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Bright Young Things (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  3 October 2003 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,215 users   Metascore: 64/100
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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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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?


"Bright Young Things" was the working title of "Vile Bodies", the book upon 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: Nina, I'm afraid I shan't be able to marry you after all.
See more »


Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »


Get Out & Get Under
Performed by Gerioli Organ
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User Reviews

An Excellent Adaptation
12 June 2004 | by (Cambridge, England) – See all my reviews

Having seen this film at the cinema and thoroughly enjoyed it I purchased it on DVD and then read the book so as to better judge whether the comments that the film was an exceedingly loose adaptation were true. It is certainly true that Fry hasn't stuck to the narrative strictly but the changes he made in the name of good cinema were overwhelmingly the right ones and he actually managed to bring forward some entertaining background characters and relegate some fairly tedious ones. For example Lord Monomark who is a Canadian Newspaper magnate shamelessly based on Lord Beverbrook is rairly mentioned in the book but is superbly played by Dan Ackroyd in the film whilst the PM Walter Outrage who features heavily in Waughs novel is barely mentioned in the film and rightly so as the character in the novel is a complicated amalgamation of contemporary politics (i.e Ramsay Mcdonald and Bonar Law)that even I having studied the period extensively found heavy going. Also whilst the ending is contrived to be too happy it is a marginal improvement on the novel in my opinion which doesn't seem to conclude the book very well. Overall a superb film with excellent production values and peerless period feel for which Stephen Fry should be commended. I just hope that he has a stab at at adapting Decline and Fall which is another excellent Waugh novel.

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