Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »

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(book) (as Benjamin Stein), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lenny Brown
...
...
Joel Miller
...
Max Sherman
Kelle Kerr ...
Rochelle
...
Ned
...
Barbara
...
Sheryl
Marc Poppel ...
Mark
Fred McCarren ...
Tom
...
Helen
Libby Boone ...
Delores
Greg Deason ...
Michael
...
Surfer
June Chandler ...
Secretary
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Storyline

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to turn. His friend, Joel, introduces him to cocaine to give Lenny that needed "boost". What ensues next is a descent into drug addiction and insanity as Lenny tries to regain control of his life, all the while needing that extra "boost". Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine having all the power, passion and pleasure money can buy. Now imagine losing them. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Preis des Erfolges  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$784,990 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is based on a book by Ben Stein of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) fame. The book, published in 1983, is titled "'Ludes: A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream" and is about the abuse of Quaaludes (methaqualone) rather than cocaine as in the movie. Supposedly based on a friend of Stein's who met his ruin through the abuse of Quaaludes in the 70's and 80's, the action in the movie follows almost exactly the action of the book, even down to some of the dialogue. See more »

Goofs

When Lenny and Linda are in the pool, we see Linda from behind, and her wet hair is completely swept back behind her right ear, but as the camera angle changes to a front view, her right ear is now half-covered with wet hair. See more »

Quotes

Linda: I'm not gonna SIT here and watch you KILL yourself!
See more »

Connections

References Svengali (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Woods best ever
17 July 1999 | by (anaheim, ca) – See all my reviews

Most people say James Woods best might be "The Onion Field," or maybe "Once Upon a Time in America," or possibly "Salvador." But this gets my vote for the best work in his career, as he's an absolute powerhouse. He plays Lenny, an ambitious businessman who gets his chance to move to L.A., live in a kick ass house, own great cars, and obviously make amazing money. But then the hole falls through his tax shelter venture and he's left with nothing. But he finds new life with cocaine, the thing he thinks makes him more aggressive and will get him back on top. Instead he and his wife keep heading down, unbelievably down in utterly convincing, strongly developed scenes. The houses get smaller, the money gets scarcer, and Lenny gets more near death. Woods' best scene ever, in my opinion, occurs in this movie, when he violently explodes during a business dinner, totally ruining any chances he had. The way he so quickly says his lines, is amazing. He's incredibly wired throughout the moment and its awesome to watch. The only downside for me is the end of the film, which doesn't lead to a redemption for Lenny. Woods is still as strung out as ever, and has a terrific final moment as he reads directly into the camera the pain his character is still feeling. So despite a downer (no pun) of a finish, this is still great storytelling, with James Woods at his strongest.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Drug Movies of the 80's martlovesmovies
I can't believe Ben Stein wrote a movie about coke hooligan17
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creepy blackholeroses
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This was alright, but it would have been better if mcshane_steve
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