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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

In the source novel, Peter Fallow is English. John Cleese was offered the role, and turned it down. 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

Robert Corso: Why did you hit that kid, Sherman?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charlie Rose: Quentin Tarantino (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Am I Living In Vain?
Written by E. Twinky Clark
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, under-rated movie
11 December 2003 | by jaspreetsgSee all my reviews

(NB - I have not read the book.) Unfairly chastised by the press on release, and too easy to tar as a weak link in De Palma's ouevre, BOTV is better than Wall Street, Working Girl et al. and is still very relevant.

This is an OTT opera where every character is a cynic trying to work an angle, and every action (in a complex story about contacts, smear campaigns, politics and pawns) has an obvious and (most of the time) greedy motivation. BOTV also confronts sex, racism and class clashes with a frankness that most Hollywood movies run a mile from - it is suprisingly frank in it's depiction of these (The exception being that the New York judge had to be, of course, black [Morgan Freeman]. This is something dramatists do to make some of their social opinions seem less controversial since they are being spouted by a man of colour in a white forum.)

On par with His Girl Friday and The Sweet Smell of Success, and possessing an oddball universe Preston Sturges would've been proud of creating, this film is all the more powerful when you actually live in a world kind of like this (and I meet these kinds of people all the time - this is REAL!).

PS - Half an hour was lopped off by the studio after disasterous preview screenings. This movie deserves a DVD director's cut release.


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