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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)
3,377 ( 383)
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 an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), Morgan Freeman confessed he had never seen the actual movie. See more »


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 »


Sir Gerald Moore: I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this four-year-old child came alone, dragging a little toy cart. And on the cart was a fresh turd. Her own, I suppose. The parents just shook their heads and smiled. I've made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and money, and it's not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile. But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it. We flush it away. We don't put it on the table and call it caviar.
See more »


Referenced in New York at the Movies (2002) See more »


The Storm Is Passing Over
Written by Herbert Robinson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This movie surely offended people but, forgetting PCness, is excellent and very funny.
5 February 2000 | by (Hackettstown, NJ) – See all my reviews

This is a funny film that digs at people who do take advantage of race to further their own agenda. It is not PC at all. Frankly, it is every bit as good as the book. See it with honest friends of more than one race and they will all be laughing out loud and naming one or more persons who might be portrayed. The acting is generally outstanding and the cast is first rate.


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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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