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The Bonfire of the Vanities Details


Brian De Palma's Hollywood sanitization of Tom Wolfe's scabrous satire stars Tom Hanks as Sherman McCoy, the "master of the universe," a shallow Wall Street investor who makes millions while enjoying the good life and the sexual favors of Maria Ruskin (Melanie Griffith), a Southern belle golddigger. Sherman and Maria are driving back to Maria's apartment from the airport when Maria takes a wrong turn on the expressway and the two find themselves in the South Bronx. She sees a black youth approaching Sherman's car and Maria, frightened, guns the engine, running over the teenager and killing him. The two drive away and decide not to report the accident to the police. Meanwhile, indigent alcoholic journalist Peter Fallow (Bruce Willis), anxious for a story to make good with his editor, comes upon the hit-and-run tale through local black community activist, Reverend Bacon (John Hancock). Bacon plans to use the hit-and-run case as a rallying point for the black community, while Fallow recognizes the press coverage inherent in prosecuting the callow Sherman. As Sherman is brought to his knees, the New York community fragments into different factions who use the case to suit their own cynical political purposes. Finally, Sherman is left without any allies to support him except for the sympathetic Judge White (Morgan Freeman) and the remorseful Fallow. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:December 19, 1990


Tom Hanks
as Sherman McCoy
Bruce Willis
as Peter Fallow
Melanie Griffith
as Maria Ruskin
Kim Cattrall
as Judy McCoy
Saul Rubinek
as Jed Kramer
Morgan Freeman
as Judge Leonard White
F. Murray Abraham
as D.A. Abe Weiss
John Hancock
as Reverend Bacon
Kevin Dunn
as Thomas Killian
Clifton James
as Albert Fox
Louis Giambalvo
as Ray Andruitti
Barton Heyman
as Detective Martin
Donald Moffat
as Mr. McCoy (Sherman's Father)
Alan King
as Arthur Ruskin
Beth Broderick
as Caroline Heftshank
Kurt Fuller
as Pollard Browning
Adam Le Fevre
as Rawlie Thorpe
Richard Libertini
as Ed Rifkin
Andre Gregory
as Aubrey Buffing
Rita Wilson
as Public Relations Woman
Shiek Mahmud-Bey
as Lockwood
Richard Belzer
as TV Producer
Kirk Taylor
as Aide
Judith Burke
as French Restaurant Patron
Vito D'Ambrosio
as Intercom Man
Oliver Dixon
as Diplomat
Roy Milton Davis
as Latino
George Merritt
as Poe Picketers
Kimberleigh Aarn
as Media Jackal
Paul Bates
as Buck
Mary Alice
as Annie Lamb
Daniel Hagen
as Media Jackal
Marcia Mitzman
as Bondsman
Katrina Braque
as Diplomat's Daughter
John Blythe Barrymore
as Restaurant Manager (uncredited)
James Lally
as Bondsman
Stewart J. Zully
as Court Clerk
Sam Jenkins
as Fox's Assistant
Malachy McCourt
as Tony, Doorman
Kathryn Danielle
as Public Relations Assistant
Connie Sawyer
as Ruskin Family Member
John Bentley
as Bill, Doorman
Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi
as Maitre D'
O. Laron Clark
as Cecil Hayden
Virginia Morris
as Weiss' Aide
Barry Michlin
as Funeral Director
Jeff Brooks
as Bondsman
Walter Flanagan
as Media Jackal
Doris Leggett
as Gospel Singer
Hansford Rowe
as Leon Bavardage
Marjorie Monaghan
as Evelyn Moore
Nelson Vasquez
as Pimp
Camryn Manheim
as Poe Picketer
Geraldo Rivera
as Robert Corso TV Journalist
Helen Stenborg
as Mrs. McCoy
Debbie Lee Carrington
Joy Claussen
as French Restaurant Patron
Susan Forristal
as Well Wishers
Walker Joyce
as "Don Giovanni"
Richard Gilbert-Hill
as Weiss' Aide
Mike Hodge
as Media Jackal
Troy Winbush
as Roland Auburn
George Plimpton
as Well Wisher
Don McManus
as Bondsman
Cynthia Mason
as Maid
Lorraine Moore
as Gospel Singer
Hal England
as French Restaurant Patron
William Woodson
as Gene Lopwitz
Fanni Green
as Prostitute
Adina Winston
as Female Guest
Sarah Essex
Johnny Crear
as Manny Leerman
Sherri Paysinger
as Anchorwoman
Elizabeth Owens
as Inez Bavardage
Barbara Gooding
as Gospel Singer
Robert Stephens
as Sir Gerald Moore
Channing Chase
as Shocked Woman
Anatoly Davydov
as Boris Karlevskov
John Fink
as French Restaurant Patron
Brian De Palma
as Prison Guard
Novella Nelson
as Media Jackal
Ernestine Jackson
as Media Jackal
Edye Byrde
as Poe Picketer
Emmanuel Xuereb
as Filippo Chirazzi
Timothy Jenkins
as Billy Cortez
Patrick Malone
as Henry Lamb
Ermal Williamson
as Butler
Barry Neikrug
as Aides to Weiss
Ray Iannicelli
as Media Jackal
Jennifer Bassey
as Diplomat's Wife
Scotty Bloch
as Sally Rawthrote
David Lipman
as Poe Picketer
Kirsten Dunst
as Campbell McCoy


Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma
Michael Cristofer
Tom Wolfe
Book Author
Vilmos Zsigmond
Dave Grusin
Composer (Music Score)
Bill Pankow
David Ray
Richard Sylbert
Production Designer
Peter Guber
Executive Producer
Jon Peters
Executive Producer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer