Risky Business

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Details At A Glance

Category Coming-Of-Age Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1983 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 95 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Biographies
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Paul Brickman

Warner Brothers
Starring Tom Cruise
Rebecca De Mornay
Case Snapper
RRP $29.95 Music  

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes

Plot Synopsis

    Risky Business is the seminal coming-of-age movie of the 1980s. It stars a very youthful Tom Cruise as Joel Goodsen, a high school student who has the house to himself because his parents are leaving on a trip. Being a typical adolescent male, Joel has one thing on his mind, and it isn't food. Things go from bad to worse when he is chased by Guido the pimp (Joe Pantoliano) and his father's Porsche ends up in Lake Michigan.

    Joel is ably assisted by Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) a sassy brassy prostitute who befriends Joel and shows him how to make a quick buck, amongst other things.

    There are a number of classic scenes and lines in this movie, including the memorable dance Joel does to the tune of Bob Seeger's Old Time Rock And Roll. If you like Tom Cruise, or if you like Rebecca De Mornay, or even if you just want to relive the memory of a classic 1980s movie, watch Risky Business. It really does make you feel old when you realise that this movie is now 15 years old.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is good, even though it does show its age to a certain extent.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The other side of the disc carries a Full Frame presentation of the movie.

    The transfer was mostly clear and sharp, though odd scenes here and there were a bit on the grainy side. Shadow detail was acceptable without being great, and no low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were acceptable, though the entire look of the movie was that of an older movie. This is presumably as a result of the use of older-style film stocks when the film was originally shot.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of small amounts of aliasing on venetian blinds, but certainly nothing to be at all concerned about. Film artefacts were plentiful early on in the movie, with lots of white scratches to be seen. Fortunately, this settled down as the movie progressed.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and audible.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The musical score was provided by Tangerine Dream and had their characteristic synthetic sound about it. In the case of this movie, this actually very nicely complemented the on-screen action. In addition, a number of then contemporary songs were used with great effect, including the aforementioned Old Time Rock And Roll and the Phil Collins classic In The Air Tonight.

     The surround channel had limited use for music, but otherwise the movie sound came from the centre channel only. Basically, this was a stereo movie with a small amount of signal mixed to the rears. It was not enveloping at all, not that this caused any particular negative impact on the movie.

   The .1 channel received a small amount of signal at times from the Prologic processor during passages of music but was otherwise silent.


    Only extremely limited extras are on this disc.


    The main menu is plain and functional. It is 16x9 enhanced.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are of average length, and there are only three of them.


    Risky Business is a bone fide classic. Whilst not up to the standard of current generation transfers, there is little to complain about with this transfer, so if you want the movie, go ahead and add it to your collection.

    The video quality is acceptable, even though there are quite a number of film artefacts visible early on in the movie.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The extras present are very very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
6th May 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer