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Drama - US

Boogie Nights (1997)

Duration2h 35m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R,  
Source of storyAn original screenplay developed from a short by the director
DirectorPaul Thomas Anderson
Writers/ScriptPaul Thomas Anderson
StarringLuis Guzmän, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Mark Wahlberg, William H. Macey, Nina Hartley, Joanna Gleason, Robert Ridgely, Ricky Jay, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Thomas Jane, Robert Downey Sr., Alfred Molina,  
RatingsIMDb: 7.9 by 244,204 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 93% by 72 reviewers. .

Elevator Pitch: Eddie Adams is a young man with one outstanding physical attribute, but is employed as a kitchen hand until picked up by porn director Jack Horner.  Once in the business he makes a lasting impression on the porn actresses and wins awards at the industry annual ceremonies. His success leads to drug use, which results in poor sexual performance and Jack eventually replaces him with a new model. He and fellow actor attempt to record songs, without success. The downward spiral continues, but can it be arrested?

Content: There is a lot of sex, nearly all of it performed for porn films. There is quite a bit of female nudity, some dialogue on the subject, moaning, thrusting and all of that. There are a number of pool parties with a bit of drinking, and scenes in night clubs with a bit of synchronised dancing which was fun, and later a lot of cocaine sniffing, as Dirk Diggler’s life falls apart. His first attempt to be a rent boy results in him being beaten up. He and two fellow performers decide to rob a drug dealer, but this results in a shoot out and the death of one of them.

A View:  This film, despite its subject matter, was well liked by the critics and the general public. It was hailed as recreating the atmosphere of the seventies. Perhaps that’s what it was like in LA; after all it was made in 1997, so not a million years later. If you decide to watch it you should be prepared for some pretty explicit sex scenes and then some distress and things go wrong. I was struck by the wonderful deadpan acting of Ricky Jay, as the cameraman. So a watch but not with your granny.

Additional Info: The film features a 1970s Chevrolet Corvette and, I think, a Datsun 240Z, a very early Japanese sports car.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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