5.5/10
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118 user 38 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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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Sally Field, Tom Hanks, John Goodman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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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
Barton Heyman ...
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)

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

Tom Killian is based upon Edward Hayes. Critics have suggested Christopher Hitchens or Anthony Hayden-Guest as the basis for Peter Fallow, though Guest and Hitchens have both noted the former shares more similarities with the character. 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

Ed Rifkin: Henry Lamb. Who's that?
Peter Fallow: He was a student of yours at Ruppert High. In your English class.
Ed Rifkin: He was? What's he done?
Peter Fallow: He hasn't done anything. He's been seriously injured. I'm a reporter, I work for a newspaper.
Ed Rifkin: Well, I don't remember him.
Peter Fallow: I'm trying to find what kind of student he was?
Ed Rifkin: If I don't remember him, I guess he was okay.
Peter Fallow: You say he was a good student?
Ed Rifkin: Good doesn't really apply at Ruppert High. They're either cooperative or life-threatening.
Peter Fallow: Well they say he was going to college.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade in G (Eine kleine Nachtmusik)
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This is what I call an honest movie.
1 May 2005 | by (Riga, Latvia) – See all my reviews

After reading a large number of negative reviews, it finally became clear to me why this movie is so widely hated - because it honestly depicts the modern biased race-based American society, in which uneducated crowds are ready to devour an honest person, and punish him for a crime he didn't commit. The acting is great, Tom Hanks does an admirable job, however,it isn't acting which makes the movie great. The superb directing, creating realistic and horrible scenes of dirty political games and black (literally) PR, capture my attention. So, to sum up, a brilliant political satire. The movie could make a laughable comedy, if it wasn't so terrifying...


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