5.5/10
19,014
121 user 40 critic

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Albert Fox
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Norman Parker ...
Det. Goldberg
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,216,063, 21 December 1990

Gross USA:

$15,691,192
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

This film is the second time that a Tom Wolfe novel has been adapted for the big screen. The previous one was The Right Stuff (1983). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

D.A. Abe Weiss: Yesterday I was a respected Jewish liberal. Ten minutes of news like this and all of sudden I'm a hymie racist pig? The Italians are gonna love this. The Irish too. And the WASPS. They love this shit more than anybody. They love laughing at me! All the riches sons of bitches.
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Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, under-rated movie
11 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

(NB - I have not read the book.) Unfairly chastised by the press on release, and too easy to tar as a weak link in De Palma's ouevre, BOTV is better than Wall Street, Working Girl et al. and is still very relevant.

This is an OTT opera where every character is a cynic trying to work an angle, and every action (in a complex story about contacts, smear campaigns, politics and pawns) has an obvious and (most of the time) greedy motivation. BOTV also confronts sex, racism and class clashes with a frankness that most Hollywood movies run a mile from - it is suprisingly frank in it's depiction of these (The exception being that the New York judge had to be, of course, black [Morgan Freeman]. This is something dramatists do to make some of their social opinions seem less controversial since they are being spouted by a man of colour in a white forum.)

On par with His Girl Friday and The Sweet Smell of Success, and possessing an oddball universe Preston Sturges would've been proud of creating, this film is all the more powerful when you actually live in a world kind of like this (and I meet these kinds of people all the time - this is REAL!).

PS - Half an hour was lopped off by the studio after disasterous preview screenings. This movie deserves a DVD director's cut release.


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