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The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

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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.


(as Brian DePalma)


(screenplay), (novel)
4,660 ( 1,283)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


An Outrageous Story of Greed, Lust and Vanity in America See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La hoguera de las vanidades  »

Box Office


$47,000,000 (estimated)


$15,691,192 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the film, Bronx District Attorney and candidate for New York City Mayor Abe Weiss states that he hopes the city's black voters see him as the "first black District Attorney of Bronx County." In fact, in November 1988 (two years before the film was released), Judge Robert T. Johnson was elected the first black district attorney of the Bronx, a position he still holds. See more »


Before cuckold Arthur Ruskin dies in the restaurant, his cocktail glass alternates from between his hands to outside his hands. See more »


D.A. Abe Weiss: We are gonna prove to these black motherfuckers... pardon my language, Howard. We are going to prove to this niggers that this administration loves them! No matter what it takes. I am no racist hymie! By November, they're are going be thinking of me as the first black district attorney of Bronx County. Huh?
Jed Kramer: Yeah.
D.A. Abe Weiss: They're gonna beg for me to be mayor. We're gonna walk away with that election!
Jed Kramer: No question.
D.A. Abe Weiss: That's what we're gonna do!
Jed Kramer: Yes!
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Hudson Hawk (2010) See more »


That's Life
Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What was wrong with this movie to get such bad reviews? I actually liked it.
24 November 2003 | by (Conn) – See all my reviews

Bonfire of the vanities. A movie that has the reputation of being awful. I didn't think so. I saw it a long time ago but liked it. I have heard so much about how bad this movie was and never understood why. It isn't the best movie definitely not but there are so many BAD movies-this movie had a message (a pretty sad one) and the story was Involving. My attention was captured. I wanted to see what would happen next.

This movie is so true to life. There ARE people out there whose actions would be worse then some in this movie. People whose lives are motivated by greed. (The worst bad movie out there that I've seen that tells the story of truly horrendous people motivated by greed and power is "in the company of men". Much more unpleasant then this movie.) This movie, I GUESS is controversial, not considered as good as the book and maybe it was ahead of its time. I think it's worth seeing though and would give it a 7.

67 of 77 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
Worst adaptation of a book I have ever seen. deadlyledley
One of the three most underrated films of all time prognathous
What is your favorite scene? seilcho7
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