When Does 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Take Place? Exploring the Timeframe of the Film

When Does ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Take Place? Exploring the Timeframe of the Film

The Timeframe of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’: Exploring the Setting and Historical Context

When does ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ take place? This critically acclaimed 2013 film, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who built his empire through illegal activities in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The 1980s: The Rise of Greed and Excess

The film primarily takes place during the 1980s, a time period characterized by the rise of financial greed and excess on Wall Street. This was the era of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, deregulation, and the emergence of a new generation of wealthy individuals hungry for success and material possessions.

In the film, we see how Jordan Belfort starts his career on Wall Street in 1987, just a few months before the infamous Black Monday stock market crash in October of that year. This crash, also known as the Great Crash, was one of the most devastating events in the history of the stock market, causing widespread panic and financial losses.

Despite the crash, Belfort manages to navigate the challenging financial landscape and establishes his own brokerage firm, Stratton Oakmont, at a time when stock trading was becoming increasingly popular.

The 1990s: The Height of Belfort’s Empire

As the film progresses, we see Belfort’s empire grow rapidly throughout the 1990s. During this decade, the stock market experienced significant growth, and Belfort takes advantage of this booming market to further his illegal activities.

Throughout the film, we witness Belfort’s lavish lifestyle, filled with extravagant parties, drugs, and reckless spending. This excessive behavior reflects the culture of the time, where money was celebrated and flaunting wealth was seen as a measure of success.

However, as Belfort’s empire continues to expand, law enforcement agencies begin to take notice. The film portrays the investigations led by the FBI and SEC as they aim to take down Belfort and his associates for their fraudulent activities.

The Fall and Aftermath

In the final act of the film, we witness Belfort’s downfall as his illegal activities catch up with him. He faces legal troubles, divorce, and loss of his wealth. The film portrays the consequences of Belfort’s actions, emphasizing the destructive nature of greed and the pursuit of excess.

Although ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ primarily takes place in the 1980s and 1990s, it also offers a glimpse into the enduring impact of those times. The film serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the dangers of unchecked ambition and the consequences that can come from living a life purely driven by financial success.

In Conclusion

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ takes place during the 1980s and 1990s, a time of financial greed and excess. Through its portrayal of Jordan Belfort’s rise and fall, the film offers an insight into the culture and atmosphere of Wall Street during this period. It serves as a reminder of the destructive power of unchecked ambition and the importance of ethical conduct in the financial world.

By exploring the timeframe of the film, we gain a deeper understanding of the historical context in which these events took place. It allows us to reflect on the consequences of such actions and serves as a cautionary tale for future generations.


1. When was ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ released?

The film was released on December 25, 2013.

2. What is the approximate timeframe in which the events of the movie take place?

The events of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ take place between the late 1980s and the early 1990s.

3. Is ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ based on a true story?

Yes, the film is based on the real-life memoir of Jordan Belfort, a former stockbroker.

4. How accurate is the portrayal of events in the movie?

While the film takes some creative liberties, it does depict many of the key moments from Jordan Belfort’s memoir.

5. What significant historical events influenced the story in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’?

The stock market crash of 1987 and the aftermath heavily influenced the events depicted in the movie.

6. Who directed ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’?

The film was directed by Martin Scorsese.

7. Who portrayed Jordan Belfort in the movie?

Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed Jordan Belfort in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.

8. How long is the runtime of the film?

The runtime of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is approximately 3 hours and 0 minutes.

9. Did ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ receive any awards or nominations?

Yes, the film received numerous award nominations, including five Academy Award nominations.

10. What is the rating of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’?

The film is rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, and graphic nudity.