Boogie Nights

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German title Boogie Nights
Original title Boogie Nights
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1997
length 149 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Paul Thomas Anderson
script Paul Thomas Anderson
production Paul Thomas Anderson
music Michael Penn
camera Robert Elswit
cut Dylan Tichenor

Boogie Nights is an American drama directed by Paul Thomas Anderson from 1997 . The film is an adaptation of Anderson's own short film The Dirk Diggler Story from 1988. It portrays the rise and fall of a porn actor during the Golden Age of Porn in California's San Fernando Valley in the late 1970s and early 1980s from the perspective of the young porn star Dirk Diggler, played by Mark Wahlberg , who rises to superstar in the porn scene, but ultimately fails. Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore are in charge of the roles .

Boogie Nights marked the artistic breakthrough for director and screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson and for lead actor Mark Wahlberg, who to date has mainly enjoyed success as a model and singer. Burt Reynolds was named Best Supporting Actor at the 1998 Golden Globe Awards for his role as porn producer Jack Horner . Paul Thomas Anderson was at the Oscar Awards 1998 in the category "Best Original Screenplay" nominated, Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore in the category "Best Supporting Actor (in)" .


1977: Young Eddie Adams recently dropped out of high school. He works in a night club, where he meets the porn producer Jack Horner and the porn actress "Rollergirl". After an argument with his mother, Eddie moves into Jack Horner's mansion in the San Fernando Valley. Eddie calls himself "Dirk Diggler" and because of his good looks, his youthful charisma and his unusually large penis, he quickly becomes a star in the industry. His success enables him to purchase a new house as well as a Corvette C3 . With his friend and colleague Reed Rothchild, Dirk appears in a number of action-packed porn films.

At a New Year's Eve party in Horner's villa in 1980, assistant director “Little” Bill Thompson discovered his wife having sex with another man. He shoots them both and then himself. Meanwhile, Dirk takes cocaine for the first time at this New Year's Eve party. From then on he took cocaine regularly, but this increasingly caused him to have erectile dysfunction . He's upset with the new pornstar Johnny Doe recently recruited by Jack. In 1983 Dirk was fired after an argument with Jack. He then tries to start a music career with Reed, but fails. Because the two of them spent their money on drugs, they also can't pay for the recording studio demo tapes. Jack rejects the offer from porn cinema magnate Floyd Gondolli, who plans to cut costs through direct-to-video productions. However, Jack is convinced that this will affect the quality of his films. After his friend and financier, Colonel James, was jailed for possession of child pornography , Jack still works with Gondolli and is disappointed with the planned projects. One of these projects involves Jack and Rollergirl driving in a limo and randomly looking for pedestrians to have sex with while being filmed by the crew. When a man recognizes Rollergirl as a former high school classmate, he insults her and Jack. The young man is then beaten up on the sidewalk by Jack and Rollergirl.

The porn actress Amber Waves is in a custody battle with her ex-husband. The court found that she was an unsuitable mother because of her work in the porn industry, her criminal record and her cocaine addiction. Buck Swope marries the pregnant actress Jessie St. Vincent. Because of his activities in the porn industry, he too has to fight against discrimination: He does not get a loan from the bank and therefore cannot open his own business for music systems. That night he witnessed a robbery in a donut shop in which the clerk, the robber and a customer were killed. Buck flees with the money that the robber wanted to steal.

Dirk is desperate and tries prostitution, but is attacked and robbed by three men. Dirk, Reed and Todd Parker try to scam the local drug dealer Rahad Jackson by selling him half a kilo of baking powder as cocaine. Dirk and Reed want to escape while Rahad's bodyguard examines the goods, but Todd insists on stealing extra drugs and money from Rahad. In a shootout, Todd shoots Rahad's bodyguard and Todd is killed by Rahad. Dirk and Reed escape and Dirk is reconciled with Jack.

In 1984, Buck and Jessie gave birth to their son. Amber becomes a director shooting the television commercial for Buck's store opening. Reed works as a magician in a strip club. Colonel James remains in jail. Maurice opens a nightclub and Rollergirl tries to catch up on high school graduation. In the last scene, Dirk and Amber prepare to make a porn movie.


The film deals with the American porn industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s with extensive film music and detailed props.

The character of Dirk Diggler alludes to the real porn actor John Holmes , who was considered "the man with the biggest cock in the world" and who later died of AIDS .

The final scene in front of the mirror, when you can see Diggler's penis in a non-erect state, is an allusion to the Scorsese film Like a Wild Bull .


The film premiered on September 11, 1997 at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in US theaters on October 10 of the same year. The German theatrical release took place on June 4, 1998.


“Stylistically, the film skilfully moves into the cinematic fashions of that time and creates the dazzling image of an epoch that propagated a life in libertinage beyond civic barriers. In terms of its subject matter and its commitment to it, it is certainly not an undisputed film, but on a human level it is definitely moving, which tries neither to discredit nor to defend the porn industry, but rather understands its makers with their lifelong dreams as symptoms of their time. "

"In a two-and-a-half-hour parforce ride over the rise and fall of a porn star, Anderson traces the film industry and life in America through the late 70s and 80s in a parable and lets exuberant humor and 'lust for life' on a wave of violence and destructiveness bounce. "

- Focus on film

“Paul Thomas Anderson shot an unusual film that transcends the Hollywood clichés. Unfortunately, the film also has many lengths. Although these diminish the pleasure, it is still a skillful time portrait. Burt Reynolds - he's almost seldom here - and Julianne Moore were Oscar nominations for supporting actors. It's a shame that the sex scenes seem really tired, even though porn actresses like Nina Hartley are playing. "

- Prism Online

“Boogie Nights is a drastic, fast-paced and visually completely convincing film that doesn't have to shy away from comparisons with films by Robert Altman or Martin Scorsese. He does not condemn or gloss over the porn industry in any way, but shows which motives and hopes were connected with the Golden Age Of Porn and where it all led. "



The film was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1998 . Burt Reynolds was nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" for his role as a pornographic director, and Julianne Moore was also nominated for "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of Amber Waves. Also Oscar-nominated: the script by Paul Thomas Anderson. However, all three nominees received nothing.

In contrast, Burt Reynolds received a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, and Julianne Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.


The German dubbing was done by Neue Tonfilm München .

actor German speaker Role name
Mark Wahlberg Oliver Mink Eddie Adams / Dirk Diggler
Burt Reynolds Norbert Langer Jack Horner
Julianne Moore Katharina Lopinski Maggie / Amber Waves
William H. Macy Ulrich Frank Little Bill
Heather Graham Solveig Duda Rollergirl / Brandy
Thomas Jane Marcus Off Todd Parker
Don Cheadle Oliver Stritzel Buck Swope
Philip Seymour Hoffman Kai Taschner Scotty J.
John C. Reilly Ekkehardt Belle Reed Rothchild
Luis Guzman Gudo Hoegel Maurice TT Rodriguez
Philip Baker Hall Norbert Gastell Floyd Gondolli
Robert Ridgely Hartmut Reck Colonel James
Nina Hartley Michèle Tichawsky Little Bill's wife
Alfred Molina Wolfgang Müller Rahad Jackson
Michael Jace Manfred Trilling Jerome

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Approval certificate for Boogie Nights . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , April 2010 (PDF; test number: 79 468 V).
  2. ^ Kristine McKenna: Knows It When He Sees It (en) . In: Los Angeles Times , October 12, 1997. Retrieved November 1, 2018. 
  3. Ed Pilkington: Bigger, Louder, More Frogs - How Paul Thomas Anderson sets himself apart from Hollywood's other Wunderkinds. (en) . In: The Guardian , January 4, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2018. 
  4. Boogie Nights. In: Cinema . Hubert Burda Media , accessed on November 1, 2018 .
  5. Boogie Nights. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  6. criticism of the film at
  7. Boogie Nights. In: German synchronous index , accessed on October 28, 2018 .