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Bonfire of the Vanities 1990 R CC

(132) IMDb 5.4/10
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A hit-and-run accident in Bronx prompts a citywide conflict, fueled by ambitious politicians, greedy lawyers and jaded ministers with a wealthy businessman in center of the controversy.

Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis
2 hours, 6 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Brian De Palma
Starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis
Supporting actors Melanie Griffith, Kim Cattrall, Saul Rubinek, Morgan Freeman, John Hancock, Kevin Dunn, Clifton James, Louis Giambalvo, Barton Heyman, Norman Parker, Donald Moffat, Alan King, Beth Broderick, Kurt Fuller, Adam LeFevre, Richard Libertini, Andre Gregory, Mary Alice
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2004
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Hopelessly intellectual on February 14, 2005
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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Francis on October 26, 2004
Format: DVD
I was only a young teen when this came out, but I vividly remember all of the scandalous press about how bad it supposedly was. Uh-uh, not true. Before watching it this past weekend, I noticed that almost all of the reviewers who hated it had read the book first and were upset it was so different. Well, I haven't read the book yet, and watched the movie this past weekend. It was just great - a very witty comedy/drama/social commentary of the '80s, not unlike one of my other faves, "Six Degrees of Separation". Melanie Griffith is the best one in this and yes, her southern accent does come and go, but maybe it was intentional - to show her character was a fake @$$ b!tch who couldn't even keep her accent going? Also great to see Kim Cattrall, who has obviously had a boob job since this was made. Charming also is "Sabrina The Teenage Witch"'s Beth Broderick.

I'm going to explain my book/movie difference theory using my all-time favorite movie "Valley of the Dolls" (VOTD) as an example. Yes, I know it (and the book for that matter) is considered trash, but it still proves the point. I saw the VOTD movie first and adored it instantly, so I then rushed out and read the book, which was SO different and had so many more subplots, additional characters, attributed different dialogue to different characters, etc. However, this still ADDED to my movie-going experience by giving me "bonus" footage/scenes to enjoy and supplemet the movie. Had I read the book FIRST, upon seeing the movie, I would've probably been disappointed because I already had preconceived expectations. I think the same rule applies to "Bonfire". It just isn't possible to get all of a full-length novel into a 2 hour movie and unfortunately they have to cast within the Hollywood system (who's hot, who's available, wtc.)... Please don't miss this! When Melanie gets her come-uppance, it is triumphant!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on January 7, 2008
Format: DVD
Personally, I watched the movie without having read the book, which could be seen as both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, it allows me to judge the film as exactly that - a film, with no other conflicting point of reference to cloud my opinions. On the other, it means I'm pretty much ignorant as to whether or not the screen version succeeds or fails in living up to its story's potential. 'The Bonfire Of The Vanities' is a good film: nothing more, nothing less. So why, then, was it so universally slated by critics at the time of its big screen release? The answer, it would seem, is the overwhelming popularity of the piece of literature it was based on, Tom Wolfe's novel of the same name.

This movie is played on the borderline "tragedy and comic" the result, in my opinion, is a very interesting mix of ironic situations. Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is on top of his game and is the top dog in one of the top financial firms in the city. He has money in spades, a socialite wife, a Park Avenue apartment, a mistress and a very nice car. While out with that same mistress Maria (Griffith) in that same expensive car, Sherman takes a wrong turn and ends up in the Bronx where, in a moment of panic at being confronted by crowds of African Americans, Maria suddenly hits a black man and they drive off back to normal white society. Sadly for Sherman, this minor incident escalates when the boy goes into a coma and his car is identified as the one involved, Add to this a DA who desperately needs to win the ethnic vote by prosecuting a rich white person and a journalist who, desperate to get off skid row, talks up the story with a series of sensationalist headlines that twist the truth. As these factors all come into play, Sherman's tidy, rich, world starts to crumble.
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