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Bright Young Things (2003)

 -  Comedy | Drama | War  -  3 October 2003 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 3,956 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 64 user | 65 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Miles
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...
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Mrs. Melrose Ape
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Customs Officer
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...
Agatha
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Lord Monomark
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Bruno Lastra ...
Basilio
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Ginger Littlejohn
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The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Judge
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King of Anatolia
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

money | novelist | major | 1930s | horse | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agria niata  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$46,926 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$931,755 (USA) (12 November 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Interior scenes set in Espinosa's restaurant were filmed in Eltham Palace, London. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Radetzky March
Performed by H.M. Band of the Royal Marines
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User Reviews

Manic Depressive.
24 March 2008 | by (gateshead,tyne and wear, england, uk) – See all my reviews

The film Bright Young Things, adapted from Evelyne Waugh's acclaimed fable; Vile Bodies is manic in its pace. As such it is reminiscent of His Girl Friday (1940) with its legendary speed of comedy delivery. The difference with His Girl Friday the speed of the comedy delivery is applied to loquaciousness with a bit of slap stick. Director Stephen Fry of Bright Young Things on the other hand utilises speed to articulate the decadence of the period. As such he is affective in his endeavour of making his point of a decadent aristocracy.

The depressing aspect of the film is that the aristocracy are portrayed as decadent party animals, unlike the poor who in their pursuit of escaping their worries are (in today's post modern Britain) often labelled as 'feckless' by the tabloid press. But as the impoverished poor struggled to feed themselves across Europe during the inter-war period, the aristocracy idly carried on without social conscience or obligation to responsibility. Such decadence at the expense of the poor contributed towards the rise of extreme politics in Europe during the 1920s.

Contributing to the masses' public perception of the idle rich decadence of the inter-war period was the tabloid press. The press baron in the film is shown as suppressing the realities of the issues affecting the ordinary people of Britain for profit, and thereby concealing truth.

While Fry adeptly captures the decadence of the 20s in Bright Young Things, Peter O'Toole steels the film with his outstanding satirising of the stereotypical English eccentric. As the eccentric of the upper classes O'Toole's character Colnol Blout is the epitome of English two faced diplomacy of the ruling classes. The example being when he writes a cheque out for £1000 to help his prospective son-in-law to marry his daughter, when he signs it in the name of Charlie Chaplin. A typical English snub no less!

Excellent film, well acted and brilliantly directed.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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