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Beautiful Thing (1996)

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.



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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Walsh ...
Mr. Bennett
Steven M. Martin ...
Ryan McBride (as Steven Martin)
Andrew Fraser ...
John Savage ...
Scott Neal ...
Glen Berry ...
Julie Smith ...
Linda Henry ...
Jeillo Edwards ...
Tameka Empson ...
Anna Karen ...
Ronnie Pearce
Daniel Bowers ...
Trevor Pearce


A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie's mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to 'top-and-tail' with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. In deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra's unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste's family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra's desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the ... Written by Mark Edwards <me93fm@soton.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An urban fairytale.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Csodálatos dolog  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,931 (USA) (11 October 1996)


$1,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On July 2013 filming location has been demolished as part of the Tavy Bridge regeneration project. See more »


At the party, Leah is holding an object in her hand. If you look closely, you notice that the larger white end is in her hand with the gray thin end on top. When the shot is zoomed out, you can tell it's now upside down with Leah holding the gray thin end in her hand. See more »


Ste: There ain't nowhere else.
Sandra: There is, actually, Ste. There's an island in the Mediterranean called Lesbian, and all its inhabitants are dykes. So you've got your eye wiped there.
See more »


Features Algiers (1938) See more »


One Way Ticket
Bruce Hart (as Hart) & Stephen Lawrence (as Lawrence)
Sung by Cass Elliot (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

The Brits do it again...
9 February 2004 | by (Albuquerque, NM) – See all my reviews

It seems when it comes to gay-themed movies, the Brits outdo us Americans hands down. This movie is another example of this fact. This movie rates as one of the best in this genre. Get Real comes a close second.

The young actors that play Jamie and Ste do an extraordinary job sometimes forgetting how well they pull off such complex characters throughout the movie. I think any gay man growing up can relate to Jamie. He doesn't excel in sports, and almost too smart for his own mother. He is comfortable with his sexuality, and he doesn't give a damn what the world thinks of him. Ste, on the other hand, fears his older brother, and his father made his life miserable. As he states in the film, "they made me ugly". Ste is not all ugly, and Jamie realizes this, and is attracted to his brash, manly demeanor. Unfortunately, Ste's own demons and his insecurities are present throughout the film. At one point, Ste ashamed of rumors of his questionable sexuality, denies it to a heartbroken Jamie.

Obviously, I enjoyed this movie. The scenes between Jamie and his mother and likewise, between Jamie and Ste, are perhaps the best parts of the movie. I understand having Leah in the movie to provide the supporting role of comic relief was a necessity in most film requirements, but in this one, it distracted the viewer to an extent. I was so glad when it came out on DVD, so I can put my last VHS tape to rest, but disappointed that there were no cast interviews or extras at the end. Granted, the movie was made six years or so after the DVD came out, but you might think the film makers would find something of interest.

So England what will be the next great gay movie ?

57 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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