On a trading floor in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Mark Hanna finishes speaking on the phone, gets up from his chair, and walks towards Jordan Belfort while rolling some paper in his hand:

Mark Hanna: Time to paint the tape. Whoo! 2,000. Microsoft. Going in the hole! Come on. Live. Live. Hold on, that is hot.

Mark Hanna instructs Jordan Belfort to place a cylindrical object into a box that is attached to the wall, and then close it:

Mark Hanna: In. In. Shut that motherf*cker. Shut it! Shut it! Shut it! Sold!

What exactly is going on in this scene?

  • 15
    I don't know what show/movie you're referring to, but the object might be being placed in a vacuum/pneumatic tube to send it to another part of the building? similar to what one does at a drive through window at a bank. Commented Jan 2 at 4:19
  • @anongoodnurse I added movie name.
    – Max Power
    Commented Jan 2 at 4:20
  • 6
    Ok, found it. As I guessed, it's a pneumatic tube. Commented Jan 2 at 4:23
  • 3
    Why don't you make that an answer @anongoodnurse ... particularly if you can find photos.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Jan 2 at 4:52
  • 7
    Homer can enlighten you: i.sstatic.net/nkY5H.gif
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 2 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


This is a pneumatic tube, used to quickly internally transfer some data/money. Used in banks, supermarkets and other places...

Mark Hanna slams down his phone in victory, scrawls out a “buy” ticket. He places the ticket into a glass cylinder which he slips into a plastic pneumatic tube.

Script - page 9

What is a Pneumatic Tube System?

Pneumatic Tube System is technical equipment in which cylindrical containers (carriers) are propelled through a complex network of tubes by compressed air or by vacuum. They are used for transporting physical objects.

For example in hospitals, for transporting materials like test tubes or tissue jars. But also for sending medicines and blood products.

And even in shops or stores, for sending cash money to a secure place.

In banks and financial institutions, for the purchase and removal of cash and valuable papers.

  • 4
    Visited a bank once. Previously, they had such a system. I was told that someone once wanted to send a donut to another floor. The donut was smeared all over the inside of the tubes. Had been very costly to fix. A memo was sent out: Don't use it for food...
    – JenserCube
    Commented Jan 2 at 22:24
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    @JenserCube Except this place, obviously. :-) Commented Jan 3 at 9:30
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    No idea how that could have happened unless the donut was big enough to seal the tube up. It takes a pretty tight seal to get the carrier to actually be propelled by the vacuum or pressure. A donut just sitting in the bottom of the entry point would just... sit there. High enough pressure might move some of the frosting if it wasn't well stuck on, I suppose.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 3 at 17:24
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    They have a really long pneumatic tube called the Rabbit Line at the U of British Columbia for moving short half-life radioactives from the particle accelerator to the medical facility that uses them. It's way faster than trying to drive the stuff over (especially with pedestrians and traffic lights and all), and since it has a half-life of like 20 minutes, every second is valuable. Commented Jan 4 at 15:00

That's a pneumatic tube system. The movie's source novel has a little more info about what it's used for and where it goes.

Every so often a broker would slam his phone down in victory and then fill out a buy ticket and walk over to a pneumatic tubing system that had been affixed to a support column. He would stick the ticket in a glass cylinder and watch it get sucked up into the ceiling. From there, the ticket made its way to the trading desk on the other side of the building, where it would be rerouted to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for execution. So the ceiling had been lowered to make room for the tubing, and it seemed to bear down on my head.

By ten o’clock, Mark Hanna had made three trips to the support column, and he was about to make another. He was so smooth on the phone that it literally boggled my mind. It was as if he were apologizing to his clients as he ripped their eyeballs out. “Sir, let me say this,” Mark was saying to the chairman of a Fortune 500 company. “I pride myself on finding the bottom of these issues. And my goal is not only to guide you into these situations but to guide you out as well.” His tone was so soft and mellow that it was almost hypnotic. “I’d like to be an asset to you for the long term; to be an asset to your business—and to your family.”

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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