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Risky Business (1983)

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A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.



1,011 ( 245)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Goodsen
Mrs. Goodsen
Chuck (as Kevin C. Anderson)
Sarah Partridge ...
Nathan Davis ...
Business Teacher
Scott Harlan ...
Stan Licata


A suburban Chicago teenager's parents leave on vacation, and he cuts loose. An unauthorised trip in his father's Porsche means a sudden need for lots of money, which he raises in a creative way. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Joel had all the normal teenage fantasies...cars, girls, money. Then his parents left for a week, and all his fantasies came true. [UK Theatrical] See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 August 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Negocios riesgosos  »

Box Office


$6,200,000 (estimated)


$63,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the film came out, Rebecca De Mornay (born in 1959) claimed a 1962 birthdate so she would seem the same age as Tom Cruise who is actually three years younger than her. See more »


In the brothel scene, when the hooker places her hand on the boy's knee and scares him away, we see a drummer and a pianist playing in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, but we hear a recorded version of "D.M.S.R" by Prince. They are also visible just before Joel complains to Lana that some of the girls are wearing his mother's clothing, and once again we hear recorded music. See more »


[first lines]
Joel Goodson: [voiceover] The dream is always the same. Instead of going home, I go to the neighbors'. I ring, but nobody answers. The door is open, so I go inside. I'm looking around for the people, but nobody seems to be there. And then I hear the shower running, so I go upstairs to see what's what. Then I see her; this... girl, this incredible girl. I mean, what she's doing there I don't know, because she doesn't live there... but it's a dream, so I go with it. "Who's there?" she says. "Joel,"...
See more »


Music by Talking Heads (uncredited)
Lyrics by David Byrne (uncredited)
Performed by Talking Heads
Courtesy of Sire Records Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Coming of age and male fantasy call girl flick.
17 June 2001 | by (Manhattan) – See all my reviews

Rebecca De Mornay at 21 is fabulous as the savvy call girl for any teen boy to die for -- or for that matter any red blooded male of any age. She enters the film gliding silently into the back yard entrance of his parent's off-the-lake Chicago house, and after speaking only a few words, something like "are you ready for me Joel", artistically slips off her demure little slip of a dress, back arched to him, one leg kneeled in the window seat, presses her bottom into him, silently invites him to take her, and then turns, melts into him, kissing him in apparent yielding passion. This is immediately followed by cut scenes to multiple positions in multiple locations around the house. It's a perfect male fantasy of what paid for wild but romantic sex might be like (however unrealistic). It's also undoubtedly Joel's (Cruse's) first time. What an initiation.

The movie never gets that hot again (although the scene enacting Lana's "thing about trains" gets close). But it does become increasingly interesting as a first rate coming of age flick. Actually, it's a bit more than that. It explores the tension between the self disciplined deferred gratification he and has friends have all been taught they need for upper middle class success, versus the let loose sexual and other risk taking he knows is out there, some other people are doing, and wishes he could get away with. How far can a nice upper middle class boy go without throwing it all away? That risky business is what the film is all about.

Tom Cruz is perfect as the dutiful but less than gifted "future enterpriser" high school senior who's always had to work a little harder and stick more to the straight and narrow to try to live up to his parents' expectations -- without quite getting there. Although he was about the same age as De Mornay when they made the film, Cruz looks and acts a thoroughly convincing boyish 16 or 17. De Mornay's Lana is an iconic bad girl hooker of the naturally toney and perhaps feeling variety -- although about the last we're never entirely sure. She remains ultimately an enigma, beyond Cruz's and our full grasp, but not beyond his connecting with. Sadly, her first major role was probably her best -- although certainly not her only good one.

Cruz may be "on the right track", but it's De Mornay's Lana who knows everything about sex, life, taking risks, and living on the edge. She seduces Cruz into turning his parents' home into a bordello, to tap the money to be made by mingling his kind of friends with her kind of friends for a night, while she is hiding out from her "manager", and he has been left to "act responsibly" while his parents are away on a business trip. The scene where the Princeton alumnus interviewer, whom his dad has contacted to try to help finesse his "not quite Ivy League transcript", comes to the house to interview Cruz on the night the bordello party is in full swing, is deliciously funny and at the same time full of nervous tension. Cruz's character is on the brink of disaster, and then in fact clearly has thrown away a good part of his future opportunities -- or has he?

It's a delicious movie -- especially for males raised in seriously high academic achievement oriented families. Every good boy would love to call a Lana sometime -- and get away with it.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
6.6/10??? CCBudBaxter
Best acting of any TC film zumwildenhirsch
Still my favourite Tom Cruise film! M-Blank
Risky Business to FBDO, As Drive is to Fast and Furious meridianbeats
Best of 1983 mscalici
What part of the school calender does this actualy take place? mikerichter35xl
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