6.6/10
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63 user 63 critic

Bright Young Things (2003)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 3 October 2003 (UK)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer

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An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies", is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

Director:

Stephen Fry

Writers:

Stephen Fry (screenplay), Evelyn Waugh (novel)
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon McBurney ... Sneath (Photo-Rat)
Michael Sheen ... Miles Maitland
Emily Mortimer ... Nina
James McAvoy ... Simon Balcairn
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Adam
Stockard Channing ... Mrs Melrose Ape
Adrian Scarborough ... Customs Officer
Jim Carter ... Chief Customs Officer
Fenella Woolgar ... Agatha
Dan Aykroyd ... Lord Monomark
Julia McKenzie ... Lottie Crump
Bruno Lastra ... Basilio
David Tennant ... Ginger Littlejohn
Jim Broadbent ... The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins John Franklyn-Robbins ... Judge
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Storyline

A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore) is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer). He's a novelist with a one hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date. He trades in gossip, wins money on wagers, then gives it to a drunken Major (Jim Broadbent), who suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the Major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex... Scandal... Celebrity... Some things never change.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Agria niata See more »

Filming Locations:

Port of Tilbury, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (United Kingdom), 5 October 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,926, 22 August 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$931,755, 14 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Interior scenes set in Espinosa's restaurant were filmed in Eltham Palace, London. See more »

Goofs

Although the issues of "The Daily Express" displayed throughout the film continually give the date as 1931, the outbreak of World War II is announced on the BBC. This event took place on September 3, 1939. Approximately eight years passed in the space of several months of the film's storyline. See more »

Quotes

Simon Balcairn: [Telling his fake news story] The most shocking orgy since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah rocked society last night.
Typist: Hold the presses, get down to compositing. Now.
Simon Balcairn: The vulgar evangelist, Mrs. Melrose Ape, proudly revealed that her angels were no more than underage adornments on sale to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, tears coursing down her face, the honorable Agatha... , whose repulsive liason with the Prime Minister shocked the nation this week, bewailed her, quote: "Ruined, bogus, vapid, ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits list the actors one or two at a time, showing pictures of their characters in the film along with their names. See more »

Connections

Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Hear My Song, Violetta
Written by Harry S. Pepper, Othmar Klose and Rudolf Luckesch
Performed by Victor Silvester (as Victor Sylvester) & The Victor Silvester Orchestra (as His Orchestra)
See more »

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User Reviews

A must-see
1 August 2004 | by ekotanSee all my reviews

What a fantastic movie, delightfully charming, unrelentingly affable and irresistibly likable. Brilliant acting, excellent realisation and direction; this movie was a joy to watch. A bittersweet love story interwoven with a hilarious array of eccentric English upper class characters from the early 20th century.

Watch out for many faces in small but unforgettable parts, I especially adored Dan Aykroyd's, Michael Sheen's and Jim Broadbent's characters. Fenella Woolgar was also perfect and immensely likable in her role as the dazed and confused but eternally cheerful and optimistic eccentric. Emily Mortimer was flawless as the English rose stuck between marrying money or sticking with her penniless true love. There was palpable chemistry between her and Stephen Campbell Moore's character, which made the whole story work for me.

And of course Peter O'Toole steals the film with barely five minutes of total screen time, but that's the kind of talent he was gifted with. Watch it if you enjoy witty dialogue, period pieces and don't you dare miss it if you're a Stephen Fry fan. He is a very funny man and his direction which remains always affectionate towards the characters he's portraying in his movie, was impressive given he's better known as an actor and writer.

If you liked this movie, you would also like:

  • Enchanted April - A Month By The Lake - Widows Peak - In The Bleak Midwinter - A Room With A View


All of these are in my list of top ten favourite films of all time. Bright Young Things just misses the mark to join them, but it's definitely in my top twenty.


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