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Babylon (1981)

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 349 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

The movie centers around Brindsley Forde's character blue. He fronts a reggae sound system based in west London. The movie captures the trials and tribulations of young black youths in troubled London in the early eighties.


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Title: Babylon (1981)

Babylon (1981) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
David N. Haynes ...
Trevor Laird ...
Victor Romero Evans ...
Brian Bovell ...
Archie Pool ...
Brinsley Forde ...
Karl Howman ...
Beverley Michaels ...
Elaine (as Beverly Michaels)
Ann Duncan ...
Beefy's Girl
Beverley Dublin ...
King Sounds ...
Cynthia Powell ...
T-Bone Wilson ...
Wesley (as T.Bone Wilson)
Vilma Hollingbery ...
Lady in Street


Babylon follows the story of David, a working class musician and black man in South East London. By day he works as a mechanic, at night David is a Mic controller at a local dance hall. The film centers around the racial divide of London in the 80's, the lack of opportunities available to black people and poverty. David loses his job, gets beaten up and charged by the police, forcing him to go on the run. Then breaking up with his girlfriend, all of his frustrations culminate in the stabbing of a racist neighbour. Written by John Mulholland

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

11 September 1981 (Canada)  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?


Shaka directed the scene in which he appeared. See more »


This is likely to be a 'deliberate error by the film-makers', but in one scene you see two characters putting up a poster advertising a gig. The date shown is Saturday 23rd December (year unspecified). The nearest year that this date fell on was 1978, which is 2 years before the film was released. It is possible that various anachronisms in the film may occur due to this, for example release dates of records, or registration number plates of new cars. See more »


Alan: Oi!
Blue: What?
Alan: D'you wanna know something?
Blue: What?
Alan: You got too much of this.
Blue: Yeah?
Alan: Yeah.
Alan: Especially for a coon. I don't like moneys who get too clever in my garage. In other words son, you're fucking out. D'you understand?
See more »

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User Reviews

maphubaird hit it on the head..
7 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Look, I'm glad I saw Babylon. Low budget cult, yes. And as my man maphubaird said, it takes itself a little too seriously. For me, The film had 4-6 gorgeous, modern shots. Shots that showed the East End ( Might has well as been the Bronx the same period) in it's long lensed and well framed "bald reality." Yet, the story was clumsy. Only the blazing of a big head on my part assisted in long term watching of "Babylon" . BUT!!! I will celebrate the soundtrack in the fullest as well as big up the "winding section" That was some of the most loping and genuine film I'd ever seen.

Bottom line, I watched a third generation video tape dub (EAT ASS MPAA!) and still thoroughly enjoyed this film. And to tell the truth, a good 89% of my friends would enjoy it too( I know the "gorilla in the midst" in me liked it.)

We all like these stories, these immigrant, overcoming odds stories... Just let's not be predictable. Maybe This film was a victim of it's time and misguided white influence, maybe it was the hack writer from Quadrophenia. All for naught.

The energy is there, it's just the timeless art that's missing. More good shots, less cliché, more BK reality and Babylon would be as prescient now as it was in the 80's.

ps-Big Up if you came here from the Don Letts interview!!!

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