Bright Young Things (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  3 October 2003 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,254 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 64 user | 63 critic | 32 from

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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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 film is produced by Doubting Hall Productions, reflecting Colonel Blount's (resident of Doubting Hall) foray into film-making in Evelyn Waugh's "Vile Bodies", the book on which the film is based. See more »


A television aerial can be seen on the right hand rooftops in the external shot of the hotel that Adam and Nina stay at. See more »


Adam Fenwick-Symes: I say, this could be rather fun. I could even make up fashions. If I can't get Archie Shwert to wear suede shoes within a month, you can call me Diedre in public.
Nina Blount: Yellow suede shoes.
Adam Fenwick-Symes: Oh, Nina darling! You are a genius! And green bowler hats.
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 »


Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »


Bright Young Strings
Performed by Shaila Kanga
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User Reviews

An Age of Excess Revisited
8 April 2006 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

A most notable characteristic of this film is that it rather zanily merges the 1920's with the 1930's. That historical distortion may seem a slight defect to some viewers choosing to concentrate on a broader stage involving the upper class in its last throes of excess, but for me it destroys the underlying plot. The years before the Great Depression -- the Roaring 20's -- were sui generis. Moving everything forward to events as late as 1940 is a forced element that simply fails.

Otherwise, there are some bright young moments here. Character actors do indeed steal the show, even if some are given throw-away roles. If only there were better and more believable development of various interactions between the leads, it would make for compelling drama; but we are treated instead to campy olio resolving itself into a strange conclusion, somewhat surreal. For example, the business between Adam and Ginger having to do with money as WWII rages on is misplaced farce -- even if the audience assumes a generous disposition of credulity.

Little wonder outsiders looking in have a difficult time with this film, not to mention us history buffs.

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