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A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.

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(book), (screenplay)
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3,758 ( 119)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 30 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Debbie Curtis
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Annik Honore
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Terry
Robert Shelly ...
Twinny
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Mr. Curtis - Ian's Father
Tanya Myers ...
Ian's Mother
Martha Myers Lowe ...
Ian's Sister (as Martha Myers-Lowe)
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Nick
David Whittington ...
Chemistry Teacher
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Storyline

Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him. Written by Marco van Hoof <k_luifje7@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 October 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Controle - A História de Ian Curtis  »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£252,426 (UK) (5 October 2007)

Gross:

$871,577 (USA) (25 January 2008)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors playing Joy Division learned how to play the songs themselves. So the scenes where the band is playing live is not from tape, but actually the actors playing live. See more »

Goofs

When Ian is recording the vocals for "Isolation," he appears to be using a modern Shure KSM27 studio condenser microphone. See more »

Quotes

Ian Curtis: I struggle between what I know is right in my own mind, and some warped truthfulness as seen through other people's eyes who have no heart, and can't see the difference anyway.
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Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Insight
(Ian Curtis / Peter Hook / Stephen Morris / Bernard Sumner)
Published by Zomba Music Publishers Limited
Performed by Joe Anderson (as Anderson), James Anthony Pearson (as Pearson),
Sam Riley (as Riley), Harry Treadaway (as Treadaway)
Courtesy of Northsee Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A stunning and moving portrait.
1 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Making the leap from photographer to music video director to film director, Anton Corbijn's feature length debut 'Control' is quite simply stunning. Shot entirely in black and white it tell the story of Ian Curtis the lead singer with Manchester band Joy Division but its also much more than that it also tells of one mans journey into the heart of darkness (Apocalypse Now is mentioned in the film) a journey of fear, paranoia, illness and depression. Curtis has been played in films before but only as bit parts (24 hour party people etc) here he is portrayed breathtakingly by Sam Riley who played Mark E Smith in 24 hour party people and when he first appears on the screen I have to admit I wasn't convinced but as Ian the person grows so too does Riley into the role and at times he has him so down to a tee its hard to imagine its not the real Curtis up there. The rest of the band are pretty good as well but are only really second fiddle to Riley but you have to give them credit for learning all the songs and playing them live rather than mime. Samantha Morton is great as the put upon wife Deborah and Craig Parkinson is convincing enough as Tony Wilson but apart from Riley's stand out performance its Toby Kebbell as manager Rob Gretton who has some of the best lines and has come so far since his role in 'Dead Man's Shoes'. The cinematography is a visual feast for the eyes, being shot in black and white adds to the mood and gives a haunting feel that echo's the music and lyrics of the band, it also means (and I guess its Corbijn's photography background) that so many of the shots in the movie could be still images they are framed so well. Although never really explained in terms of answers, Curtis's illness from the seizures to the depression and the hopeless sense of falling apart reminded me of Catherine Deneuve in Polanski's 'Repulsion' another black and white film that deals with madness. I guess that treating mental illnesses was still in its infancy in the seventies, yes we'd stopped electro-shocking people but medications were still being developed and trialled. It seems it was very easy for Curtis to reach a certain point what with juggling home, life on the road, his condition and the pressure of increasing fame but when it came to helping him out he really was on his own and did feel a sense of 'isolation'. But with a story that has a widely known end point its more about the journey and here Corbjin punctures the narrative with some truly witty moments while leading up the incredibly moving and inevitable finale. Handled brilliantly by all involved this is another example of a great British film that deserves all the accolades it is receiving and if this performance is anything to go by expect Riley to be very big indeed.


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Mindless Hero Worship CahillSellers
Music similar to Joy Division robespierre_1992
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Not bad...but.... adrian-bradley
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