5.7/10
6,735
42 user 30 critic

Bright Lights, Big City (1988)

R | | Drama | 1 April 1988 (USA)
A disillusioned young writer living in New York City turns to drugs and drinking to block out the memories of his dead mother and estranged wife.

Director:

James Bridges

Writers:

Jay McInerney (novel), Jay McInerney (screenplay)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael J. Fox ... Jamie
Kiefer Sutherland ... Tad
Phoebe Cates ... Amanda
Swoosie Kurtz ... Megan
Frances Sternhagen ... Clara
Tracy Pollan ... Vicky
John Houseman ... Mr. Vogel
Charlie Schlatter ... Michael
David Warrilow David Warrilow ... Rittenhouse
Dianne Wiest ... Mother
Alec Mapa ... Yasu Wade
William Hickey ... Ferret Man
Gina Belafonte ... Kathy
Sam Robards ... Rich Vanier
Bernard Zette Bernard Zette ... Stevie (as Zette)
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Storyline

Jamie Conway (Michael J. Fox) is an aspiring writer and yuppie living in New York City who seeks oblivion in cocaine and the glittery nightclub scene as his life falls apart (his wife leaves him, his mother dies, etc.). With his hard-partying friend Tad Allagash (Kiefer Sutherland) tagging along with him during their nights out, Jamie finds it increasingly difficult to show up every day at his unfulfilling job as a fast checker for a literary Manhattan magazine. Written by Larry B.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All that glitters is not gold. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die grellen Lichter der Großstadt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,126,791, 1 April 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,118,077
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers shot two different endings, one where Jamie decides to start his life all over and an alternate one--to please the studio--in which he has finished writing a novel to be called "Bright Lights, Big City" with a new girlfriend, who is proud of what he has written. See more »

Goofs

During Jamie's story of his relationship with Amanda to Megan his wineglass goes from half-full to empty in less than two seconds, while he's speaking. See more »

Quotes

Ferret Man: Wanna buy a ferret?
Jamie Conway: No, thanks.
Ferret Man: His name is Fred...
See more »


Soundtracks

Century's End
Performed by Donald Fagen
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Donald Fagen & Gary Katz
Words by Donald Fagen & Timothy Meher
Music by Donald Fagen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Glitzy nights of excitement and sex, big apple style, hide a not so bright world of drug abuse
27 November 2013 | by videorama-759-859391See all my reviews

This is one of my favourite Michael J Fox movies. We really get to see him in a dramatic role, though I hadn't bothered with that turkey, Light Of Day. This refreshingly original film was something totally different totally for me, a hard hitting drama that plays well on screen, though it might of not had the impact, the novel intended. An R rating slapped on, as a few were back in the day, supposedly for drug use, like Fox's bleeding nostril when he does too much coke, didn't make much sense. We see two hot women kissing in a cubicle, when Jamie (Fox) walks in then quickly retreats, spouting a funny response of dialogue, in that great comic timing of his. Could this be another reason. Whatever it is, nothing should of stopped people under 18 from seeing this. Jamie Conway's life is a mess, which he refuses to acknowledge. The first anniversary of his mother's passing is coming up. His beautiful model girlfriend (Cates-really) a heartless b..ch has reappeared in his life, choosing a career over a sunken Jamie. His prim and demanding boss, an editor of a magazine, an old hag, is pushing him to finish an article, where he'd rather be doing drugs, or trying to write that aspiring never to published novel. Also little brother has just popped into town. As an anti drug movie, this one works well. In the face of mishap, loss, whatever, drugs are not the solution, and it doesn't help when you're swayed by slime bag friends. Fox does well, though he's not great. Though really, he's never been as good an actor as people have been led to believe. Shining performances comes from Cates and Sutherland. Robards was fun to watch too, and Wiest was great as always, as Fox's mother, seen in flashbacks, that we're a bit heavily laid on. BLBC is an engrossing, if intriguing drama about young 80's New Yorkers, and the drug and disco scene, and we can't forget the coma baby. The scene with Fox again confronting Cates who says to him in casual tone, "How are ya?" where Fox is just thunderstruck, and crashes back against a transvestite, is probably one of three memorable moments. But Fox fan should like it. Well made drama, that should be viewed time and time again, even for under 18's.


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