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The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  21 December 1990 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 16,375 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 30 critic

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jed Kramer
...
John Hancock ...
Reverend Bacon
...
Tom Killian
...
Albert Fox
Louis Giambalvo ...
Ray Andruitti
Barton Heyman ...
Det. Martin
Norman Parker ...
Det. Goldberg
...
Mr. McCoy
...
Arthur Ruskin
...
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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

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)

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene with the Concord landing at the JFK Airport cost U$30.000 to be made but only lasts for less than 30 seconds on the screen. See more »

Goofs

While Reverend Bacon is accusing District Attorney Abe Weiss, the TV remote control that Weiss is using switches hands between shots. See more »

Quotes

Maria Ruskin: [Maria and Sherman running in the car after take the wrong way and ending up on Bronx] Oh Sherman, LOOK OUT!
Maria Ruskin: Oh Christ, Sherman, we're in the middle of a godamn war zone and you're worried about doing the right thing?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Critic: Episode #1.7 See more »

Soundtracks

Don Giovanni
Serenade in G (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Deserves a better pitch and a better rating
6 July 2003 | by (Middletown NJ) – See all my reviews

The back cover for the DVD calls this movie "hilarious" and "the quintessential story of the go-for-it '80s." In truth, it is neither. The Bonfire of the Vanities is, however, funny in parts, poignant in parts, and entertaining throughout.

The protagonist is Sherman McCoy, a man whose one fatal flaw (an affair we know of from the beginning) leads to the downfall from his envious position as a "Master of the Universe." Tom Hanks gives an excellent performance and shows real emotion in bringing this highly plausible character to life. Unfortunately, his character is the only one with enough depth to be realistic. Even Morgan Freeman's Judge White, representing a refreshing dose of intelligence and honesty in the film, is perhaps too good to be believed. All of the other characters are mere caricatures, appearing too greedy, too pretentious, too self-absorbed, or too flighty to be believed. Bruce Willis might have made himself an exception as well, but I feel he simply lacked enough screen time to flesh out the different faces he had to show.

Nevertheless the story is very well told. If the other characters appear less than convincing, accept them as colorful background for McCoy, who is the real focus anyway. There are numerous laughs, and the other characters represent elements that are definitely present in society - even if not to the extent shown here. Wolfe's story is entertaining enough to make this movie worth seeing. And it might even make you think twice about the names you see next time you open a newspaper.

7 / 10 stars.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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racist movie ap1704
Bruce Willis ashamed of 'Bonfire of the Vanities' chrish2
This movie is SO underrated fbeato
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