Bright Young Things (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  3 October 2003 (UK)
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An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies," is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.



(screenplay), (novel)
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10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Melrose Ape
Customs Officer
Lord Monomark
Ginger Littlejohn
The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
King of Anatolia


A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount. He's a novelist with a hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date: he trades in gossip, wins money on wagers then gives it to a drunken major who's suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sex... Scandal... Celebrity... Some things never change.


Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agria niata  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (UK) (3 October 2003)


$931,755 (USA) (12 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first (and as yet only) film directed by Stephen Fry. See more »


A gramophone record of Noel Coward's "Nina" is played in the section before World War II breaks out. Coward didn't record the song until 1945. See more »


Miles: Oh my dears, listen. This is the this-most of them all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits list the actors one or two at a time, showing pictures of their characters in the film along with their names. See more »


Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #2.10 (2002) See more »


Running Wild
Performed by The Not So Bright Young Things
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User Reviews

A must-see
1 August 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

What a fantastic movie, delightfully charming, unrelentingly affable and irresistibly likable. Brilliant acting, excellent realisation and direction; this movie was a joy to watch. A bittersweet love story interwoven with a hilarious array of eccentric English upper class characters from the early 20th century.

Watch out for many faces in small but unforgettable parts, I especially adored Dan Aykroyd's, Michael Sheen's and Jim Broadbent's characters. Fenella Woolgar was also perfect and immensely likable in her role as the dazed and confused but eternally cheerful and optimistic eccentric. Emily Mortimer was flawless as the English rose stuck between marrying money or sticking with her penniless true love. There was palpable chemistry between her and Stephen Campbell Moore's character, which made the whole story work for me.

And of course Peter O'Toole steals the film with barely five minutes of total screen time, but that's the kind of talent he was gifted with. Watch it if you enjoy witty dialogue, period pieces and don't you dare miss it if you're a Stephen Fry fan. He is a very funny man and his direction which remains always affectionate towards the characters he's portraying in his movie, was impressive given he's better known as an actor and writer.

If you liked this movie, you would also like:

  • Enchanted April - A Month By The Lake - Widows Peak - In The Bleak

Midwinter - A Room With A View

All of these are in my list of top ten favourite films of all time. Bright Young Things just misses the mark to join them, but it's definitely in my top twenty.

41 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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