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Perhaps because it was Sunday, or because the weather was terrible or the crowd slightly older, the Southampton screening of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” was a bit subdued. Men wore brightly colored cashmere sweaters — either under their crisp blazers or over their shoulders — and women sported the little white dresses that have been appearing all summer, but the mood in the theater was distinctly less than jovial.


This story first appeared in the August 24, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It also could have had something to do with the subject matter: What appeared to be actual footage of traders throwing their arms in the air and weeping, combined with scenes in which characters debate about the greed responsible for the economic crash, left some partygoers wincing. “I feel awkward,” one movie watcher whispered. “Half the men in this room look like they’re cringing. The other half are looking at them.”


At some points, the audience was more interested in who they saw around them than what was happening on the screen. “Look! Peter Peterson!” one man excitedly (and audibly) pointed out when he saw the Blackstone Group chairman. “And there’s Roger Waters!”


Meanwhile, official-looking security guards lined the walls, presumably protecting any number of the politicians present, Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Frank Lautenberg among them. Peggy Siegal (who organized the screening and has a cameo) introduced the film, saying, “Sorry about the rain, but it’s not our fault. Don’t forget to applaud for your friends — hint, hint — when you see them in the film.” Graydon Carter’s appearance during a restaurant scene brought down the house, as did a few resonant lines of dialogue, including “Gettin’ old is not for sissies” and “Killing yourself in this economic climate is the only respectable move.”


Afterward, Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky Stern lagged behind to chat in the lobby with Candice Bergen, Tory Burch and Hana Soukupova as other partygoers dashed out into the wind and rain en route to a private dinner, one or two guilty consciences concealing themselves underneath umbrellas.

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