Genre Guesstimation – The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Satu of Fairy Tale Pictures and it is Bestselling/Popular Novel Adaptations.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to

Try to think out of the box!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Bestselling/Popular Novel Adaptations.

“And now they’re gonna sue the hospital… All they want is money. Can you imagine using a tragedy like this for your own selfish motives? ” – D.A. Abe Weiss

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Theater in ’90 and 1 July 2018)

Brief Synopsis – After accidentally entering a bad neighborhood in New York with his mistress, a wealthy wall street broker has his life turned upside down.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall had a lot of hype when it came out nearly 30 years ago and was as much of a dud back then as it is now.

The overall premise is interesting but the execution just doesn’t work at all.

The main theme of this film has been used and reused so many times over the years yet this is among the poorest of them.

The cast of Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis and F. Murray Abraham is wasted by this terrible film that has trouble remaining interesting along the way.

The political and racial social commentary of this story is completely lost in this farce which might have worked better as a more serious story.

The fact that this film was based on a bestselling novel just proves how hard it can be to adapt a book to film, even one that seems like a shoo-in to work onscreen.

Quite a pity…..

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that has been used and reused so many times over the years and just doesn’t work as well as some of the other attempts. Great cast is wasted here on a story that just fails to stay interesting. The fact that this was based on a bestselling book says so much about how hard it can sometimes be to adapt a bestseller to film.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Morgan Freeman claims he knew during filming that the movie would be a commercial disaster. He likened it to a series of mishaps leading up to a plane crash. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not at all. This feels like too much of a farce instead of a serious story about social and racial politics

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)


Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z


4 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Genre Grandeur July Finale – Stand By Me (1986) – Encore Review 4 – MovieRob |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1990 |

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