155 user 48 critic

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?


Jonathan Harvey: Screenwriter appears as the Wheelchair Queen in the scene in the Gloucester pub. See more »


When Leah is dressed up as Mama Cass, she has yellow tights over her head. Between shots the legs of the tights alternate from behind/in front of her shoulders. 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 »


Featured in Here's Looking at You, Boy (2007) See more »


Move In a Little Closer Baby
by Arnold Capitanelli (as Capitanelli) & Robert O'Connor (as O'Connor)
Sung by Cass Elliot (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best films I shall enjoy again & again
11 September 2005 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Once again, I am overwhelmed by the excellence of British film-making & acting. I truly bow to the British honing of the craft of acting, which is brilliantly presented in this film. Storyline aside, the acting of the mother "Sandra" is superb; you feel every emotion on her face as she struggles to make a better life for herself and her son, as well as accept her son's growing awareness of his own sexuality. Remarkably, she is my favourite character in this film, notwithstanding the performances of the 2 boys, who are superb. The boyfriend, Tony, is also wonderful as a supporting character. My favourite scenes are actually sequential: first, the shot of Sandra following the boys in a cab, as the shock & turmoil of her emotions is beautifully portrayed during this scene; second, the followup scene with the boys in the park, probably, for me, the most wonderfully innocent, beautiful and intimate scene in the film. I'm probably being silly; every scene in this beautiful film is a treasure and at triumph, for anyone who's ever been in love. I know I will treasure this film always.

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