The Bonfire of the Vanities
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The Bonfire of the Vanities
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… More
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© Warner Home Video

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 16%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If you're interested in a faithful visual adaptation of Wolfe's novel, be assured that this isn't it."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"If you loved Wolfe's book, you may very well hate the movie. If you simply liked the novel, you may be simultaneously entertained and disappointed by what De Palma and Cristofer have done to it."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"Brian DePalma lapses into idle, slapsticky digressions. You don't get angry at what he's attacking, or defensive; you just get weary."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Reduced to pure plot, the narrative is not so much a sendup of 1980s hypocrisy as an orgy of banal, juvenile mean-spiritedness. The irony of Wolfe's book becomes shrill, screaming sarcasm, unpleasant, and, worse, unfunny."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Call it Bonfire of the Calamities."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"What a mess."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Certainly Wolfe's canvas might lend itself to a broad approach, but broad like Dr. Strangelove, not broad like the Three Stooges."
‑ Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
"Tom Wolfe's widely read satire becomes a tedious farce, turning one of the year's most anticipated movies into one of the most disappointing."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"In this heavy-handed and uneven treatment, De Palma drains Tom Wolfe's original story of its humour, and must shoulder the blame for its failure."
‑ , Film4
"Has more embarrassing moments than good ones."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"On film, Bonfire achieves a consistency of ineptitude rare even in this era of over-inflated cinematic air bags."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"The film was cast wrong and written shallowly."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"Brian DePalma`s The Bonfire of the Vanities is a perfect example of how a best-selling book can be carefully altered, perceptively pruned and converted into an intriguing motion picture."
‑ Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Even as they've smoothed the novel's rough edges... the filmmakers have tried to cram a maximum number of its incidents into about two hours of screen time. This gives the picture a hectic pace that adds to its feeling of weightlessness and unreality."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Ugh, what a dog."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for The Bonfire of the Vanities on Rotten Tomatoes