Risky Business

1983 R 1h 36m DVD

Risky Business

1983 R 1h 36m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
With his parents on vacation, high schooler Joel (Tom Cruise) -- abetted by a prostitute named Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) -- turns opportunity into disaster as he transforms the family home into a brothel, sees a Porsche end up in Lake Michigan and watches his Princeton dreams fade. A pair of briefs, a Bob Seeger tune and some heartfelt lip-syncing catapulted Cruise to stardom in this now-classic Golden Globe-nominated teen comedy.
Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur, Bronson Pinchot, Curtis Armstrong, Nicholas Pryor, Janet Carroll, Shera Danese, Raphael Sbarge
Paul Brickman
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
Spanish (Neutral), French, English
French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital Mono, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this popular comedy is also very deservedly R-rated. It has sex (both in comical fantasy scenes and reality), nudity, profanity, glorified substance abuse, and an especially jaundiced outlook: a teen embarks on the road to manhood by becoming a part-time pimp, and the message is that in modern America that's a wise move, financially and socially. Because the young hero is played by good-guy star Tom Cruise, and because his character escapes punishment in the end, young viewers might interpret this as an endorsement, not a subversive satire.

Sexual Content

Sex and prostitution are key plot ingredients, with brief full-frontal female nudity, and girls in skimpy, provocative clothes. Simulated sex, in dream sequences and even in public places, and talk of masturbation. One sex worker is a cross-dressing man.


Reckless driving and car collisions; a gun waved around.


The F-word is used repeatedly, including in what would be the script's catchphrase: "Sometimes you just have to say 'What the f--k.'" Plus "s--t," "asshole," and "damn."

Social Behavior

Though Joel "Goodson" (that name is Irony 101) doesn't get to keep his ill-gotten earnings, he otherwise escapes punishment in the end and wins much greater prizes: a boost in life and an evident discovery of his destiny, which is to become rich and materially successful. He doesn't seem "evil" or "corrupt" in the traditional sense (he worries about the welfare of his girlfriend-whore Lana even as he believes she used and betrayed him), but definitely has no problem with being a pimp. Prostitution looks like a temptingly glamorous (and self-empowering) career choice, and just about all female characters are treacherous tramps or harsh authoritarians. Obviously this was meant as satire of 1980s values, but it comes across as close to an endorsement.


The status-symbol Porsche automobile and Princeton University get major thumbs-up.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Much tobacco-smoking, specifically intended to signify a young character as "cool." Underaged drinking of alcohol and smoking of marijuana.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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