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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

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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 character role of "Maxwell Demon" that he created, he plots his own murder. When fans discover the murder is not real, his star falls abruptly and he is quickly forgotten about. 1984: Arthur, a journalist working for a New York newspaper, gets assigned the tenth anniversary 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


The Rise Of A Star... The Fall Of A Legend! 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
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Did You Know?


Toni Collette was cast very late in pre-production and had very stiff competition from several other actresses for the role of Mandy Slade. Director Todd Haynes finally cast Collette after the actress faxed him a personal note that read simply "I AM MANDY SLADE!" Haynes saw this as exactly the kind of thing the character Mandy would do. See more »


The clear acoustic guitar heard during the "Death of Glitter" was played by Ralph Morse, but is unseen on stage. See more »


[after Curt Wild has exposed himself to an audience]
Brian Slade: They despised him.
Mandy Slade: Yeah. But when you're abused like that, you know you've touched the stars.
Brian Slade: I know. I just... just wish it'd been me. Wish I'd thought of it.
Mandy Slade: You will, love.
See more »


References The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) See more »


Tumbling Down
Written by Steve Harley
Performed by The Venus in Furs
Vocal by Jonathan Rhys Meyers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stardust Memories
3 June 1999 | by (The Poppy Field, OZ 69666) – See all my reviews

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that has polarized people as much as this one, or at least very few. Some people have put down every single thing about it. As for me, when my roommate (who had already seen it) asked me what I'd thought of it I replied in all honesty, "I loved every single frame of it." She concurred, and we've both seen it again since. I plan to buy it as soon as I can find it for sale. It's heavy on metaphors, which seems to have annoyed a lot of people. As for it's structural resemblance to 'Citizen Kane', that was one of the points. Glam rock was in part about copying others for copying's sake, like Brian Slade copied from Curt Wild, and everyone copied from Jack Fairy. The performances are all great. Some may nitpick about how the characters were portrayed, but I think they were all apt. Ewan McGregor has gotten plenty of slobbering, ecstatic praise from me in the past, and this only encouraged the worship. Toni Collette, so mired in ugly duckling roles since 'Muriel's Wedding', is wonderful, as is Christian Bale's brittle, disillusioned reporter role. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is, as Brian Slade, a glittering void, as cloaked in mystery at the end as he was at the beginning. Some of have criticized his role, but I think he did it just right, with a grand coldness. One believes that only such a creature could be the idol of an era that was, in the end, about glittering emotional voids and icy hipness. Why did he do what he did? We never know. That's one of the best parts. (I must embarrass myself here by noting, also, that Rhys-Meyers is so shockingly beautiful it's disgusting, like eating too much honey. Kinda makes you wanna puke on his shoes, doesn't it?) I suppose that not everyone can be expected to love this movie as much as I did, but I'm still a little surprised at some of the venom that's been spit at it. Then again, it is a truly enigmatic film, delicious for those who can appreciate a glorious feast of sight and sound, but just plain confusing and annoying for those who lack the imagination to appreciate it.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
More films of the same style? monicsufmg
Toni Collette's drifting accent was irritating. psychocatrockerchick
Opinions... audiograve
Could have been so much better. angrytruckingguy
It's one of my faves kilgoretrout72
Maxwell's demon claudiamcrr
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