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Boogie Nights (1997)

R | | Drama | 31 October 1997 (USA)
2:25 | Trailer

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The story of a young man's adventures in the California pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
731 ( 22)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Luis Guzmán ... Maurice t.t. Rodriguez (as Luis Guzman)
Burt Reynolds ... Jack Horner
Julianne Moore ... Amber Waves
Rico Bueno ... Hot Traxx Waiter
John C. Reilly ... Reed Rothchild
Nicole Ari Parker ... Becky Barnett
Don Cheadle ... Buck Swope
Heather Graham ... Rollergirl
Mark Wahlberg ... Eddie Adams / Dirk Diggler
William H. Macy ... Little Bill
Samson Barkhordarian Samson Barkhordarian ... Hot Traxx Chef
Nina Hartley ... Little Bill's Wife
Brad Braeden Brad Braeden ... Big Stud
Joanna Gleason ... Dirk's Mother
Lawrence Hudd Lawrence Hudd ... Dirk's Father


Adult film director Jack Horner is always on the lookout for new talent and it's only by chance that he meets Eddie Adams who is working as a busboy in a restaurant. Eddie is young, good looking and plenty of libido to spare. Using the screen name Dirk Diggler, he quickly rises to the top of his industry winning awards year after year. Drugs and ego however come between Dirk and those around him and he soon finds that fame is fleeting. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In 1977, sex was safe, pleasure was a business, and business was booming. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sex scenes with explicit dialogue, nudity, drug use, language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Warner Bros [United States]





Release Date:

31 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pushing Thirteen See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,168, 12 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Warren Beatty and Sydney Pollack were originally offered the role of Jack Horner. Pollack attended the film's premiere, and expressed regret for turning the role down. See more »


In a scene from 1983, a can of Coca-Cola says "Coca-Cola Classic". The "Classic" wasn't added until 1985, after the New Coke backlash. See more »


Kurt Longjohn: Little Bill.
Little Bill: Hey. Kurt. What's up?
Kurt Longjohn: What's wrong with you?
Little Bill: Ah... my fuckin' wife, man, she's over there... she's got some idiot's dick in her, people standing around watching - it's a fuckin' embarassment.
Kurt Longjohn: Yeah. Yeah. I know. Anyway, listen:
Little Bill:
  • yeah.

Kurt Longjohn: For the shoot - I wanna talk about the look. I wanted to see about getting this new zoom lens...
Little Bill: Right.
Kurt Longjohn: I wondered if we'd be able to look into getting some more lights, too, y'know...
Little Bill: Jack wants a minimal-thing...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title is shown on a movie theater marquee in the opening shot. See more »

Alternate Versions

On the 2-disc DVD release, there is a hidden screen test on the color bars selection. See more »


References Catch-22 (1970) See more »


Do Your Thing
Written by Charles Wright
Performed by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A gutsy effort... and extremely well-made.
22 May 2005 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

P.T. Anderson's Boogie Nights is basically a character study of porn industry participants between the years of 1977-1984. We see much of the film through the eyes of a young man who takes the industry by storm at the tender age of 17. We see his rise during the care-free innocence of the later 70s and we witness him bottom out in the early 80s. We are also introduced to several other performers, filmmakers, hangers on, and criminals. Cocaine seems to be the catalyst behind much of the action. This type of film might have been laughable if made by a director with less talent, but Anderson's unique style and skills make it a winner.

Mark Wahlberg plays our young stud who takes the name of "Dirk Diggler". He's apparently a high school dropout with an enormous penis who catches the attention of a porn director played by Burt Reynolds. Wahlberg's performance begins as properly understated, then seems to grow with the character. Reynolds hasn't been this good since Smokey and the Bandit. The rest of the cast reads like a "who's who" of the more respected actors of our day. Don Cheadle is outstanding as a young man who takes pride in his "acting", but really wants to open up a stereo store more than anything else. Julianne Moore is is also very good as the maternal figure of the troupe who has basically adopted the younger actors as her own children to replace her real son lost in a custody dispute. There is simply not enough space here to give credit to everyone who acted superbly in this film.

Anderson's skill with the camera is on display in numerous shots. Many have been used elsewhere, but he knows how to work them into his story. Many of the scenes take place in crowded rooms or at parties where all kinds of interesting things are going on. His technique often takes us from one room to another, then perhaps outside so we don't miss a thing. The use of soundtrack is perhaps the best of any film I've ever seen. In fact, it IS the best. With so many great songs of the period at his disposal, he works two discs worth into the story. Nothing seems excessive or out of place.

If one fault can be found with this film, then I would have to say it would be too much violence in the last half hour. Any industry that deals in sex and drugs to that extent is bound to encounter violence in some circles, but Boogie Nights over does it. I counted no less than five extremely bloody scenes. In one, a VERY young woman overdoses on coke and breaks a blood vessel in her nose. There are several gunshot victims. But the most over-the-top scene would have to be the one where Heather Graham stomps on the head of a young man with her roller skates. The manner in which she comes in contact with him is contrived to the point of hysteria, then the scene ends in such a brutal assault that you'll hardly be able to control your skepticism. The fact that the consequences of the assault are not even revealed to the audience (at least not in any version of the film I've seen) makes you wonder why Anderson thought to include it at all. It was just a means for the young woman to get some revenge on a guy who made fun of her way back in high school. Nothing more.

The film lacks any scene which inspires any true sexual feeling from anyone I've ever talked to. This was indeed intended. The sex in the film is all about business, though Graham's brief nude scene was well appreciated. The film is also lacking in any kind of judgment or moral lesson. We are merely introduced to these characters, then we see what happens to them. Despite a near documentary point of view, the film never bogs down or fails to keep one's interest. The film didn't make that much money, but it has earned the distinction of being one of the better films made in the 1990s. A reputation well-deserved.

9 of 10 stars from The Hound.

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