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The Bonfire of the Vanities

The movie The Bonfire of the Vanities was based on the book The Bonfire of the Vanities.

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Movie details for The Bonfire of the Vanities

The movie was released in 1990 and directed by Brian De Palma, who also directed Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1987), Casualties of War (1989), Fatale (1992), Carlito's Way (1993) and The Black Dahlia (2006). The Bonfire of the Vanities was produced by Warner Home Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, 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 and Mary Alice.

 

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The 1980s were wearing thin when Tom Wolfe delivered this biting commentary about the shallowness of an investment banker in a messed-up place called New York City. Sherman McCoy knows how to make a lot of money. But that's about it. He is oblivious to hi... Read More
The 1980s were wearing thin when Tom Wolfe delivered this biting commentary about the shallowness of an investment banker in a messed-up place called New York City. Sherman McCoy knows how to make a lot of money. But that's about it. He is oblivious to his wife, his daughter, even his mistress, and shows little interest even in the deeper machinations of business. His focus is on the surface, and when he makes a mistake, it seems that all the dark forces he was so ignorant about circle like a pack of wolves. As usual, Wolfe writes ferociously, showing no favorites among the rich, the poor, the black,or the white and painting each with at least one absurd stroke. The novel is both hilarious and telling, delivered in a distinctive voice by Wolfe, one of our top stylists.

Book details for The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities was written by Tom Wolfe. The book was published in 1987 by Dial Press Trade Paperback. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

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After Tom Wolfe defined the '60s in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and the cultural U-turn at the turn of the '80s in The Right Stuff, nobody thought he could ever top himself again. In 1987, when The Bon... Read More
After Tom Wolfe defined the '60s in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and the cultural U-turn at the turn of the '80s in The Right Stuff, nobody thought he could ever top himself again. In 1987, when The Bonfire of the Vanities arrived, the literati called Wolfe an "aging enfant terrible."

He wasn't aging; he was growing up. Bonfire's pyrotechnic satire of 1980s New York wasn't just Wolfe's best book, it was the best bestselling fiction debut of the decade, a miraculously realistic study of an unbelievably status-mad society, from the fiery combatants of the South Bronx to the bubbling scum at the top of Wall Street. Sherman McCoy, a farcically arrogant investment banker (dubbed a "Master of the Universe," Wolfe's brilliant metaphorical co-opting of a then-important toy for boys), hits a black guy in the Bronx with his Mercedes and runs--right into a nightmare peopled by vicious mistresses, thin wives like "social x-rays," slime-bag politicos, tabloid hacks, and Dantesque denizens of the "justice" system. If the Coen and Marx brothers together dramatized The Great Gatsby, Wolfe's Bonfire would probably be funnier. Many think his second novel, A Man in Full, is deeper, but Bonfire will never die down.

You might find it interesting to compare the film The Bonfire of the Vanities, a fascinating calamity perpetrated by the geniuses Brian De Palma and Tom Hanks, with The Right Stuff, one of the very best films of the '80s. --Tim Appelo