Bernie Madoff’s historic Ponzi scheme inspired several Hollywood projects. Here’s how and where to watch them.

Bernie Madoff was the lone mastermind behind a massive swindle that netted billions of dollars from thousands of clients. He orchestrated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, earning him 150-year sentence in federal prison.

If that sounds like a movie, Hollywood was listening: The infamous true story spawned several miniseries and documentaries.

Madoff died Wednesday, but his life of crime can be revisited in projects featuring Robert De Niro and Richard Dreyfuss as the schemer.

Here are the shows inspired by Madoff – and how to watch them.

Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff and Robert De Niro as Bernard Madoff leave court in the motion picture 'Wizard Of Lies.' (Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO)

‘The Wizard of Lies’

This 2017 HBO film was primarily based on Diana Henriques’ book “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” and starred Robert De Niro as Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as Madoff’s wife, Ruth. Barry Levinson directed the project. 

The movie chronicles Madoff’s success in scamming people (including many of his close friends) out of billions of dollars, and recounts his downfall.

De Niro talked to USA TODAY ahead of the movie’s release about portraying the financier, whom he studied but never tried to understand.

“It’s not (about) humanizing, just making him a real person,” De Niro said. “I was more convinced that the kids weren’t in on it, and Ruth wasn’t, either. He protected them, but it’s odd, because he protected them in a way that made them vulnerable.”

The film ends with Madoff asking Henriques whether he’s a sociopath. But “really, it’s not for us to (say),” Levinson told USA TODAY. “You answer it any way you want. It’s the question that comes from Bernie Madoff, and it’s the only time in the movie he asks, ‘What am I?’, which is the most interesting.”

How to watch: Free with HBO Max subscription or buy it on Amazon Prime

Who was Bernie Madoff?: Who did his ponzi scheme impact and how did he get caught? Your questions, answered

Bernie Madoff dies: The man who orchestrated the largest Ponzi scheme in history has died in prison at 82

More TV: Why we’re so greedy for movies and TV shows about Wall Street titans


Before there was “Wizard,” there was a two-part ABC miniseries, “Madoff.” It premiered in 2016 and starred Dreyfuss as Madoff and Blythe Danner as Ruth. USA TODAY TV critic Robert Bianco, gave it three out of four stars in his review.

The miniseries “won’t make you think Madoff was innocent – because he wasn’t – or that he doesn’t belong in jail, because he does. But as with any movie about a gleefully unrepentant con man, it does place you squarely on the side of the con, which will amuse some and horrify others,” Bianco wrote.

 How to watch: Buy it on Amazon Prime

Richard Dreyfuss portrayed Bernie Madoff in the 2016 ABC miniseries "Madoff" (Photo: Eric Liebowitz, ABC)

‘Chasing Madoff’

This 2010 documentary follows investigator Harry Markopolos and his team who spent 10 years trying to expose Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme. It’s based on New York Times best-seller “No One Would Listen.” 

How to watch: Buy it on Amazon Prime

‘The Madoff Affair’

PBS’ “Frontline” tackled the Madoff story in “The Madoff Affair.” The doc was produced by Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria.

How to watch: Watch it on PBS

Contributing: Patrick Ryan, Robert Bianco, Kevin McCoy and Nathan Bomey

Source: Read Full Article