5.7/10
6,456
39 user 26 critic

Bright Lights, Big City (1988)

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 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 book "Bright Lights, Big City" is one of the few well-known novels in the English language written in second person ("you") form, and the film's narration is a result of this adaptation. Much of the narration is lifted directly or adapted from the novel; for example, the movie's first line, "You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning . . . " is also the first line of the book. See more »

Goofs

When Jamie (Michael J. Fox) runs from his brother who's been waiting for him on Jamie's stoop, he enters the Christopher Street station of NYC's 1 train. But when the camera shows him on the subway platform he's actually at the 42nd Street/Times Square station. See more »

Quotes

Jamie Conway: There's a certain shabby nobility in failing all by myself.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Pulls Off a Heist! (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Obsessed
Performed by The Noise Club
Produced by Oliver Leiber
Words & Music by Oliver Leiber
See more »

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User Reviews

 
takes place in all the cleanest bathrooms in NY
22 April 2011 | by fateslieutenantSee all my reviews

A lot of the scenes take place in nightclub restrooms and other bathrooms. This is where the characters snort their coke, and stare at their own disappointed faces. What's remarkable for NYC in the 80s (in any decade, really) is that every single toilet stall and urinal is fantastically clean. I take this as a symbol for the movie as a whole - all rather sanitized.

It's not bad, but the plot falls off rather suddenly at the end. Some viewers might not notice, of course, since nothing was ever that worrying, in any case: it's all too well-scrubbed. All the main character ever has to do to fix things is tell his friends he's going to go home and get a good night's sleep. It's hard on a movie when the big question is "will he nap, or won't he?"


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