Corvettes in Cinema: Dirk Diggler’s ‘Boogie Nights’ Stingray
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 masterpiece Boogie Nights, Mark Wahlberg plays Eddie Adams, who in his earnestness and eagerness, is portrayed as the all-American boy. A quick glance around the 17-year-old’s room, seen in the video link at the bottom, confirms as much, what with his posters of Bruce Lee, Farrah Fawcett, and not one, but two Corvette Stingrays.
Could there be a car that better captures the American Dream than a Corvette Stingray? Not according to the first of Eddie’s posters, which says “American Dream” right on it in big, bright letters.
When Eddie “grows up” to become the biggest name in porn, Dirk Diggler, one of his first big purchases is the exact same Stingray we saw decorating his bedroom walls: A “Competition Orange” 1977 C3.
Porn stars and hot cars. In Eddie’s mind, the American Dream has been successfully achieved.
When Eddie shows off his new ride to his adopted mother/fellow porn star, Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Dirk sounds as if he’s going to cry when he says, “This is it — this is the thing. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
And were the movie to end right there, it just might have remained the most beautiful thing ever.
Alas, the ’80s come along, and Eddie’s life, and his beautiful Stingray, take a plunge to the dark side. That the car is a metaphor for Eddie’s fall from grace is a brilliant move, cinematically speaking. But as a Corvette lover, it’s hard to watch. Fortunately, all the gratuitous nudity makes it a little easier to take.
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Click here to watch a clip from Boogie Nights.