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Metroland (1997)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 21 August 1998 (UK)
The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after ten years absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Boris Terral ...
Punk Girl
Middle-Aged Commuter
Bethan Fairbairn ...
Daisy Fairbairn ...
Del Bartle ...
One of The Subverts


After ten years absence Toni, Chris's best friend, suddenly reappears in London to bring chaos and doubt into Chris's calm, tranquil, slightly boring, predictable life. Chris starts to remember his carefree youth as a photographer in Paris when he lived with and enjoyed a torrid affair with Annick. It was also in Paris that he first met and fell in love with Marion. The temptations and pressure exerted on Chris by Toni to return to their former carefree life of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll soon starts to have an impact on Chris's marriage. He starts to question his values, his lifestyle choices and his relationship with Marion and even suspects her of starting an affair with Toni whom she dislikes! Eventually circumstances come to a head and Chris is forced to decide whether to follow Toni back to the hedonistic, irresponsible life of his youth or face the harsh realities of the present and stay with Marion. Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Metroland is not a location - it is a state of mind.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

21 August 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Keskellä elämää  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,682, 11 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$299,463, 6 June 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The film takes place in 1977. See more »


When sitting in the Pub talking about sleeping with "other" women and having sex with the same person for so long, the song heard on the juke-box in the background is Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing". Although an early version of the song had indeed been recorded in June 1977 and even received significant airplay in London, the particular version heard wasn't recorded until mid 1978. See more »


The Retired Commuter: It doesn't matter where you go. Metroland isn't a place. It's a state of mind.
See more »


Your Destiny
Composed by Del Bartle
Performed by The Subverts
See more »

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User Reviews

Baby Boomers Attractively Wallowing in Regrets and Good Music
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Metroland" should appeal to boomers, particularly ones who now find themselves in the suburbs and/or with families. (It did not appeal to the two senior citizen couples next to and in back of me who did not shut up throughout the whole movie as they didn't seem to grasp the concepts of flashbacks or fantasy images)

I'm sure there's other movies that have a friend and/or sibling interfering in a stable relationship and shaking the tree (my friend thought of "Hilary and Jackie"-- but maybe because both have Emily Watson, here bundled up in sweaters to try and make her less ravishing) but I couldn't think of one that deals with our time period of post-'60's measurements of personal happiness and fulfillment. We could relate to the English and Parisian experiences with parallel ones here from the same time periods of '68 vs. '78 (nicely accurate hair styles, make-up and clothes).

While there are no shortage of shots of gorgeous naked women, there's ironic visual comment regardless the lead character's lovemaking techniques don't improve over the decade of experience. One sees plenty of Christian Bale, such that I think it would, I imagine, appeal to gay men as well.

Nice use of punk music (freaking out the senior next to me!), otherwise the score was quite lovely by Mark Knopfler, with a closing song original to the movie, with apropos lyrics.

(originally written 4/17/1999)

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