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Absolute Beginners (1986)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Musical | 18 April 1986 (USA)
In 1958 London a young photographer seeks media stardom to keep the love of a beautiful, aspiring fashion designer.



(based on the novel by), (developed for the screen by) | 4 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie O'Connell ...
Henley of Mayfair
Mandy Rice-Davies ...
Eve Ferret ...
Big Jill
Tony Hippolyte ...
Mr. Cool
Graham Fletcher-Cook ...
Joseph McKenna ...
Fabulous Hoplite (as Joe McKenna)
The Fanatic
Athene Duncannon (as Sade Adu)
Ed the Ted (as Tenpole Tudor)
Alan Freeman ...


A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin's Notting Hill housing estate... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welcome to the world of your dreams! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Absolutamente Principiantes  »

Box Office


$930,211 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


| (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Julien Temple has claimed Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson were fans of the film and its dance sequences, but he admitted the film's commercial failure "pretty much got me exiled from the film industry". See more »


When Harry Charms is auditioning young singers with Colin, there is a boom mic visible when Harry and Colin first enter the studio. See more »


[first lines]
Colin: [narrating] I remember that hot, wonderful summer. When the teenage miracle reached full bloom and everyone in England stopped what they were doing to stare at what had happened. The Soho nights were cool in the heat, with light and music in the streets. And we couldn't believe that this was really coming to us at last. Nobody knew exactly why. But after so many dreary years of bombs and blitz and slow rebuilding; no sugar, no jam, nothing sweet anywhere; with the whole English ...
See more »


References The Wind Cannot Read (1958) See more »


Santa Lucia
Performed and composed by Ekow Abban
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User Reviews

A great journey through London
6 September 2003 | by (Premiere Video (Dallas, Tx)) – See all my reviews

A fun musical with a lot of energy and great acting, 'Absolute Beginners' will win a place in your heart. This is the sharpest I've seen Bowie in a film, and Patsy Kensit was beautiful as Suzette. A political piece as well as a time piece, Temple captured the feel of a Broadway or West End musical perfectly. A great turnaround for Temple, who really had me worried after directing 'Mantrap'. It is a musical, so liberties have to be allowed, but for fans of the musical this is a great one to check out. Rating: 27/40

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