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24 Hour Party People (2002)

 -  Biography | Comedy | Drama  -  5 April 2002 (UK)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 23,892 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 124 user | 100 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Raymond Waring ...
Vini
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Derek Ryder
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Danny Cunningham ...
Dave Gorman ...
Ralf Little ...
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Nigel Pivaro ...
Actor at Granada
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Storyline

Manchester 1976: Cambridge educated Tony Wilson, Granada TV presenter, is at a Sex Pistols gig. Totally inspired by this pivotal moment in music history, he and his friends set up a record label, Factory Records, signing first Joy Division (who go on to become New Order) then James and the Happy Mondays, who all become seminal artists of their time. What ensues is a tale of music, sex, drugs, larger-than-life characters, and the birth of one of the most famous dance clubs in the world, The Hacienda - a mecca for clubbers as famous as the likes of Studio 54. Graphically depicting the music and dance heritage of Manchester from the late 70's to the early 90's, this comedy documents the vibrancy that made Mad-chester the place in the world that you would most like to be. Written by IGB

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The unbelievably true story of one man, one movement, the music and madness that was Manchester.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

5 April 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

24 ores gemates rock  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,940 (USA) (9 August 2002)

Gross:

$1,130,379 (USA) (11 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2003, Tony Wilson wrote a novelization titled "24 Hour Party People: What the Sleeve Notes Never Tell You" based on the screenplay for the film. See more »

Goofs

Ian Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen. However, the film suggests that he hanged himself in the den while watching television. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tony Wilson: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the latest craze sweeping the Pennines, and I've got to be honest, I'd rather be sweeping the Pennines right now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Shy
Written by Stuart Neale, Nick Beggs (as Nicholas Beggs), Steve Askew (as Stephen Askew),
Jez Strode (as Jeremy Strode) and Limahl (as Christopher Hamill)
Published by Gloucester Place Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by Margi Clarke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
From punk to rave in northern England - a pulsating, highly original, thoroughly entertaining mess of a film.
17 April 2002 | by (London) – See all my reviews

24 Hour Party People is the story of Factory Records, a defiantly eccentric independent record label based in Manchester, England, which discovered acts as influential and diverse as Joy Division and the Happy Mondays.

The film is shot in mock-documentary style and narrated by Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan), the founder of Factory. Coogan portrays Wilson's double life as music svengali and cheesy local TV reporter to brilliant comic effect. Although Brits will draw the inevitable parallels between Coogan's Wilson and his ultra-naff TV persona, Alan Partridge, Coogan actually has Wilson off to a tee. Arrogant and pompous, Cambridge-educated Wilson is master of the pseudish sound bite (when he realises they have no tickets for a concert in his nightclub, he retorts `Did they have tickets for the Sermon on the Mount? Of course they didn't, people just turned up because they knew it would be a great gig'). But he also has a perceptive eye for the zeitgeist and his vision to create the Hacienda club transformed Manchester into Madchester, for a brief time the music capital of the world.

The story really starts with an early Sex Pistols gig in Manchester, attended by only 42 people, most of whom went on to have an influence on the Manchester music scene of the next 10 years. Wilson was in the audience, together with members of the band who went on to form the brilliant post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The first part of the film is really focussed on them and their manager, the aggressive and cantankerous Rob Gretton ( played by Paddy Considine), and their producer, the irascible acid-casualty Martin Hannett (another superb cameo by Andy Serkis) - both of whom are no longer alive. Joy Division's lead singer, Ian Curtis, is portrayed so accurately by Sean Harris that it's positively eerie, and the scenes of the band playing in rundown venues seem remarkably true to life and capture effectively the rawness and intensity of their live performances. The film also deals, rather insensitively, with the death of Curtis, who's feet we see swinging after he has strung himself up on a rope in his house. This segues uncomfortably into a town crier announcing his death to the world, and ends with scenes showing Curtis's body in a coffin at the crematorium.

From then on, the story continues with Joy Division's reincarnation as New Order and the building of the Hacienda nightclub, and the sometimes disastrous business decisions made by Wilson and Factory. When New Order released Blue Monday, the record sleeve was so expensive to produce they lost money on every copy sold. The single went on to become the biggest-selling 12' of all time, paradoxically crippling Factory in the process. The first nights at the Hacienda were also calamitous, with bands playing in front of single-figure audiences. Eventually however, the druggy indie dance kings Happy Mondays arrived on the scene, and acid house was born. Suddenly the Hacienda was the place to be and the Madchester rave scene became famous all over the world. The scenes of drugs-and-sex-excess on the Monday's tour bus and the re-creation of the Hacienda club nights are superbly portrayed.

The final part of the film tells how gang violence led to the closure of the club and the drug-riddled misadventures of the Mondays, especially their singer Shaun Ryder, led to their downfall and had severe financial implications for Factory Records (Wilson had inexplicably sent them to Barbados to record their last Factory album). Eventually, Factory was sold, lock, stock and barrel, to another label (who were perturbed to find Wilson had not signed any contracts with any of the Factory bands, effectively giving the artists total creative freedom).

24 Hour Party People is a real rollercoaster ride. There are some brilliant acting performances, punctuated by cameos from real members of the Manchester music scene (such as Howard Devoto and Mark E. Smith). The merging of legend and reality may make it difficult for people unfamiliar with events to work out what actually happened. But this is no accurate, austere documentary, but a touching, sometimes surreal, and often very, very funny, anarchic portrayal of a time and a place and it's music. Oh, and of course, the soundtrack is fantastic.


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