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The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

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After his mistress runs over a young teen, a Wall Street hotshot sees his life unravel in the spotlight and attracting the interest of a down and out reporter.

Director:

Brian De Palma (as Brian DePalma)

Writers:

Michael Cristofer (screenplay), Tom Wolfe (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Sherman McCoy
Bruce Willis ... Peter Fallow
Melanie Griffith ... Maria Ruskin
Kim Cattrall ... Judy McCoy
Saul Rubinek ... Jed Kramer
Morgan Freeman ... Judge Leonard White
John Hancock ... Reverend Bacon
Kevin Dunn ... Tom Killian
Clifton James ... Albert Fox
Louis Giambalvo ... Ray Andruitti
Barton Heyman ... Det. Martin
Norman Parker ... Det. Goldberg
Donald Moffat ... Mr. McCoy
Alan King ... Arthur Ruskin
Beth Broderick ... Caroline Heftshank
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Storyline

Financial "Master of the Universe" Sherman McCoy sees his life unravel when his mistress Maria Ruskin hits a black boy with his car. When yellow journalist Peter Fallow enflames public opinion with a series of distorted tabloid articles on the accident, the case is seized upon by opportunists like Reverend Bacon and mayoral candidate D.A. Abe Weiss. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Outrageous Story of Greed, Lust and Vanity in America See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La hoguera de las vanidades See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,216,063, 21 December 1990

Gross USA:

$15,691,192
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Julie Salamon's book The Devil's Candy (about the making of the film) was named after a description made by executive producer Peter Guber when he was explaining to Brian De Palma and the casting director that the actress cast for Maria Ruskin role should be a devil's candy. Guber considered that role as the toughest one to be cast. See more »

Goofs

Before cuckold Arthur Ruskin dies in the restaurant, his cocktail glass alternates from between his hands to outside his hands. See more »

Quotes

Maria Ruskin: [while on Bronx] Sherman, I'm coming from the South and I'm starting to not like this very much!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 3 March 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Jesus Fix It For You
Written by Milton Biggham
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
sheer De Palma's brilliance!
1 July 2005 | by ninvedSee all my reviews

Its a pity people don't get this film, but its a real shame most of the critics do not, either! This is the finest film I've ever seen, De Palma's best by far.

What you need to realize about this film is its complex ironical code. If you cant get the irony, the "movie" will seem pointless to you.

Stylistically, this is De Palma's most remarkable film, built on theatrical acting, pulling the limits of conventional movie acting to the very edge. The whole cast is just brilliant! Follow the camera, its angles and plans; the twisted camera perspective is the most significant technical instrument to produce ironical effect in this film. Everything which is said and done in this film can be observed not only in virtual, but also in metaphorical manner, and that is where rich political symbolics come from.

This is the film which successfully unites political and aesthetic aspect in a lovely and inspired interplay, and it is highly recommended to anyone trying to cultivate his taste.


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