Is The Wolf of Wall Street Based on a True Story?

November 10, 2021
Almost everyone has heard or watched Martin Scorsese’s movie The Wolf of Wall Street, one of the best financial dramas of all time. It follows the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort’s career as a stockbroker. And most probably you’re all wondering if that’s a true story or not.

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The Introduction to the Movie

After its release, the movie has rapidly made its way to the top. On the one hand, people were charmed by its dynamism and flow, combined with a good and healthy dose of laughter. On the other hand, though, some criticised it for portraying Belfort’s crimes and fraud in a glorified manner. In any case, doesn’t the story become even more interesting if you think it may be a true account? It certainly does! But is The Wolf of Wall Street really based on a true story?

Jordan Belfort Was as Real as One Can Get

Believe it or not, all of these things did happen in real life. The movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio is inspired by Jordan Belfort’s biography published in 2007 after he got out of jail. In the book, Belfort himself writes about how he built the brokerage house Stratton Oakmont, depicting all the fraudulent schemes that his firm was engaged in. In the late 1990s, the company was closed and Belfort went to jail for securities fraud.

Was Everything Really Real?

Now, can one state that the movie plot goes 100% hand in hand with the events described in the book? Jordan Belfort does indeed state that “the camaraderie, the insanity” portrayed in the movie corresponds to the reality and the story as a whole is accurately told. There are, however, things that have been slightly changed in the film. For example, with regards to drug use, Belfort states that, compared to the events portrayed in the movie, the situation in reality was out of control sometimes. By the end of his career, Belfort was regularly using multiple drugs. Besides that, some names were changed for the big screen, including Belfort’s wives’ names, which was actually Denise, not Teresa, while his second wife was named Nadine, not Naomi.

The Seal of Approval

The interesting part is that, by the end, Jordan Belfort himself appears in the movie. He’s playing the man who introduces DiCaprio (as Belfort) on the stage as a motivational speaker having the aim of teaching others how to succeed on Wall Street. This somehow points out the fact the Belfort’s pretty happy with how accurate the film turned out. Moreover, just like it happened in the movie, in reality, since 2006, Belfort has followed the path of a motivational speaker, delivering speeches on all kinds of topics.

The Bottom Line

So, is The Wolf of Wall Street based on a true story? Yes, definitely. Is it accurately portrayed? Of course, most of the events correspond to what really happened in Belfort’s life. There are indeed some details that are missing but, as a whole, Scorsese’s movie is a decent adaptation of the book and reality.

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