IMDb > Bright Lights, Big City (1988)
Bright Lights, Big City
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Bright Lights, Big City (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Jay McInerney (novel)
Jay McInerney (screenplay)
View company contact information for Bright Lights, Big City on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 April 1988 (USA) See more »
All that glitters is not gold. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
Roberts Ended Writer's Marriage
 (From WENN. 12 July 2007)

User Reviews:
Time Capsule Theater See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael J. Fox ... Jamie Conway

Kiefer Sutherland ... Tad Allagash

Phoebe Cates ... Amanda

Swoosie Kurtz ... Megan

Frances Sternhagen ... Clara

Tracy Pollan ... Vicky

John Houseman ... Mr. Vogel

Charlie Schlatter ... Michael
David Warrilow ... Rittenhouse

Dianne Wiest ... Mother

Alec Mapa ... Yasu Wade

William Hickey ... Ferret Man
Gina Belafonte ... Kathy

Sam Robards ... Rich Vanier
Bernard Zette ... Stevie (as Zette)
Marika Blossfeldt ... Bald Girl

Jessica Lundy ... Theresa

Kelly Lynch ... Elaine
Peter Boyden ... Maitre d'

Annabelle Gurwitch ... Barbara
Russell Horton ... Walter Tyler

Maria Pitillo ... Pony Tail Girl

Susan Traylor ... Leather Lady
Michael Fischetti ... Mannequin Craftsman
Harvey Waldman ... Deli Man

David Hyde Pierce ... Bartender at Fashion Show
Jim Babchak ... Bartender at Disco
Peg Murray ... Receptionist
Barbara Rucker ... Elegant Lady
Pat Santino ... Security Guard

Mike Bacarella ... Bakery Man
Josie Bell ... Runway Model
Anne Bezamat ... Runway Model
Alva Chinn ... Runway Model
Dianne De Witt ... Runway Model (as Dianne de Witt)
Nathalie Gabrielli ... Runway Model
Jennifer Houser ... Runway Model
Lynn Howland ... Runway Model
Sheila Johnson ... Runway Model
Melanie Landestoy ... Runway Model
Marisol Massey ... Runway Model
Andrea Sande ... Runway Model (as Andréa Sande)
Malio ... Runway Model (as Maud)
Maria von Hartz ... Runway Model
Joko Zohrer ... Runway Model
Marvin Braverman ... Additional Voices (voice)
Thomas Brunelle ... Additional Voices (voice) (as Tom Brunelle)
Leigh French ... Additional Voices (voice)

Nicholas Guest ... Additional Voices (voice)
Fred Newman ... Additional Voices (voice)
Luisa Leschin ... Additional Voices (voice)

Andrew Masset ... Additional Voices (voice)

Anna Mathias ... Additional Voices (voice)
Tracy Newman ... Additional Voices (voice)

Reni Santoni ... Additional Voices (voice)

Wendy Schaal ... Additional Voices (voice)

Jonathan Stark ... Additional Voices (voice)
Arnold F. Turner ... Additional Voices (voice) (as Arnold Turner)
Claudette Wells ... Additional Voices (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edward Burke ... Bar Patron (uncredited)

Wayne Keeley ... Bartender (uncredited)

Gary McNerney ... Bar Patron (uncredited)

Antony Platt ... Press Photographer-Fashion Show (uncredited)

Jason Robards ... Drunken Writer - Mr. Hardy (uncredited)

Greg Cope White ... Dancer (uncredited)

Dondre Whitfield ... Brian Jones (uncredited)

Directed by
James Bridges 
Writing credits
Jay McInerney (novel)

Jay McInerney (screenplay)

Produced by
Jack Larson .... associate producer
Gerald R. Molen .... executive producer
Sydney Pollack .... producer
Mark Rosenberg .... producer
Original Music by
Donald Fagen 
Cinematography by
Gordon Willis (director of photography)
Film Editing by
George Berndt 
John Bloom 
Casting by
Mary Colquhoun 
Production Design by
Santo Loquasto 
Art Direction by
Tom Warren  (as Thomas C. Warren)
Set Decoration by
George DeTitta Jr.  (as George Detitta)
Costume Design by
Bernie Pollack 
Makeup Department
Romaine Greene .... hair stylist (as Romaine Green)
Bernadette Mazur .... makeup artist
Craig Lyman .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Robin Forman Howard .... post-production supervisor (as Robin Forman)
Ted Kurdyla .... assistant unit production manager
Gerald R. Molen .... unit production manager
Michael Badalucco .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gina Leonetti .... dga trainee
David McGiffert .... first assistant director
Barbara M. Ravis .... second second assistant director (as Barbara Ravis)
Stephen Wertimer .... second assistant director
Nelson Cabrera .... second second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Michael Badalucco .... assistant property master (as Mike Badalucco)
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
James Mazzola .... property master (as Jim Mazzola)
Arne Olsen .... construction grip
Ron Petagna .... construction coordinator (as Ronald Petagna)
Jefferson Sage .... assistant art director
Cosmo Sorice .... stand-by scenic artist
James Sorice .... master scenic artist (as Jim Sorice)
Dave Weinman .... set dresser
Gilbert S. Williams .... assistant to production designer (as Gil Williams)
Gerald DeTitta .... set dresser (uncredited)
Frank Didio .... head carpenter (uncredited)
Thomas M. Southern .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gary Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer
Michael Bedard .... sound recordist (as Mike Bedard)
Pamela Bentkowski .... sound effects editor
George Berndt .... adr editor
Brian M. Chic .... sound apprentice (as Brian Chic)
Teri E. Dorman .... dialogue editor (as Teri Dorman)
Ann Ducommun .... sound assistant
Susan Dudeck .... dialogue editor
John Duvall .... foley editor
Douglas Greenfield .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Spike Allison Hooper .... sound assistant
Chris Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Laura Krumholz .... sound apprentice
Les Lazarowitz .... production sound mixer
Skip Lievsay .... sound supervisor
Martin Maryska .... sound effects editor
James Matheny .... sound effects editor (as Jim Matheny)
Linda Murphy .... boom operator
Steve Pederson .... sound re-recording mixer
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Ralph Stuart .... sound assistant
Peter Michael Sullivan .... sound assistant (as Peter Sullivan)
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Kelly Lepkowsky .... animatronics (uncredited)
Charles Croughwell .... stunt double: Michael J. Fox (uncredited)
Rick Shaw .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Connors .... best boy (as Bob Conners)
Tom Gilligan .... grip
Louis Goldman .... still photographer
Douglas C. Hart .... first assistant camera (as Doug Hart)
Chaim Kantor .... second assistant camera
Bobby Mancuso .... camera trainee
Richard Quinlan .... chief lighting technician (as Dick Quinlan)
Ed Quinn .... key grip
Donald Sweeney .... camera operator (as Don Sweeney)
Raymond Fortune .... electrician (uncredited)
Billy Kerwick .... best boy grip (uncredited)
Thomas Landi .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Michael Colberg .... casting assistant
Judie Fixler .... additional casting: Todd Thaler Casting (as Julie Fixler)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
William A. Campbell .... costumer: men
Hope Hanafin .... assistant costume designer
Melissa Stanton .... costumer: women (as Melissa Adzima-Stanton)
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Maryann Brandon .... assistant film editor
Peter B. Ellis .... apprentice film editor (as Peter Ellis)
Ed Stabile .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Richard Alderson .... scoring engineer
Joseph S. DeBeasi .... playback music editor (as Joe De Beasi)
Donald Fagen .... orchestrator
Benny Medina .... music consultant: Warner Bros. Records
Rob Mounsey .... composer: additional music
Rob Mounsey .... orchestrator
Michael Ostin .... music consultant: Warner Bros. Records
Joel Sill .... executive music producer
Curt Sobel .... music editor
Wayne Yurgelun .... scoring engineer
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
Chris Floberg .... assistant music mixer: orchestra (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Thomas Buckman .... transportation co-captain (as Tom Buckman)
James Giblin .... transportation captain (as Jim Giblin)
Other crew
Dennis T. Benatar .... location staff (as Dennis Benatar)
Julie Bergman Sender .... assistant to producers (as Julie Bergman)
Nicholas Bernstein .... location staff
Tom Cassidy .... security: Mr. Fox
Cynthia Cox .... assistant production coordinator (as Cynthia 'C.C.' Cox)
James Davis .... location staff
Michael DeCasper .... production assistant (as Michael De Casper)
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Edward A. Ioffreda .... production assistant (as Edward Ioffreda)
Harriette Kanew .... production coordinator (as Harriette G. Kanew)
Linda Labov .... secretary to producer
Erica Lawson .... assistant: Mr. Fox
John A. Machione .... assistant auditor
Penny McCarthy .... assistant: Mr. Bridges
Douglas S. Ornstein .... production assistant
Donna Ostroff .... secretary to producer
Brian Pulido .... production assistant
Ken Ryan .... auditor
Donna Santora .... accounting assistant
Stephanie Saunders .... assistant: Mr. Bridges
Barbara Stoia .... script supervisor
Ted Casablanca .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Charlie McNamara .... production assistant: locations department (uncredited)
Marge Sperling .... production assistant (uncredited)
Ari Taub .... assistant location coordinator (uncredited)
Jack Alexander .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the support of: Oscar de la Renta Ltd.
Rosangela Brea .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the support of: Oscar de la Renta Ltd.
Christina Campanaro .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the support of: Oscar de la Renta Ltd.
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Chris Walas (special effects: coma baby) (as Chris Walas, Inc.)
Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Color (DuArt)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Australia:MA (Cable TV rating) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:-16 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:16 | Norway:15 | Portugal:M/18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2003) | UK:18 (video rating) (1989) | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

The film was made and released about four years after its source novel of the same name by Jay McInerney had been first published in 1984. The book was also an inspiration for a rock musical of the same name, which premiered in 1999 and later went on to be a studio album.See more »
Errors in geography: When Jamie (Michael J. Fox) runs from his brother who's been waiting for him on Jamie's stoop, he enters the Christopher Street station of NYC's 1 train. But when the camera shows him on the subway platform he's actually at the 42nd Street/Times Square station.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 »
Movie Connections:
Kiss & TellSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Time Capsule Theater, 7 April 2012
Author: Ralphus2 from South Korea

I won't bother with recounting the plot--plenty of others here have done that--but I will give some thoughts from the perspective of a 40-something who remembers fondly the movie and the times from whence it came.

I remember hating this movie when I first saw it back in the day. I'd read half the novel and hated that too. My main memory of both of them, oddly enough, was the Coma Baby. It features heavily in the book but somewhat less so in the movie.

Watching it again so many years later and so many years out from the 80s, I was surprised to find myself enjoying it. Perhaps it was a nostalgia thing. My mind was certainly flooding with associated memories. 1988 was the year I finished high school. I was soon to leave my little red-neck country town and move to the big smoke where a whole new life would begin (and there have been at least three more since then!).

Some positives: I'm a huge Donald Fagen/Steely Dan fan, so Fagen's soundtrack was appreciated. It doesn't really sound like his regular stuff (until the very end), and was, frankly, often quite cheesy and even out of place at times. But I convinced myself I liked it. Other Fagen fans may also. The movie really grabs the 80s very effectively. Nightclubs, hair, blow, the whole bit. There is a surprising appearance from the wonderful Jason Robards which, shamefully, is uncredited according to IMDb. Considering the size of his role this is kind of odd.

Negatives: Phoebe Cates seemed completely unconvincing as a model and Michael J. Fox was completely unconvincing as a...sorry, but, a grown-up. He's never really any different from how he was in Back to the Future or even Family Ties. He's still all got up in jeans and a suit jacket, skipping all over the place, and gulping, "Shucks" (at least seemingly). No disrespect to the guy. Just that this movie reminds that he was never so well suited to anything with pretensions to being serious. And that last point sums up the problems with this film: it eventually becomes apparent that the movie is trying to be taken seriously. It just doesn't work though. A pretentious novel as starting place doesn't help. Ham acting and cheese dialog don't help none neither.

Still, an enjoyable time capsule. Kiefer does OK as wise-a** friend. The wonderful Frances Sternhagen, an appearance from the then-soon-to-be-late John Houseman, and even the magnificent William Hickey. Tracy Pollan is gorgeous and Swoosie Kurtz is her usual charming self. The ending is quite poignant, featuring Dianne Wiest, but isn't enough to really justify getting there.

If you're 40-something, watch this with ice cream and snacks on a lazy weekday evening. If you're younger or older than that...probably don't bother, coz it ain't really that great.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (35 total) »

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What's up with the low rating?? barrs6
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The ending stanlee666
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