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24 Hour Party People (2002)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  20 September 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 25,846 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 126 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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1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Windows ...
Raymond Waring ...
Derek Ryder
Danny Cunningham ...
Nigel Pivaro ...
Actor at Granada


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


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:





Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

24 ores gemates rock  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£265,428 (UK) (5 April 2002)


$1,130,379 (USA) (11 October 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character Charles is a composite character based on many Granada producers. The name Charles was chosen in honor of Charles Sturridge, out of whose apartment Factory Records was run. See more »


Yamaha NS10 studio monitors/speakers are clearly seen when camera is panning around studio as Joy Division are recording. These monitors weren't available until 1987. See more »


[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 »


References New Order Story (1993) See more »


Bass Ace
Written by Michael Williams
Published by Beatback Ltd
Performed by Prince Far I And The Arabs
Courtesy of Pressure Sounds
See more »

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User Reviews

Nicely done!
9 February 2004 | by (Toronto, ON.) – See all my reviews

Like any other movie about rock music, documentary or not, '24 Hour Party People' packs its fair share of inside material and self-indulgent frivolity.

Due to a crammed timeframe of 20 years (essentially one big juggling act of people, bands and events) connecting all the dots required multiple viewings, even if I had certain prior knowledge of the Manchester music scene in the late '70s, '80s and the early '90s. Making matters still more difficult is the variety of extremely thick accents - to a point of entire sections of dialogue or monologue occasionally flying by with only a single word or two actually registering with me. While it added to film's authenticity, that got to be more than a bit annoying after a while. Where's that closed captioned TV set when you desperately need it?

As far as the treatment of the subjects themselves goes, the movie does an adequate job. I mean, when it gets right down to it, the only structure such a film can more-or-less follow is the basic listing of a series of real events (and in this particular case most of them already well documented). Naturally, as such it doesn't allow for a whole lot of substantial artistic freedom so the director employs many little asides, winks and nudges by our narrator Tony Wilson (often through the 'fourth wall') as well as visual tricks and, obviously, music to make this different from, say, something you might see on VH1's 'Behind the Music'. In addition to being one of the major driving forces behind the whole scene, Tony also held a full-time job at Granada TV all throughout this period, which the movie uses skillfully for comic relief.

Predictably (not that I'm complaining), things like: Ian Curtis' suicide, the opening of the Haçienda club, ascent and demise of Factory Records, Shaun Ryder's famously out-of-control & self destructive shenanigans, all receive special treatment. Through Steve Coogan's excellent performance, Tony Wilson, our guide through this zoo, comes off as a pretty fascinating fellow. Director Michael Winterbottom makes a wise choice in leaving out many details from his private life in favour of the music itself and the people who created it. Wilson's second wife and kids, for example, are barely mentioned - with a cheeky remark about Tony being a minor character in his own life story as an explanation for the lack of on-screen time devoted to them.

In the end, whether or not you enjoy '24 Hour Party People' will largely, if not entirely, depend on your level of familiarity or appreciation of the bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Happy Mondays and to a lesser extent of their punk inspirations and predecessors like The Stranglers, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie and the Banshees, who are also depicted in the film.

Personally, even though I was always aware of the British new wave, most of its music & 'shtick' pretty much slipped under my radar so I recently started discovering it retroactively. Therefore, it was a blast to see a well-done, interesting film celebrating that era in popular music. These blokes created & performed honest, full-blooded, passionate tunes, which is the single most important thing that comes through the movie.

P.S: The Smiths, another famous and influential Manchester band are notably absent from much of the film. This is probably due to the fact that back in 1983 both Tony and New Order producer/manager Rob Gretton agreed their demo was crap, so instead to Factory they went to Rough Trade Records based in London. They're mentioned briefly at the end, though, when Tony speaks to God himself who among other things tells him: "it's a pity you didn't sign The Smiths". :) Brilliant!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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