Risky Business | Chicago Reader

Risky Business

Paul Brickman's 1983 film approaches Jerzy Skolimowski's Deep End as one of the finest film explorations of the end of innocence. Taking off from the format of a typical teenage sex comedy, Brickman deepens the characters and tightens the situations, filming them in a dark, dreamlike style full of sinuous camera movements and surrealistic insinuations. Brickman found a tone I hadn't encountered previously—one of haunting, lyrical satire. Tom Cruise, in what may be the genre's only convincing portrayal of an 18-year-old, is a Highland Park boy driven by parental, sexual, and societal pressures into a romantic/economic relationship with a Chicago prostitute; the film ends by suggesting his complete corruption, in one of the most bitter and plangent sequences allowed to pass in an American movie. With Rebecca De Mornay and Joe Pantoliano. 96 min.



  • Paul Brickman


  • Tom Cruise
  • Rebecca De Mornay
  • Bronson Pinchot
  • Joe Pantoliano
  • Richard Masur
  • Curtis Armstrong
  • Nicholas Pryor
  • Janet Carroll
  • Shera Danese
  • Raphael Sbarge
  • Bruce Young
  • Kevin Anderson
  • Sarah Partridge
  • Nathan Davis
  • Scott Harlan
  • Sheila Keenan
  • Lucy Harrington
  • Jerry Tullos
  • Jerome Landfield
  • Ron Dean
  • Bruno Aclin
  • Robert Kurcz
  • Fern Persons
  • Cynthia Baker
  • Wayne C. Kneeland
  • Jade Gold
  • Karen Grossman
  • Brett Baer


  • Paul Brickman


  • Jon Avnet
  • Steve Tisch

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