It shouldn't have worked.  In an era of mindless, sex-filled teen comedies, it was too smart and too stylish.  Yet, upon its release near the end of the Summer of 1983, it ranked in the Top 10 for the first thirteen weeks of its fifteen week release.  And it was in the Top 5 for all but two of those thirteen, finishing the year as the 10th highest grossing film of 1983 beating out National Lampoon's Vacation, another one of HERC's favorite R rated comedies.

1983 was the year Tom Cruise made a big splash - he'd go supernova with Top Gun in 1986 - but in 1983 he was still fresh-faced and hadn't alienated us with his religious beliefs and public behavior.  After a couple of small roles (Taps, Endless Love) in 1981, Cruise had four films hit theaters in 1983: Losin' It, The Outsiders, Risky Business and All The Right Moves.


In fact, he was filming The Outsiders (above) in Oklahoma when he flew back to Hollywood to audition for Risky Business and he was already filming All The Right Moves in Pennsylvania when he was called back to Hollywood to film an additional scene (the basement toy train scene) for Risky Business,after principal photography had wrapped.


The movie's original "darker" ending tested poorly so it was replaced with a more "optimistic" one and that original director's cut ending wouldn't see the light of day until the 25th Anniversary home video release in 2008.  It is still a fun movie to watch although it is rated R for several reasons and those reasons are not gore or violence.  Also on that disc were the original screen tests of Cruise (who also provides commentary on the disc) and his co-star Rebecca De Mornay.  HERC is fine with both endings - his only quibble with the movie is with the casting of De Mornay.  


The character of Lana is sexy and smart yet damaged and while De Mornay may have been "what every white boy off the lake" wanted in a fantasy girl, she was not HERC's cup of tea.  He would have preferred any of the following actresses of the era: Betsy Russell, Linda Fiorentino, Demi Moore (reportedly considered for the role), Lea Thompson, Jennifer Beals, Elizabeth Shue, Phoebe Cates, Terri Hatcher, Diane Lane (reportedly asked to audition before her father said "no") or Jami Gertz.  According to another source, both Meg Ryan and Sharon Stone were considered for the role of Lana while Debra Winger and Kim Basinger turned it down.

HERC has no such quibbles with the movie's soundtrack which he was fortunate enough to find on vinyl as a British import in 1984 and later on CD.  It features eleven tracks from the film.


Half of the soundtrack album and indeed the whole mood of the movie is established by the music of Tangerine Dream.  The German trio had composed and recorded all original music for the film's soundtrack but when visited by the film's writer/director (Paul Brickman) at their studio in Berlin, he said it wasn't what he was looking for so they came up with still more new music partially based on their earlier works such as Force Majeure [1979], Tangram [1980] and Exit [1981].

The soundtrack album (that's the French cover art above) is also noted for containing edited versions of three other songs used in the movie: "Mannish Boy (I'm A Man)" by Muddy Waters is trimmed by a minute; the otherwise unavailable on CD (at that time) track "D.M.S.R." by Prince had a full three minutes cut from it's full-length eight minutes and almost a minute was edited from Journey's "After The Fall".  To further complicate matters and frustrate/delight collectors, the CD release contained an extra 1 minute and 20 seconds of the Tangerine Dream track "The Dream Is Always The Same"  (the opening theme of the movie) compared to the original vinyl and cassette releases.

Several shorter Tangerine Dream musical cues are not included on the soundtrack album but some were featured on a double vinyl promotional album sent to radio stations in 1983: Risky Business: The Audio Movie Kit has since been bootlegged on CD (seen above).

Three widely available songs can be heard in the film but were left off the soundtrack album:


"Swamp" by Talking Heads,
which includes the film's title within its lyrics,
from Speaking in Tongues;


"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
from Synchronicity;


and "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen
from The River.

Unfortunately, the Risky Business soundtrack album is not available on Spotify nor Songza.  HERC offers the incomplete playlist below as consolation.  (Or you can visit this site to see what they done did.)

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