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The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

After his mistress runs over a young teen, a Wall Street hotshot sees his life unravel in the spotlight, and attracting the interest of a down and out reporter.

Director:

(as Brian DePalma)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jed Kramer
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Reverend Bacon
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Tom Killian
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Albert Fox
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Ray Andruitti
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Det. Martin
Norman Parker ...
Det. Goldberg
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Mr. McCoy
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Storyline

Financial "Master of the Universe" Sherman McCoy sees his life unravel when his mistress Maria Ruskin hits a black boy with his car. When yellow journalist Peter Fallow enflames public opinion with a series of distorted tabloid articles on the accident, the case is seized upon by opportunists like Reverend Bacon and mayoral candidate D.A. Abe Weiss. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Take one Wall Street tycoon, his Fifth Avenue mistress, a reporter hungry for fame, and make the wrong turn in The Bronx...then sit back and watch the sparks fly. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La hoguera de las vanidades  »

Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,216,063 (USA) (21 December 1990)

Gross:

$15,691,192 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening tracking shot, when Bruce Willis gets in the elevator, Brian De Palma can be seen, dressed up as a security guard. It was technically impossible for the camera crew and Brian to stay off camera in that shot, so De Palma chose to do a cameo there. To be unrecognizable, he shaved off his trademark beard. See more »

Goofs

When McCoy gets off the subway, we see he is riding the number 1 train and he gets off at 77th Street station. First of all, the number 1 train runs on the west side of Manhattan, no where near his Park Avenue residence on the east side, and second, there are no 77th Street stops on the number 1 line. See more »

Quotes

Maria Ruskin: [when she and Sherman end up in Bronx] Sherman... where are all the white people?
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Soundtracks

That's Life
Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
sheer De Palma's brilliance!
1 July 2005 | by (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – See all my reviews

Its a pity people don't get this film, but its a real shame most of the critics do not, either! This is the finest film I've ever seen, De Palma's best by far.

What you need to realize about this film is its complex ironical code. If you cant get the irony, the "movie" will seem pointless to you.

Stylistically, this is De Palma's most remarkable film, built on theatrical acting, pulling the limits of conventional movie acting to the very edge. The whole cast is just brilliant! Follow the camera, its angles and plans; the twisted camera perspective is the most significant technical instrument to produce ironical effect in this film. Everything which is said and done in this film can be observed not only in virtual, but also in metaphorical manner, and that is where rich political symbolics come from.

This is the film which successfully unites political and aesthetic aspect in a lovely and inspired interplay, and it is highly recommended to anyone trying to cultivate his taste.


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