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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:

Take one Wall Street tycoon, his Fifth Avenue mistress, a reporter hungry for fame, and make the wrong turn in The Bronx...then sit back and watch the sparks fly. 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

Sherman McCoy: I want you to meet Aubrey Buffing.
Judy McCoy: Who?
Sherman McCoy: Aubrey Buffing. The poet. He's on the short list for the Nobel Prize, he has AIDS, you'll love him!
Judy McCoy: Sherman, we are standing alone in the middle of the room, a married couple talking to each other. You simply don't do it. Go on and mingle! Please.
See more »


Soundtracks

Pennies From Heaven
Written by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

splendid cartoon
14 October 2001 | by MovieMusingsSee all my reviews

Before I talk about the movie itself, I'd like to get ugly for a quick sec..

I am sick and tired of people whining that a movie isn't as good as a book. First of all, we all already know that 99% of the time a book is not equally rendered in film. How can it? The physiological experience of reading is totally different from that of taking in audio-video. Hello? A book often can't fit into a 90 minute movie anyway, and we all complain when a director tries to stretch our minute-rice attention span more than 2 hours, which would allow the space to capture more of the subtle nuances that we love in a book.

If you want to read the book, do us all a favour, don't watch a movie, go read the #@%$ book. Does anyone think that a painting could represent each facet of a poem? They are two separate and distinct mediums. Sheesh.

Now, book aside, this movie is trying to talk about an issue. And it does so quite fine. If you need the book to get the message, that's your business.

Each character was a caricature, a spoof, hyperbolized to help drive home the message that truth is often irrelevant to the socio-political motives behind people's actions. From the "assistant DA" looking for recognition to the "hymie racist" angling for the office of mayor to the "good reverend" looking for sympathy for his people (and a payday) to Fallow trying to save his career to McCoy's lawyer who has to patiently deal with his naive client who doesn't grasp that his life is insignificant to all those who somehow have generated a vested interest in his demise...

I got the message, it didn't take me the 6 hours or two days (or however long it would take me to make time to read the book), and I had some fun.


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