) (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 2 minutes 12:40-13:15 and 47:15-48:20
A Day Without a Mexican (2004) Imagine California without any Hispanics and you have the premise of this offbeat film. The most memorable scene occurs when all the Hispanics disappear and the remaining people realize how much they miss them. Another (briefer) scene shows a television commercial advertising a disappearance sale where the store marks everything down 50%. - Labor Markets, Trade Barriers, Immigration 3 minutes Chapter 4 (from 27:45 to 29:32) and the beginning of Chapter 8
Demolition Man (1993) In the future the world seems blissful (there is no crime and all negative behaviors have been eradicated). However, under the streets of San Angeles there are a group of outcasts who live in poverty. Dennis Leary, the leader of the underground society, gives an impassioned speech that encourages the downtrodden to resist the stamping out of free expression. Bottom line, utopia isn’t worth it if it comes at the price of personal liberty. - Monopoly, Choice, and Economic Freedom 2 minutes VHS only, the scene is near the end of the film
Dirty Pretty Things (2002) The movie revolves around illegal kidney harvesting. Immigrants sell their kidneys to get doctored passports so that they can stay in the United Kingdom. In the scene the “win/win” nature of kidney transplants is explored. There are serious ethical dimensions here as well as the exploitation of the poor. The scene will raise eyebrows and prompt a spirited discussion. - Property Rights, Gains from Trade 3 minutes Chapter 10
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)  In this scene Daisy's son (played by Dan Ackroyd) trades her car to a car dealer.  Hoke, the driver played by Morgan Freeman, has arranged to buy the car from the dealer.  In conversation with Daisy's son, says to Hoke that it's a good car but of course he knows that since he's been the driving it (indeed, he's been the only driver of the car because Miss Daisy got a driver after wrecking her previous car).  The clip is a great introduction to asymmetric information and the "lemons problem.” (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 2 minutes Chapter 11(from 45:08 to 46:32)
Dumb and Dumber (1994) Two dim-witted pals accidentally open a briefcase full of money and eventually end up using it as tissue for a runny nose. - Diminishing utility of money 3 minutes Chapter 22 (from 1:25:15-1:26:35); Chapter 14 (from 1:00:10to1:02:05)
Erin Brockovich (2000) Ed Masry (Albert Finney) and Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) meet with a representative of Pacific Gas & Electric to discuss a settlement offer from the firm. The company offer compensates the claimants for the value of the land they own, but no compensation is offered for medical damages as a result of toxic poisoning. Erin Brockovich believes that many of the health problems in the affected community can be traced to the introduction of the poison into the groundwater. However, PG&E counters that the condition of the residents is a result of lifestyle choices, heredity, and bad luck. - Externalities 2 minutes Chapter 19
Eurotrip (2004) This scene involves four high school graduates who travel to Europe and end up in an impoverished country (Bratislava) where the U.S. dollar has enormous purchasing power. The graduates are able to take their last $1.83 and enjoy an amazing night out on the town. After showing the scene you can use simple supply and demand graphs to explain how the currency market works. - Exchange Rate 3 minutes Chapter 13
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Ben Stein plays a high school economics teacher, but he has a problem, no one is listening. In the clip, Ben Stein is lecturing on macroeconomic issues. You can then contrast what Ben Stein is discussing with what the students are doing (the micro side). This clip is funny and short. It can also be used as an icebreaker in an introductory lecture. - Understanding the Difference Between Microeconomics and Macroeconomics 2 minutes Chapter 2
Flags of Our Fathers The politics and economics of fighting the Japanese during the World War II. - Financial Instruments 4 minutes Chapter 8 (from 46:40-50:40)
Footloose (1984) A dare causes two high school students to play chicken while facing each other on tractors. - Game Theory 5 minutes Chapter 4 (from 27:00-32:00)
Forrest Gump (1994) When Forrest Gump enters the shrimping industry because of a promise to a fallen friend it has the expected result initially - Forrest has trouble - finding shrimp. However, when your life is a series of amazing coincidences things have a way of working out. The fishing industry is a highly competitive industry where profits are hard to come by, even for those with experience. However, the twist is that a hurricane washes ashore and it destroys all the other shrimp boats, except Forrest’s. Since Forrest has the only boat left, he gains a temporary monopoly and he catches all the shrimp. In this scene the shrimp are a metaphor for profits and they provide a compelling way of contrasting competitive and monopoly solutions. - Sources of Monopoly, Competition 8 minutes Chapter 12 and Chapter 13
The Full Monty (1997) Six unemployed men take their inspiration from a group of touring strippers and decide to perform a striptease of their own. This scene nicely illustrates unemployment and entrepreneurial initiative. - Unemployment 3 minutes Chapter 4
Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) This scene spoofs Enron and is a great discussion starter. - Business and Corporations (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 4 minutes Chapter 5 (from 12:30 to 16:20)
Gangs of New York (2002)

From next to Brooklyn Bridge in Queens, one sees the rise of the Manhattan skyline from 1964 until 2001. This illustrates how much life has changed through a time lapse and captures the essence of economic growth.

(Contribution from Bill Goffe, SUNY Oswego)

1 minute Disk 2, Ch. 12, 1:11:56-1:12:31
Grosse Pointe.jpg Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) John Cusack plays a hit man who rebuffs Dan Ackroyd's overtures to form a hit man's cartel or union.  In this scene, Ackroyd's character tells Cusack's character that they'll have greater bargaining power if they collude instead of competing.  -Collusion, Cartels, or Labor Unions (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 2 minutes From 3:55 to 6:00
Groundhog Day (1993) Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day in his life over and over again. Every morning he wakes up and he encounters the same people and places. Eventually, he learns exactly what they will say and do and he reacts accordingly. - Adaptive and Rational Expectations 4 minutes Chapter 11, 12 and the first part of 24
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) It’s 2:30 in the morning and Harold and Kumar are at a deserted intersection waiting to cross the road. The “do not walk” sign is lit. Kumar encourages Harold to walk across anyway and a trooper appears out of nowhere to ticket him for jaywalking. The fine is $220 and this prompts a spirited discussion. - Economics of Crime, Rational Self-Interest 3 minutes Chapter 11
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) There is a great scene about the diamond industry and the "a diamond is forever" campaign that has been made famous by DeBeers, the giant diamond company. Matthew MacConaughey wants to pitch an important account and to do so he tries to convince his boss and two women co-workers that he knows how to market diamonds. He has a clever alternative campaign that he calls, "a diamond is for everybody." The problem is that the diamond industry is highly consolidated so it maximizes profits by limiting sales and defining a luxury experience. MacConaughey's idea is the type of pitch that works better with beers and pretzels, which is exactly what he is good at selling in the film. - Elasticity of Demand, Luxury Goods 2 minutes Chapter 4
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) One of the hardest concepts to get across in a principles of economics class are changes in demand versus changes in quantity demanded. This short scene from The Hudsucker Proxy solves that problem in a humorous way. I recommend that you show the clip and then ask your students to help you construct the appropriate demand and supply curves to illustrate how the price changes in the clip. - Changes in Tastes and Preferences 3 minutes Chapter 25
The Informant! (2009) The movie chronicles the lysine price-fixing case against Archer Daniels Midland. One especially useful clip illustrates ADM's Mark Whitacre (played by Matt Damon) meeting with representatives of other firms to formulate an agreement to reduce industry output, allocate output shares among the firms, and raise prices.  Concepts: collusion, antitrust. 7 minutes Chapter 11, 47:00-53:50
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

A man dying in the aftermath of an auto accident has told some bystanders that he buried a fortune under a big W in a distant town (Santa Rosa, CA).  In the clip, the people propose different ways of allocating the loot (various schemes by which shares of it would be allocated) but someone objects to each scheme.  Since they can’t agree to a scheme for splitting the money, the proposal that all drive sanely and safely to the town is not agreed upon and they then set off on a mad dash to be the first one to get to the money. This segment could be used to discuss the difficulty of establishing cartels or to discuss Pareto optimality.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

6 minutes Chapter 5, 22:25-28:50
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) George (James Stewart) returns to find a mob standing outside the Building and Loan and he lets the crush of people into the lobby. He then talks with Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) who tells George that he has handed over most of their cash to the bank and closed for the day to prevent a riot. George pleads with the throng while he tries to explain how the banking system works. The Building & Loan doesn’t keep all the depositors money on hand; it lends the money out into the community as an investment. - Bank Runs, How Banks Work 4 minutes Chapter 12
Jingle All The Way (1996) Two dads (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad) scurry to find a Turboman action-figure for their sons on Christmas Eve. They both wind up at the Mall of America where a toy store has received a last minute shipment of Turboman. When they arrive the store manager doubles the list price and institute a lottery system to determine which customers will be able to buy toy. This lead to bedlam. - Elasticity of Demand, Supply and Demand, Shortages 3 minutes VHS
John Q (2002) Denzel Washington plays John Q, a luckless blue-collar worker with insufficient insurance needed to cover his son’s emergency heart transplant. The scene describes the costs of elective surgery, how insurance works, and the ethical and equity issues raised by the existing medical care system in the United States. - Health Economics 7 minutes Chapter 5 (from 19:15 to 26:05)
A Knight’s Tale (2001) Three peasants wrestle with how to spend 15 silver coins that they have won in a jousting tournament. One of the peasants (played by Heath Ledger) encourages the other peasants to reinvest their winnings in training and equipment so that they can make more money later. This creates tension between consuming more now and saving more with the hopes of enjoying a higher standard of living later. The three peasants, after an extended argument, decide to spend two coins now and reinvest the other 13 coins in jousting equipment and training. You can use this decision to show how an increase in investment can expand the PPC in the long run. - Production Possibilities Curve 6 minutes Chapter 2
L.A. Confidential (1997)

Three prisoners are put in separate cells, but the interrogator (Guy Pearce) shares the information about the one prisoner confessing with the others by using a microphone and speaker system. Great for teaching the sequential prisoner's dilemma and backward induction.\

(Contribution from Simon Halliday, University of Capetown, South Africa)

9 minutes Chapter 16, 46:40-56:00
Legally Blonde (2001) A sales associate picks the wrong girl to try to exploit. - Price Discrimination 1 minute Chapter 2 (from 4:00-5:15)
Liar, Liar (1997) Jim Carrey, a compulsive liar, is forced to tell the truth for 24 hours after his son makes a birthday wish. In this scene he is stopped for speeding and ends up telling the cop that he also ran a red light, failed to yield at a crosswalk, and that he has many unpaid parking tickets. This is a great illustration of rational behavior and a good starting point for a discussion of the economics of crime. - Rationality Assumption 2 minutes Chapter 7
Life and Debt (2001) This documentary focuses on the Jamaican economy and it is a history lesson in colonialism, free trade, and poverty. You could show the entire film or just a few chapters from the DVD; highly recommended. - International Trade Each chapter is 3-4 minutes Chapters 2, 3, 5 and 10
Local Hero (1983) In this scene an American business wants to buy a Scottish beach in order to drill for oil. All goes well until they encounter a hold out who values his lifestyle and heritage and does not wish to sell. This raises a number of provocative questions about the cost of progress and valuations. - Subjective Values, Utility 6 minutes Chapter 28 and Chapter 29
Mac (1992)

Mac” is a John Turturro film (1993) that pays homage to his construction worker father in 1940s/1950s NYC—a time of rapid suburban expansion.  One segment shows Turturro bidding against a rival bidder (a person for whom he formerly worked and had a bad working relationship) for some land on which to build houses.  The bidding gets heated and culminates in the winner paying over 5 times what he thought the property was worth before the auction started.  The scene is a nice illustration of an English auction and provides a good vehicle for discussing the so-called winner’s curse.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

3 minute Chapter 6 (From 46:25-49:45)
Mad Money (2008)

A three minute segment raises issues of unemployment, downsizing, discrimination against and the employability of older workers, and so-called discouraged workers. For example, a character played by Ted Danson is asked by his wife why he hasn't applied for any jobs. He replies that he's given up because he had been searching for a year without success. His wife (played by Diane Keaton), who is also searching for a job, encounters difficulty finding a job because of her lack of computer skills (she's asked what programs she's proficient with an replies Google; her college degree was in comparative lit).

There is one other segment that discusses the role of the Fed and the effect of increasing the money supply.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

3 minutes Chapter 1 (from 4:35-7:40) and Chapter 7 (from 44:10-44:35)
The Maltese Falcon (1941) Negotiating over a priceless piece of jewelry is complicated. - Asymmetric information, game theory 1 minute Chapter 20 (from 1:17:00-1:18:00)
The Man in the White Suit (1951) When a fabric is created that never needs cleaning and never wears out it is hailed as a great invention. However, the company and the employees who work there become fearful for their jobs. This scene will motivate a discussion of patents, marginal productivity, technological innovation, and profits. - Production 15 minutes Chapters 11, 12 and 13
Mary Poppins (1964) A well-intentioned financial lesson accidentally leads to a bank run. - Monetary system, banking 5 minutes Chapter 16 (from 1:30:45-1:36:00)
Matewan (1987) Based on a true story, Matewan powerfully captures the elements that make union formation so difficult. Inside a small store in West Virginia in 1920, Joe Kenehan gives a speech to a number of the workers describing what it means to be in a union. - Unions 6 minutes VHS only, the scene is approximately 20 minutes into the film
The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

For some time, the General had been concerned with Soviet research into psychic power. Two weeks later, the Army adopted the slogan: "Be all you can be." And appointed Bill Commander of the first New Earth Army battalion. -Nash Equilibrium (Contribution from A. Kerem Cosar, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business)

2 minutes

Chapter 3, 23:40-25:30
The Merchant of Venice (2004) Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons star in Shakespeare’s tale of greed and love. When the merchant is short on cash he goes to a Jew to borrow the money. However, the stakes are higher than usual, the lender wants a pound of flesh if the loan cannot be repaid on time. - Opportunity Cost, Time Preference, Risk 5 minutes Chapter 5
Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)

Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) is a story about an art auctioneer played by Hugh Grant who marries into a mob family.  A short clip illustrates the concept of subjective value when one character (mobster Uncle Vito) asks Grant’s character if he thinks a painting is worth $250,000 and Grant’s character replies that the value of something is whatever a person is willing to pay for it.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

1 minute Chapter 10, 27:08-28:11
Million Dollar Baby (2004) One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) buys a small house for her mother and family. She meets surprising resistance. Her mother turns down her offer in order to maintain her eligibility for welfare. This is a powerful way of motivating a discussion of public assistance. - Welfare 2 minutes Chapter 21
Modern Times (1936) In this classic film, Charlie Chaplin portrays an assembly line worker who slows down the production process. This illustrates the interdependency of production elements and specialization. Also, there is an automatic feeding machine that is marketed to the company to improve the efficiency of the workers and shorten the lunch hour. However, the feeding machine ends up being unreliable and impractical, nicely showing that not all new ideas are worthwhile. - Production, Innovation, Efficiency 10 minutes Chapters 1, 2 and 3
Moscow on the Hudson (1984) In these scenes, William's character, while still in the old Soviet Union just steps into line hoping to be able to buy one thing, only to find the line is for something else - which he buys figuring he may be able to barter for what he needs. Once he's defected to the U.S., he goes to a grocery story looking for coffee. He asks where the coffee line is and, after being directed to the coffee aisle, has a breakdown because of the abundant choices. - Command vs. Market Economic Systems (Contribution from Tim Schilling, Powell Center for Economic Literacy) 2 minutes Chapter 1 (from 3:30 to 3:55), Chapter 3 (from 10:35 to 11:05, Chapter 17 (from 1:01:45 to 1:02:45)
Murder by Numbers (2002) Sandra Bullock stars in this thriller about game theory. There is a great example of the prisoner’s dilemma in the interrogation process. - Prisoner's Dilemma 4 minutes Chapter 20 and the first part of Chapter 21
Newsies (1992) Robert Duvall stars as publisher Joseph Pulitzer. When the newspaper Pulitzer owns decides to raise the price it charges its distribution network, the delivery boys decide to unionize and strike. The shorter version of the scene focuses on profitability and describes three solutions that will earn the publisher more money. The second part of the scene (the longer version) showcases a discussion among the newsies about the desirability of a strike. - Profit-Maximizing, Collusion, Unions 5.5 minutes Chapter 7
Norma Rae (1979) The movie provides a memorable scene on how a union works and the logic behind organizing into a union. Norma Rae is still very powerful today. Sally Field won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the film. - Unions 3 minutes Chapter 12
Nutty Professor (1996) Eddie Murphy has a problem with eating. - Diminishing Utility 40 seconds Chapter 5 (from 30:42 to 31:20)
Old School (2003) A bread maker is re-gifted twice. An excellent introduction to Joel Waldfogel’s AER article,  “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas.” - Consumer surplus, producer surplus, gains from trade, preferences   Chapter 3, 12:40 to 13:29; Chapter 11, 48:20 to 49:01
Outsourced (2006)

After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman heads to India to train his replacement. An American caller becomes irate when he learns that the call center that is processing his order is located in India. The call center supervisor devises a clever tactic to convince the disgruntled customer to buy the product. The scene is an excellent device for starting a discussion on outsourcing, marginal product of labor, and efficiency gains.

(Contribution from Veronica Frisancho-Robles, The Pennsylvania State University)

2 minutes Chapter 12 (from 1:23:34 to 1:24:55)
Pay It Forward (2000) When Keynes first put forth the multiplier it helped to reshape macroeconomics. Pay It Forward extends Keynes’ remarkable idea by suggesting that if each of us identified and helped three other persons to do something that they could not do themselves that the world would be a much better place. The parallels between the clip and Keynes’ multiplier allow the instructor to develop the theoretical and practical dimensions of fiscal policy. - The Multiplier 3 minutes Chapter 10
Pretty Woman (1990) What makes this scene between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere so appealing is that they negotiate a deal and then reveal after the negotiation is over what each of them would have accepted. This provides us with a tangible example of consumer and producer surplus. In addition, you may want to discuss gains from trade. - Consumer and Producer Surplus 4 minutes Chapter 6
The Princess Bride (1987) A amusing battle of wits between two adversaries. - Asymmetric Information, Game Theory 5 minutes Chapter 9 (from 29:27-34:32)
Public Enemies (2009)

We see J. Edgar Hoover testifying before a Congressional committee in an attempt to obtain additional funds for the FBI.  A committee member says Hoover wants more for the bureau than the crooks have stolen and denies Hoover's request. Hoover instructs his press aide to leak criticism of the questioner (named McKellar) to newsman Walter Winchell and says of McKellar "we will not contest him in this committee room but we will fight him on the front page."  Hoover also instructs his agents to go after the high profile bank robber John Dillinger in order generate favorable publicity for the bureau and holds a press conference to declare the pursuit of Dillinger will be the country's "first war on crime." Excellent illustration of the theory of bureaucracy.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

4 minutes Chapter 3, 16:35-20:20
Reality Bites (1994) With few employment opportunities after college a graduate turns to fast food. - Cyclical Unemployment, Discouraged Workers 2 minutes Chapter 8 (from 46:30-48:40)
Rent (2005) This Broadway musical, adapted for film, explores poverty. - Rent Controls, urban economics, property rights, incentives, substitution effect 9 minutes Chapter 2 (from 4:35 to 13:42)
Reservoir Dogs (1992) In this short opening scene the rationale for tipping is discussed. Of particular interest is the idea that tipping has become a social norm in many instances and therefore no longer provides a strong incentive for outstanding service. (STRONG LANGUAGE) - Incentives 4 minutes Chapter 2
Roger & Me (1989) Michael Moore chronicles the impact of General Motor’s efforts to relocate jobs from Flint, MI and the effect that this has on the local economy. The film is quite persuasive in making GM out to be a villain. It is also a powerful introduction to free trade. - International Trade, Corporate Profits Anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes Chapters 5, 29, 30, and 31
Saving Private Ryan (1998) Captain Miller discusses the cost of finding Private Ryan in terms of lost lives. Under normal circumstances, the calculus of war would smile upon a decision where lives are saved. However, in Saving Private Ryan, many lives are lost trying to save one man. This provides a compelling example of opportunity cost. - Opportunity Cost 3 minutes Chapter 9
Schindler’s List (1993) Oskar Schindler exploits cheap Jewish labor for profit. However, in a testament to the possibility of human goodness, he changes his mind and “purchases” the lives of a thousand Jews in order to save them from death. - Subjective Values, Normative Economics 8 minutes Chapter 30
Seabiscuit (2003) Historian, David McCullough, narrates the scene, which helps the viewer to appreciate the economic forces at work during the Great Depression. The film fades to a series of authentic black and white stills from the Depression era and then it fades back to color in a homeless camp. Billions of dollars of wealth have been lost and unemployment reaches 25%. - Great Depression 1.5 minutes Chapter 4
The Shawshank Redepmtion (1994) Markets exist inside of prison. - Black Markets, Risk Premium 2.5 minutes Chapter 7 (from 25:20-28:00)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire retraces the improbable path an impoverished orphan takes to become a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Winner of Academy Award for Best picture in 2008, the film is full of economic themes.  A boy, Jamal, is locked in a latrine by his brother as a helicopter carrying a visiting movie star is about to land.  Jamal, who is carrying a picture of the star and desperately wants to have it autographed, must decide between missing out on the autograph or going through the hole in the floor of the latrine (and getting covered by waste).  This is scene is a great illustration of choices/tradeoffs.  A second scene showing Jamal, his brother Salim, and their friend Latika living in a garbage dump.  It is a vivid illustration of third world poverty.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

4 minutes From 11:20-13:55  and 23:50-25:00
Stalag 17 (1953) Stalag 17 was the precursor to Hogan’s Heroes. The key point of interest in this film scene is the use of cigarettes as a currency among the prisoners inside Stalag 17. In the scene, there are three distinct transactions involving the use of cigarettes as a medium of exchange. You can develop an excellent discussion by asking your class whether or not cigarettes make the best choice of a money among the items typically found in a Red Cross shipment.- Money as a Medium of Exchange 6 minutes Chapter 5
Super Size Me (2004) The movie chronicles obesity in United States. - Health Economics, Risk, Corporate and Personal Responsibility 4 minutes Chapter 1 (from 0:00:42-0:04:46)
Swept Away (2002) Madonna plays a spoiled rich woman (Amber) who becomes stranded on a deserted island with a communist sailor, Giuseppe Esposito (Adriano Giannini). Giuseppe dislikes her snooty behavior and after a falling out they end up fending for themselves. Eventually Giuseppe spears a fish and Amber offers him increasing amounts of money (first $100 and then eventually $10,000) to buy the fish but this only incenses Giuseppe more. - Elasticity of Demand 1.5 minutes Chapter 12 (from 39:42 to 41:12)
Swing Vote (2008)

Median voter model: Whenever Costner’s character takes a position on an issue such as gay marriage or abortion, the candidates flip/flop to his position.  We see the Repub president—Kelsey Grammer—endorse gay marriage and the Dem candidate—Dennis Hopper—come out against abortion.

Costner and his daughter are riding in his pickup truck Great example of budget constraints, trade-offs, and diminishing marginal utility.

(Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

  From 1:16:15-1:20:05, 3:20-3:50 (Chapter 1)
Swordfish (2001) John Travolta is a rogue federal agent who believes that the best way to fight terrorism is to respond to each act of terror with a response that is greater in magnitude than the original act. This is a short, moving scene that will spur a spirited classroom discussion of the costs and benefits of deterrence. - Economics of Terrorism 2 minutes Chapter 20 (from 1:06:39 to 1:08:37)
The Terminal (2004) Tom Hanks is a man (Viktor Navorski) traveling to New York City when his country experiences a revolution and the government is thrown into chaos. As a result, he doesn’t have a country and he is forced to reside in JFK airport until he is cleared to enter the United States. As time elapses he becomes more desperate and hungry. Eventually he learns that he can round up luggage carts and return them for a quarter each. The interesting questions revolve around the price charged (25 cents) and why Navorski is willing to return the carts and other people are not. - Incentives, Comparative Advantage, and Opportunity Cost 3 minutes Chapter 10
Tin Men.jpg Tin Men (1987) In this scene, a car buyer negotiates with a car salesman.  They are bargaining to split the gains from trade--the seller's reservation price and the buyer's willingness to pay--and neither wants to make the opening offer because it might hurt his negotiating position.  - Bargaining, Gains from Trade, Game Theory (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 1 minute From 2:44-3:30
Trading Places (1983) Markets can be manipulated and exploited when one side had more information than the other. Guess what happens when two parties have privileged information and the information that they have is not the same! Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy outsmart their mentors (the Duke brothers) in an effort to ruin them. This is a very funny clip on inside information and stimulating look at how markets work. Moreover, this can also be used as a springboard for a discussion on the market efficiency hypothesis. - Asymmetric Information, Efficient Market Hypothesis 8 minutes Chapter 18
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) Jeff Bridges plays Preston Tucker an innovator and entrepreneur who designs a better automobile in the 1940s. However, the big three automobile companies in Detroit, do not want to compete with a new company so they devise a strategy that will put Tucker out of business. - Oligopoly, Collusion 8 minutes Chapter 14
Up (2009) Has a nice illustration of the holdout problem. Carl Fredricksen is an elderly widower who is very attached to his home because it reminds of him of his deceased wife.  As he goes out of the house, we see that a large construction project is being built around his house because he is unwilling to sell. (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College) 2 minutes 13:10-15:25
Vegas Vacation (1997) Cousin Eddie takes his savings and buries the money in metal coffee tins in the desert. When Clark Griswold losses all of his cash in Las Vegas, Eddie decides it is time to dig up the money to help Clark out. Since the cash is taken out and then put back into circulation, it provides an interesting basis for discussing leakages and injections in the money supply. - Money Supply 3 minutes Chapter 25
Wall Street (1987) This classic film extols the virtues of greed and self-interest. However, ironically, the filmmakers get the economics all wrong. Michael Douglas incorrectly uses the term, zero-sum game, when discussing gains from trade. - Zero-sum Games, Gains from Trade 3 minutes Chapter 12
Wedding Crashers (2005) Two bachelors crash weddings in order to have a good time. - Free-riding, decision making under uncertainty. 6 minutes Chapter 2 (from 05:15-09:35); Chapter 17 (from 1:44;00-1:45:21)
What Happens in Vegas (2008)

A couple that accidentally marries while drunk in Vegas.  When they sober up they want nothing to do with each other but they've won $3 million since getting married. The segment illustrates both the importance of clearly defined property rights (they dispute ownership of the quarter used for the lucky slot pull) and the importance of transaction costs (in this case their mutual animosity) in preventing Coasian bargains. Scene 7, 22:15-27:45. (Contribution from E. Frank Stephenson, Berry College)

5 minutes Scene 7 (from 22:15-27:45)
White Chicks (2004) Hilarious auction scene involving a reluctant auctioneer. - Auctions 3 minutes Chapter 12 (from 45:04-47:50)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) Roald Dahl’s well-known children’s classic is filled with economics. Gene Wilder stars as Willy Wonka, an eccentric candy mogul, who devises a clever plan to identify his successor. He places five “golden tickets” inside his candy bars and promises anyone who finds one a lifetime supply of chocolate. - Supply and Demand, Substitution Effects, Scarcity Anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes Chapters 5, 10 and 14 are especially useful
Wimbledon (2004) Paul Bettany plays British tennis player Peter Cort whose career is on the wane. When Peter surprisingly makes the quarterfinals at Wimbledon his agent reappears and approaches him with new financial opportunities. However, this time Peter understands the laws of supply and demand. - Labor Demand 1.5 minutes Chapter 6 (from 32:30 to 34:00)
The Wizard of Oz (1939) It has been speculated that L. Frank Baum’s classic was intended as a commentary on the gold/silver standard debate of the late 1800’s. - Monetary Systems 7 minutes Chapter 12 (from 45:04-47:50); Chapter 34 (from 57:17-1:01:14)
You’ve Got Mail (1998) Tom Hanks is Joe Fox, the owner of a large chain of bookstores, who opens a new location near a small children’s bookstore run by Meg Ryan. Showing this clip is a great way to introduce competitive markets, discuss barriers to entry, promotions, and sales volume. - Competitive Markets, Economies of Scale 7 minutes Chapter10 and Chapter 11