6.4/10
15,387
156 user 36 critic

Less Than Zero (1987)

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,346 ( 185)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Rip
...
Bradford Easton
...
Benjamin Wells
...
Elaine Easton
...
Hop
...
Markie
...
Patti
...
Robert Wells
Neith Hunter ...
Alana
...
Kim
...
Trent
...
Lile
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Storyline

Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at Princeton to spend his Christmas vacation with his broken-up wealthy family in Los Angeles. His former girlfriend, Blair, is now involved with his ex-best-friend, Julian. She warns Clay that Julian needs help: he is using a lot of cocaine and has huge debts. What follows is a look at the youth culture of wealthy post adolescents in Beverly Hills with a strong anti-drug message. Apart from the setting and the names, the film has very little to do with Bret Easton Ellis's book by the same title on which it was based. Written by Jeroen van Bree <J.vBree@kub.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Beverly Hills, you can have anything your heart desires. You just can't have it the way it used to be. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corrupción en Beverly Hills  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,396,383 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harley Peyton completed three drafts of the script. In his version, Clay is no longer amoral or passive. The studio still considered the material edgy and kept the budget under $8 million. See more »

Goofs

When Blair stops dancing and sits down next to Clay on the couch, he is just starting to take a bite of a lemon. When the camera angle changes, his hand is nowhere near his mouth. See more »

Quotes

Rip: Got a minute, sweetheart?
Julian: Surely.
Rip: We gots to talk business, friend.
Julian: Oh, no, all you need to do is relax. I'm gonna pay you back; all you have to do is *trust* me.
Rip: I don't wanna trust you, Julian, I just want my 50 K, all right?
Julian: Patience is next to Godliness, Rip, didn't I ever tell you that? Actually, it's the flip side of cleanliness, but it's still *pretty* fucking important if you ask me.
Rip: Then what the hell are we talking about, Julian?
Julian: We're talking about you giving me a G on spec.
Rip: No. No. ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Grease 2 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Performed by Slayer
Written by Doug Ingle
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings
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User Reviews

Hip, Slick and Dead
7 September 2002 | by (Moss Landing, CA) – See all my reviews

I lived in L.A. in the Eighties and remember the club scene with a chill. From Eddie Nash's joint on Hollywood Blvd[The Seven Seas] to Club Lingerie to the small venues in Long Beach and Orange County, this movie catches the ennui like a manic firefly in a jar. From the 'powder' in the ladies' room to casual sex, it shows it as it was--callow and shallow and a line/hit away from degradation and death.

It's heart-breaking to watch Robert Downey Jr.'s character surrender his dignity to a free base pipe. Other posts complain about the James Spader's performance, but he was dead on. Pushers are not nice people. This is an early cinematic example of truth about the nature of drug addiction. Are you frightened? NOT FRIGHTENED ENOUGH!

Scare yourself straight tonight. Watch 'Drugstore Cowboy', 'Less than Zero', and 'Rush'.

Here's hoping that Robert Downey Jr.'s talent will not be eclipsed by his addiction. He's an amazing actor. ['Chaplin' & 'Restoration' alone earned him a place in cinematic history.]


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