6.4/10
15,527
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
4,772 ( 356)

On Disc

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Opening Weekend:

$3,008,987 (USA) (8 November 1987)

Gross:

$12,396,383 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jami Gertz is the actress who plays Blair in this movie based on the first novel by Bret Easton Ellis. In another book written by Ellis, "American Psycho", Patrick Bateman inquires about actress Jami Gertz at the Video Visions video store in New York's Upper West Side. The video store clerk does not know who Gertz is. Bateman then fantasizes briefly about having sex with Gertz while trying not to pay attention to someone talking to him. See more »

Goofs

When Rip, Bill, Clay and Blair meet in a club, Rip says the words "Why don't you ask Julian," but his lips are clearly saying, "Why don't you ask Blair." He even points directly at Blair when saying it. See more »

Quotes

Rip: Julian, who the fuck do you think you're talking to? You're a junkie.
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Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1987 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Going Back To Cali
Performed by LL Cool J (as L.L. Cool J)
Written by Rick Rubin and LL Cool J (as James Todd Smith)
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings/Columbia Records
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User Reviews

 
A complete disaster...
4 June 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Less Than Zero" was one of my favorite novels of all time, combining a "Catcher in the Rye" for the excessive L.A. in the '80's sorta mentality. Unfortunately this film was in production during the very height of the "just say no to drugs" Nancy Reagan campaign. I remember reading in the L.A. Times how the producers were stating that they changed the character Clay to an avid anti-drug crusading hero instead of the bisexual, morally confused coked-out protagonist Ellis' novel made him out to be.

What a waste. This movie is ridiculous, containing absolutely none of the ambience of the novel. Instead we get stupid visuals (a party with 20 TVs all stacked up on one another, an idiotic fight at a party in Palm Springs with beautiful coked-out people looking on), that lend little to promote the plot. Essential characters from the novel (like Trent) that could have helped explain the relationships are missing. It's almost as if the screenwriters intentionally tried to make this movie as illogical as possible.

I met Ellis' sister once. She told me that Bret was so embarrassed by what they did to his film that he refused to go to the premiere. Can anyone blame him?


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