Boogie Nights  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Boogie Nights is a 1997 film written, co-produced and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly and Heather Graham.

The film follows a young porn star as he enters the industry in the late 1970s in California, and deals with the highs and lows of success into the 1980s. It also follows several other characters involved in the industry, and their downfalls.


Boogie Nights (1997). Features Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, and others in numerous nude scenes, some feature simulated sex and, most famously, a thirteen-inch prosthetic penis.


In 1977, high-school dropout Eddie Adams is living with his father and emotionally abusive mother in Torrance, California. He works at a Reseda nightclub owned by Maurice Rodriguez, where he meets porn filmmaker Jack Horner. Interested in bringing Eddie into porn, Jack auditions him by watching him have sex with Rollergirl, a porn starlet who always wears skates. After arguing with his mother about his girlfriend and sex life, Adams moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley home. Adams gives himself the screen name "Dirk Diggler" and becomes a star because of his good looks, youthful charisma, and unusually large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, an extensive wardrobe, and a "competition orange" 1977 Chevrolet Corvette. With friend and fellow porn star Reed Rothchild, Dirk pitches a series of successful action-themed porn films. Dirk works and socializes with others from the porn industry, and they live carefree lifestyles in the late 1970s disco era. At a New Year's Eve party at Horner's house marking the year 1980, assistant director Little Bill Thompson discovers his wife having sex with another man. Bill, tired of being repeatedly cuckolded by his wife, shoots them both dead, and kills himself.

Dirk and Reed begin using cocaine on a regular basis. Due to his drug use, Dirk finds it increasingly difficult to achieve an erection, falls into violent mood swings, and becomes upset with Johnny Doe, a new leading man Jack has recruited. In 1983, after arguing with Jack, Dirk is fired and takes off with Reed to start a music career along with Scotty, a boom operator who is in love with Dirk. Jack rejects business overtures from Floyd Gondolli, a theater magnate in San Diego and San Francisco, who insists on cutting costs by shooting on videotape because Jack believes that video will diminish the quality of his films. After his friend and financier, Colonel James, is imprisoned for possession of child pornography, Jack works with Gondolli, becoming disillusioned with the projects he expects him to churn out. One of these projects involves Jack and Rollergirl riding in a limousine, searching for random men for her to have sex with while being taped by a crew. After they pick up a man, he recognizes Rollergirl as a former high-school classmate. After a failed attempt at intercourse, he insults her and Jack. Jack throws him out of the limousine. Jack and Rollergirl both attack the man, leaving him bloodied on the sidewalk. They return to the car and drive away from the scene.

Leading lady Amber Waves finds herself in a custody battle with her ex-husband. The court determines that she is an unfit mother due to her involvement in the porn industry, prior criminal record, and cocaine addiction. Buck Swope marries fellow porn star Jessie St. Vincent, who becomes pregnant. Because of his past, Buck is disqualified from a bank loan and cannot open his own stereo-equipment store. That night, he finds himself in the middle of a holdup at a donut shop in which the clerk, the robber, and an armed customer are killed. Buck is the sole survivor and escapes with the money.

Having wasted their money on drugs, Dirk and Reed cannot pay a recording studio for demo tapes they believe will enable them to become music stars. Desperate for money, Dirk resorts to prostitution but is assaulted and robbed by three men. Dirk, Reed, and their friend Todd Parker attempt to scam local drug dealer Rahad Jackson by selling him a half-kilo of baking soda disguised as cocaine. Dirk and Reed decide to leave before Rahad's bodyguard inspects it, but Todd attempts to steal additional drugs and money from Rahad. In the ensuing gunfight, Todd shoots Rahad's bodyguard and is killed by Rahad. Dirk and Reed barely escape and Dirk reconciles with Jack.

In 1984, Buck and Jessie give birth to their son, Amber shoots the television commercial for Buck's store opening, Reed performs a magic act at a strip club, Colonel James remains in prison, Maurice opens a night club and Rollergirl takes a GED class. Dirk and Amber prepare to start filming again.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Boogie Nights" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools