5.7/10
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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 fact 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

Paramount initially showed interest in the novel, but after flying author Jay McInerney to Hollywood, a shake-up in management caused the project to be dropped. Jerry Weintraub and Columbia Pictures commissioned three drafts of a screenplay from McInerney, but the author heard nothing back from him. Ultimately, three years later director James Bridges entered the picture. 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

Drunken Writer: [rambling on aimlessly to himself] ... Siamese fighting fish in the water cooler... the old crew in the golden days of this magazine would have thought of it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenage Caveman (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

BNT Blues
Performed by Bobby Forester
Produced by Donald Fagen
Music by Bobby Forester & Clarence "Tootsie" Bean
Released on the 1993 album "Five by Five"
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't bother. Really. Don't even bother.
8 April 2003 | by JKazooSee all my reviews

I read the original book for a Freshman English class, and was enthralled by a unique character study from a Second Person perspective. Then, the teacher showed us this, and now I understand why "film snobs" always complain "The book was better." In this case, it most certainly IS. There's a major plot point toward the end of the book (which I won't mention here, not so I won't spoil the movie, but the book), that puts all that you read into perspective and makes it all worthwhile. Here, the point is revealed in the first 5 minutes, and it ruins any reason to sit through this motion picture. Instead of reading and wondering "Why is he like this?," which was one of the main reasons the book was such a page-turner, the movie tells you why he does it, and you just sit there and watch him do it, knowing why. Remember how people say they hate people who reveal the endings to things? Well, this movie just up and DOES IT ITSELF! If you still want to see the movie, first read the book, then have some fun with friends picking apart this mish-mosh of a noble failure.


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