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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Music  |  23 October 1998 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 26,204 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 315 user | 99 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley ...
Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver ...
Osheen Jones ...
Micko Westmoreland ...
Damian Suchet ...
BBC Reporter
Kissing Sailor
Young Man


1971: Glamrock explodes all over the world and challenges the seriousness within the flower power generation by means of glitter and brutal music. Brian Slade, a young rock star, inspires numerous teenage boys and girls to paint their nails and explore their own sexuality. In the end Slade destroys himself. Unable to escape the role he created for himself, he plots his own murder. When his fans discover that the murder is not real, his star falls and he is forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the story about the fake murder of Brian Slade. When Arthur was young and growing up in Manchester, he was more than a fan of Slade. Reluctantly he accepts the assignment and starts to investigate what happened to his old glamrock hero. Written by Jack Fairy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A man's life is his image See more »


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bálványrock - Velvet Goldmine  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£156,050 (UK) (23 October 1998)


$1,043,487 (USA) (11 December 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was originally titled "Glitter Kids." In development, the original screenplay was titled "Glam!" See more »


When Maxwell Demon gets shot in 1974, the bass player is holding a Gibson Thunderbird centennial reissue, a bass that didn't come out until 1976. See more »


Brian Slade: Ha! Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner!
See more »


References Flaming Creatures (1963) See more »


We Are the Boys
Written by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey,
Mark Webber
Lyrics by Jarvis Cocker (as J. Cocker)
Performed by Pulp
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

great & campy fun...
7 November 1998 | by (dc) – See all my reviews

i really enjoyed this movie. the person who reviewed it so negatively seems to have missed the point. yes, it is over the top, campy & sometimes corny. but come on! you were expecting a restrained movie about david bowie and iggy pop?

i loved the camp, outfits, and excesses, and was unexpectedly moved by the story. using a queer, ex-fan reporter to frame the movie--so as to emphasize the effect that this bi-positive bi-posing rock star had on queer kids, and how upsetting his betrayal of them was--worked brilliantly. the use of arty-fairydust moments to capture the importance of fantasy to this scene worked wonderfully. i really appreciated jack fairy, as a character and as a link from glitter to the drag scene--this is not usually acknoledged. and whenever the movie veered too far into preciousness, the iggy pop/kurt wild character showed up to redeem it. his origin story--18 months of electroshock after being caught having sex with a boy--was a much-needed dose of reality in the midst of the glitter. and whenever the movie needed testosterone and directness, he appeared to supply it.

well, i think it's pretty clear that i'm the demographic for this movie--i'm the right age, i'm a fag, and i love both punk and glitter. but my straight boyfriend adored it too. if you ever enjoyed glitter or punk, keep an open mind & check it out, i think you'll like it. even if you don't, you can always look at the pretty outfits.

43 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Bale's wonderful performance mayani
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