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Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Music  |  23 October 1998 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 26,232 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


The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one 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 Stooges type backing band is the called the Wylde Ratts. In the early 1970s there was a Stooges influnced band playing around Sydney Australia called The Rats. See more »


When Brian is onstage at the Sombrero Club and the members of the audience are clapping along with him to the music, the motions of their hands do not match the rhythm in the music. See more »


Jerry Divine: That man sitting over there in the white suit... is the biggest thing to come out of this country sinced sliced Beatles.
See more »


Featured in Shakespeare in Love and on Film (1999) See more »


The Whole Shebang
Written by Grant Lee Phillips
Performed by Grant Lee Buffalo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lovely, lovely lovely. And Jonathan Rhys-Meyers's just soooooooo beautiful
5 December 1998 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

This is definitely one of the best movies I've ever seen. I must admit the beginning confused me a bit, and the movie may have lacked in plot, but I just didn't notice, during the movie, I felt like I got sucked up within it, not like becoming one of the characters, but as if the cinema and the people within was gone and the only thing that existed was the movie - this only happens to me very,very rarely, I don't know if I've really been _that_ captured by a movie ever before - and it seemed the time that passed was at the same time very long and still just a few minutes. It felt somewhat like a very intense dream of sorts, and it lasted for the rest of the night once I got out of the cinema.

Indeed, these where fictional characters, like so many have pointed out before I did, even though based on real glam-rockers. However, I don't think that matters very much (although that may be because I wasn't there during the glam-era) it's a very good movie, it's artistic and the music is adorable (but I do think Bowie should have let them include at least the song Velvet Goldmine) so why bother about whether it's really real or fictional? Why not just enjoy it?

As for the Jack Fairy-character that some of you has wondered why he was there, I thought it was him who shot Maxwell... but as far as I'm concerned, he didn't have to do anything really, he was beautiful enough (not quite as marvellous as Jonathan's character Brian though) to have his existence in the movie justified anyway.

I rate this my fav movie right now, and everyone with an open mind should see it and for the rest of you lot, I just pity you that you can not see the beauty of this piece of art, because it really really is an utterly beautiful dream, I'd like to call it, once you let yourself fall into it and don't think of annoying unimportances (which I usually do while watching a movie, this one saved me from that, I guess I owe that to Todd and the talented, beautiful actors).

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