MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 218 this week

Downtown 81 (1981)
"New York Beat Movie" (original title)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 729 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 10 user | 22 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 05 Apr 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 09 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 39 titles
created 13 Aug 2013
 
NYC
a list of 31 titles
created 27 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Downtown 81" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Downtown 81 (1981)

Downtown 81 (1981) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Downtown 81.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A portrait of New York artist Keith Haring.

Director: Christina Clausen
Stars: Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Julia Gruen
Unmade Beds (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

This is the story of Rico, a man who lives in New York in 1976 but who lives his own life in Paris during the time of the 'New Wave'. He is a photographer who thinks he's a gangster, a ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Poe
Stars: Baby Adams, Patti Astor, Lynnette Bean
Con Artist (2009)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A docu-comedy feature film about a once-famous millionaire "business artist" forced to confront his own legendary obnoxious behavior, while trying to find love through fame.

Director: Michael Sladek
Stars: Wilfredo Arias, Molly Barnes, Jean Michel Basquiat
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at the life, work, and impact of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), pop icon and artist, from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his death after a botched surgery. Warhol coined the word "... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Workman
Stars: Joan Agajanian Quinn, Jean Michel Basquiat, Irving Blum
Blank City (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

During the punk rock stage in the late '70s, downtown New York experienced a wave of "Do it yourself" independent filmmaking.

Director: Celine Danhier
Stars: Amos Poe, Ann Magnuson, Becky Johnston
TV Party (Video 2005)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

From 1978 to 1982 Glenn O'Brien hosted an insane punk rock New York City cable TV show called TV Party. Co-hosted by Chris Stein, from Blondie, and directed by filmmaker Amos Poe, the hour ... See full summary »

Director: Danny Vinik
Stars: Robert Aaron, Babs, Jean Michel Basquiat
Bomb It (2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tells the story of contemporary graffiti, tracing its roots in ancient rock paintings through Picasso to its place in hip-hop culture in 1970's New York City.

Director: Jon Reiss
Stars: Cope 2, Kid Acne, Antonio
Union City (1980)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A man is so obsessed with finding the person responsible for stealing his milk bottles that he ignores his beautiful young wife, who has other ideas on her mind.

Director: Marcus Reichert
Stars: Dennis Lipscomb, Deborah Harry, Sam McMurray
Wild Style (1983)
Documentary | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Legendary New York graffiti artist Lee Quinones plays the part of Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between ... See full summary »

Director: Charlie Ahearn
Stars: 'Lee' George Quinones, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy
Andy Warhol (1987)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The first major profile of the American Pop Art cult leader after his death in 1987 covers the whole of his life and work through interviews, clips from his films, and conversations with ... See full summary »

Directors: Kim Evans, Lana Jokel
Stars: Andy Warhol, Paul Morrissey, Viva
The Foreigner (1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

European secret agent Max Menace arrives in New York City, waiting for his contact to tell him his assignment. He becomes entangled with an assortment of odd characters and situations, but ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Poe
Stars: Eric Mitchell, Anya Phillips, Patti Astor
Subway Riders (1981)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Psychotic saxophone player (played both by Amos Poe and John Lurie) lures victims to deserted spots with his music and then guns them down.

Director: Amos Poe
Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Charlene Kaleina, Cookie Mueller
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Ted Bafaloukos ...
Junk Dealer
Tom Baker ...
Go-Go Bar Patron
...
Herself
...
Himself
Roberta Bayley ...
Street Girl
Snooky Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Tish Bellomo ...
Manic Panic Girl
Bemshi ...
Dancer
Victor Bockris ...
Conversationalist at Mudd Club
Byron Bowie ...
Himself
Joe Bowie ...
Himself - Trombonist, James White & The Blacks
Diane Brill ...
Kid Creole Announcer
Steven Brown ...
Himself
John Browner ...
Go-Go Bar Patron
Clem Burke ...
The Felons band member
Edit

Storyline

The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he's paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he'll have a place to spend the night. Downtown 81 not only captures one of the most interesting and lively artists of the twentieth century as he is poised for fame, but it is a slice of life from one of the most exciting periods in American culture, with the emergence of new wave music, new painting, hip hop and graffiti. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Downtown 81  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,436 (USA) (13 July 2001)

Gross:

$100,293 (USA) (26 October 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1981, financial problems prevented the post-production and release of the film. Subsequently, parts of the film became lost over the years. After much searching, the missing materials were located in 1998. Finally, post production began in 1999 and the film was released in 2000. See more »

Quotes

Jean Michel Basquiat: I'm an artist. When you tell people that they usually say, 'what's your medium?' I usually say, 'extra large.'
See more »

Connections

Featured in Basquiat (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

New Day
Written by Walter Steding
Performed by Walter Steding and The Dragon People
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Reply to Xanadu-2, as to where it has been for 20 years
20 October 2002 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Hello there, The fact that this movie came out after 20 years is due to some kind of miracle : business problems prevented post-production to be completed in 81 and then part of the footage of the film was lost in Europe. It took about 16 years to find it again. It contributed to building the legend of some underground artists like Tuxedomoon who, in 1981, kind of counted partly on that movie to make them famous, as they well deserved, on the East coast. In 2000, when the film came out at the Cannes festival, it contributed to put them back together after about ten years of solely concentrating on their solo career, being now dispersed all over the world (Mexico, New York, Athens, Brussels), as the footage of this film once was...


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Downtown 81 vs Basquiat alejandroconvers
Saul Williams? lft_tackle
Song that opens film Cquacks77
Anyone else wonder where the cast are at this moment in time? wiretapyeti
street locations Jimk1287
Soundtrack YoBadAzizi84
Discuss Downtown 81 (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?