“The Bonfire of the Vanities” quotes

Movie The Bonfire of the Vanities
Brian De Palma directed this movie in 1990
Title The Bonfire of the Vanities
Year 1990
Director Brian De Palma
Genre Drama, Comedy
Plot – Sherman McCoy, a rich young stock trader, leaves his wife Judy and their baby girl at home and picks up his mistress Maria Ruskin at the airport in New York. While driving, he makes a wrong turn and finds himself in the dark under a viaduct in a bad neighborhood. Two black thugs try to assault him: he manages to fight back but in the meantime his lover gets behind the wheel and unintentionally runs over one who ends up in hospital in a coma. Many people would like to take advantage of the episode although nobody knows who is responsible: the police try to find the owner of the luxurious Mercedes - one of the thugs saw the first two license plate numbers; the mother of the wounded thug wants to be compensated; the bold Reverend Bacon would like to transform this road rage episode into a case around which to rally the black community; District Attorney Abe Weiss wants to demonstrate his impartiality to black voters. The police identify the car's license plate and McCoy is arrested. He originally insisted with his lover Mary to report the accident to the authorities, but she refused and left McCoy to rely on a good lawyer to come out unscathed. In the courtroom, the Court is represented by Judge Leonard White, an honest impartial black magistrate, whose only interests are respect for the law and the dignity of each human being. Things get more complicated when reporter Peter Fallow, in search of a scoop, contacts Reverend Bacon and works hard to have Sherman incriminated. During the trial Sherman produces a fragment of a secret recording in which Maria Ruskin, returning home after the accident, states that she was behind the wheel. Hence the guilty are condemned, the billionaire is absolved, the political ambitions of the candidate for the mayor's chair collapse and Fallow wins the Pulitzer Prize.
All actors – 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, Mary Alice, Robert Stephens, Marjorie Monaghan, Rita Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Troy Winbush, Patrick Malone, Emmanuel Xuereb, Scotty Bloch, Hansford Rowe, Elizabeth Owens, Malachy McCourt, John Eric Bentley, William Clark, Jeff Brooks, Brennan McKay, Don McManus, James Lally, Marcia Mitzman Gaven, William Woodson, Nelson Vasquez, Fanni Green, Roy Milton Davis, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, Stewart J. Zully, Helen Stenborg, Timothy Jenkins, Sam Jenkins, Vito D'Ambrosio, Paul Bates, Camryn Manheim, J.D. Wyatt, Eyde Byrde, David Lipman, George Merritt, Kirk Taylor, O. LaRon Clark, Louis P. Lebherz, Walker Joyce, Anatoli Davydov, Nancy McDonald, Ray Iannicelli, Daniel Hagen, Kimberleigh Aarn, Walter Flanagan, Mike Hodge, Ernestine Jackson, Nicholas Levitin, Novella Nelson, Noble Lee Lester, Adina Winston, Richard Belzer, Cynthia Mason, Ermal Williamson, W.M. Hunt, Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi, Jon Rashad Kamal, Channing Chase, Hal England, Joy Claussen, John Fink, Judith Burke, Barry Michlin, Connie Sawyer, Johnny Crear, Sherri Paysinger, Stacy Francis, Barbara Gooding, Kathleen Murphy Palmer, Lorraine Moore, Doris Leggett, Kathryn Danielle, Oliver Dixon, Jennifer Bassey, Katrina Braque, Richard Gilbert-Hill, Marie Chambers, Virginia Morris, Barry Neikrug, George Plimpton, Susan Forristal, F. Murray Abraham, John Blyth Barrymore, Debbie Lee Carrington, Sarah Essex, Terry Farrell, Gary Jones, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Michael Merton, Jack Mulcahy, Denise Nelan, Kariim Ratcliff, John Reidy, Geraldo Rivera, Joey Sontz, Daisy Alexandra Sylbert-Torres, Curt Truman, Clinton H. Wallace
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  • “Let me tell you what justice is. Justice is the law, and the law is man's feeble attempt to set down the principles of decency. Decency! And decency is not a deal. It isn't an angle, or a contract, or a hustle! Decency... decency is what your grandmother taught you. It's in your bones! Now you go home. Go home and be decent people. Be decent.”
    Morgan Freeman - Judge Leonard White
    [Tag:honor, justice]
  • “You don't think the future knows how to cross a bridge?”
    F. Murray Abraham - D.A. Abe Weiss
  • “- Peter Fallow: Caroline, you devil.
    - Caroline Heftshank: Peter, you pig!”

    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
    Beth Broderick - Caroline Heftshank
  • “My name is Peter Fallow. I'm a writer. But you know that already. Unless you haven't read a newspaper or seen the television in the last few months, you know exactly who I am. I am the man of the moment. Hero of the evening. Me and a little book I happened to write.”
    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
  • “This is a tragedy! A fine young man has been struck down. God-fearing, church-going, never in trouble, graduating from high school, ready for college - and somebody comes along - some rich white people in a rich white man's car and wham! They run him down and never even stop. Now what are we going to do about these parking tickets?”

    John Lee Hancock - Reverend Bacon
  • See, Sherman, who started with so much, lost everything. But he gained his soul. Whereas I, you see, who started with so little, gained everything. "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses..." Ah well. There are compensations.
    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
    [Tag:gain, losing]
  • “This was my story. Sherman McCoy was my baby, my creation.”
    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
  • “- Sherman McCoy: I understand you went to Yale.
    - Tom Killian: Yeah. You, too. Huh?
    - Sherman McCoy: What did you think of it?
    - Tom Killian: It was okay. As law schools go. They give you the scholarly view. You know. It's terrific for anything you want to do - as long as it doesn't involve real people.”

    Tom Hanks - Sherman McCoy
    Kevin Dunn - Tom Killian
    [Tag:education, school]
  • “I've made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and money, and it's not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile. But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it. We flush it away. We don't put it on the table and call it caviar.”
    Robert Stephens - Sir Gerald Moore
  • “Racist? You dare call me racist? Well I say unto you, what does it matter the color of a man's skin if witnesses perjure themselves. If a prosecutor enlists the perjurers. When a districtattorney throws a man to the mob for political gain, and men of the cloth, men of God, take the prime cuts? Is that justice?”
    Morgan Freeman - Judge Leonard White
    [Tag:crime, justice, racism]
  • “If you're going to live in a whorehouse, there's only one thing you can do: be the best damn whore around.”
    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
  • “Oh Christ, Sherman, we're in the middle of a godamn war zone and you're worried about doing the right thing?”
    Melanie Griffith - Maria Ruskin
  • “- Mr. McCoy: You know I have always been a great believer in the truth. I have lived my life as honestly as I can. I, I believe in the truth as an essential companion to a man of conscience. A beacon in this vast and dark wasteland, that is our modern world. And yet...
    - Sherman McCoy: Yes.
    - Mr. McCoy: ...in this case, if the truth won't set...” (continue)
    (continue reading)
    Donald Moffat - Mr. McCoy
    Tom Hanks - Sherman McCoy
    [Tag:freedom, lies, truth]
  • “Our hero, Sherman McCoy, was about to make a simple phone call. But despite the existence of 11 telephones, and 7 different lines, in 14 rooms of his 16-million-plus dollar apartment, this was a phone call he could not make at home.”
    Bruce Willis - Peter Fallow
    [Tag:telephone, wealth]
  • “The wrath of heaven must be at hand! Its justice will not tarry! I see the deadly thunderbolt poised above his head!”
    Andre Gregory - Aubrey Buffing