Bright Lights, Big City (1988)

R  |   |  Drama  |  1 April 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 5,601 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 26 critic

A disillusioned young writer living in New York City turns to drugs and drinking to block out the memories of his dead mother and estranged wife.



(novel), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Vogel
David Warrilow ...
Yasu Wade
Ferret Man
Gina Belafonte ...
Rich Vanier
Bernard Zette ...
Stevie (as Zette)


Kansas kid Jamie Conway got employed in Gotham Magazine by claiming himself "fluent in French" but actually he was a French amateur himself. Jamie was a drug addict himself due to his wife leaving him and go Paris for her fashion show but she did not find him when she came back to New York. Finally Jamie lost his job due to a French message 4 mistakes. Megan was worried about Jamie and comforted Jamie about Amanda's leaving. Conversely, Jamie's friend introduced Vicky to Jamie and finally Vicky replaced Amanda and become Jamie's best female friend. Jamie finally realized that life can be very optimistic, just depends on how you think about your life, and how you wish to decorate your life. Written by Kazuha

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's a long way from Kansas. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die grellen Lichter der Großstadt  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$16,118,077 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actors Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, and Rob Lowe were all considered for the role of Allagash which in the end was cast with Kiefer Sutherland. See more »


During Jamie's story of his relationship with Amanda to Megan his wineglass goes from half-full to empty in less than two seconds, while he's speaking. See more »


Drunken Writer: [rambling on aimlessly to himself] ... Siamese fighting fish in the water cooler... the old crew in the golden days of this magazine would have thought of it.
See more »


Remade as Bright Lights, Big City See more »


Vivaldi's Concerto in C Major For Guitar & Strings
Performed by Solisti di Zagreb (as I Solisti Di Zagreb), Alirio Diaz, Guitar, Antonio Janigro,
Courtesy of Vanguard Records
A division of The Welk Records Group
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User Reviews

Don't bother. Really. Don't even bother.
8 April 2003 | by (parts unknown) – See all my reviews

I read the original book for a Freshman English class, and was enthralled by a unique character study from a Second Person perspective. Then, the teacher showed us this, and now I understand why "film snobs" always complain "The book was better." In this case, it most certainly IS. There's a major plot point toward the end of the book (which I won't mention here, not so I won't spoil the movie, but the book), that puts all that you read into perspective and makes it all worthwhile. Here, the point is revealed in the first 5 minutes, and it ruins any reason to sit through this motion picture. Instead of reading and wondering "Why is he like this?," which was one of the main reasons the book was such a page-turner, the movie tells you why he does it, and you just sit there and watch him do it, knowing why. Remember how people say they hate people who reveal the endings to things? Well, this movie just up and DOES IT ITSELF! If you still want to see the movie, first read the book, then have some fun with friends picking apart this mish-mosh of a noble failure.

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Couldn't finish it. matthewcs25
What's up with the low rating?? barrs6
Great Acting and Movie, But Needed One Edit denise1234
heart breaking ton_tongue_toffee
The ending stanlee666
book, anyone? readbaby2000
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