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Bonfire of the Vanities

3.3 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Bonfire of the Vanities (DVD)

Academy Award winner Tom Hanks stars with Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffithand Morgan Freeman in the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's best-sellingnovel that revels in the excesses of the New York of the '80s, TheBonfire of the Vanities.Take one Wall Street tycoon, his Fifth Avenue mistress, a reporterhungry for fame and a wrong turn in The Bronx... Wall Street tycoonSherman McCoy (Hanks) takes that wrong turn in his Mercedes, gets lostin The Bronx--and runs down a poor Black teenager. Rather than stop in adangerous neighborhood, he leaves the boy to die. But this act of callowbrutality begins a chain of events that will rock the global center ofCapitalism and shatter the self-indulgent, greedy life that ShermanMcCoy had believed was untouchable.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman, Kim Cattrall
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: Michael Cristofer
  • Producers: Brian De Palma, Peter Guber, Jon Peters
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003VA3JRC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Next to Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, David Lynch's Dune, and Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart, Brian De Palma's Bonfire of the Vanities is a savagely under-rated film. De Palma once again demonstrates he is a master of wit. The film was initially criticized, or rather misinterpreted, for being somehow 'lightweight.' If anything, the film is over-the-top! De Palma's choice for lavish sets and stunning cinematography (by vilmos zsigmond) in wall street upper class New York perfectly match the subject matter and commentary on the 1980s greed infested 'me' decade and Reagan/Bush era, adapted from Thomas Wolfe's popular novel. Critics howled that the film downplayed Wolfe's themes...people act like Tom Wolfe, albeit a talented writer, is somehow as deep as James Joyce or something. The message of the book is pretty darn simple people! and it translates very obviously, perhaps even too obviously, in the film. Not to mention the fact that film is a totally different medium than literature, and one should not expect a film to be exactly like the book. as for the miscasting criticism, it is true Hanks doesnt exactly perfectly fit the role of McCoy, but he doesnt take away from the movie. The supporting cast, however, is better than him. Griffith is fantastic, and Willis gives a performance that practically carries the movie. I think this film was very ambitious and ahead of its time, and will in the future eventually be recognized as a very good film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Bonfire Of The Vanities" (1990) is a brilliant movie well directed with great acting and killer set decoration...and great music, too!

Three Best Actor Academy Award winners have major roles in the movie (F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hanks, and Morgan Freeman) and all three give breathtaking actor performances.....anyone who cares for fine movie actor work cannot afford to miss this great movie.

The direction by Brian DiPalma is brilliant, starting with the camera panorama sweeping across nighttime Manhattan from the top of the Chrysler Building with closeups of it's gargoyles, and ending with great elegant tuxedo and gowns for the ladies crowd scene of astonishing elegance and pomp made even greater by the background music (the music in this film is one of it's many great assets).

DiPalma's used of "fish eye" lenses for closeups of three of the movie's lovable villains (the best movies always have lovable villains, at least the best comedies do) in the final courtroom scene is inspired.....Brian DiPalma is one of the great directors of the 20th century in USA major movies.

The set decoration is especially notable.

The late Lillian Gish (1893 - 1993, an iconic movie star who lived to her 100th year, was the star of D. W Griffiths's "Birth Of A Nation" 1915 classic and later, at age 94, the star of "The Whales Of August" 1987 along with Bette Davis) opined during an interview seen in the documentary she was part of about the history of USA silent era movies (titled "Hollywood: The Silent Era" 1980 written and directed by Kevin Brownlow) that:

"The movies of the silent era during the 1920's 'age of motion picture palaces on Broadway NYC and elsewhere' taught people good manners, elegance and good taste....
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Format: DVD
This movie got mercilessly flogged by reviewers when it was released. For that reason, I avoided it all these years. Well, that's what I get for being a sheep. This is actually a very enjoyable film. I'm sure it will continue to offend a lot of people, but what doesn't these days? I did read and like Wolfe's novel, and I really thought this was a faithful film version.
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Format: DVD
Having read the novel by Tom Wolfe right before the movie came out, I tossed the da*n thing across the room when I finished the last page, for the ending was horrendous! There was no ending! It just stopped, leaving loose ends dangling everywhere, and the reader in a mess of mass confusion with no resolution of any kind. Don't get me wrong, there were parts of the novel that I adored, it was definetly a masterpiece of modern literature, no doubt! Especially the old, Jewish judge who should have been played by Ray Walston, or the guy that played the judge in the horrible "Presumed Innocent". The character of the judge was the funniest character in the story. However, I have come to accept Morgan Freeman in that role, for his version of The Judge ranks among his best, like that of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Driving Miss Daisy". There are moments that he is extremely hilarious in a vicious way, to bringing the house down with his brilliantly acted "speech scene" at the film's climax.
Now, about the film: This movie was killed by critics before it ever hit theaters. Things like "Bad casting", "Not faithful to the novel", etc, etc. kept popping up in article after article, and/or mentioned on talk shows before the film was even completed. So, you tell me who killed this film at the box office?! It sure as heck wasn't director Brian DePalma's fault!
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