7.0/10
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17 user 14 critic

Breaking Glass (1980)

A rock singer is determined to rise to the top of the profession, letting nothing stand in the way of that goal.

Director:

Brian Gibson

Writer:

Brian Gibson
Reviews

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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Phil Daniels ... Danny
Hazel O'Connor ... Kate
Jon Finch ... Woods
Jonathan Pryce ... Ken
Peter-Hugo Daly Peter-Hugo Daly ... Mick
Mark Wingett ... Tony
Gary Tibbs Gary Tibbs ... Dave
Charles Wegner Charles Wegner ... Campbell
Mark Wing-Davey Mark Wing-Davey ... Fordyce
Hugh Thomas Hugh Thomas ... Davis
Derek Thompson ... Andy
Nigel Humphreys Nigel Humphreys ... Brian
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Publican
Lowri Ann Richards Lowri Ann Richards ... Jane (as Lowri-Ann Richards)
Peter Tilbury Peter Tilbury ... C.I.D. Officer
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Storyline

A rock singer is determined to rise to the top of the profession, letting nothing stand in the way of that goal.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It will tear your heart out. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La rockera See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hazel O'Connor wore some of her own clothes to play her character of Kate. O'Connor also sang all her songs for the film and wrote thirteen tracks for the movie. The film was O'Connor's first major movie acting role and was her breakthrough film performance. See more »

Quotes

Publican: [after listening to the band's loud punk-rock music] It's not exactly Mantovani, is it?
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Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest Musicals (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

One More Time
Sung by Victi Silva (as Victy Silva)
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User Reviews

One of the best kept secrets in British cinema history. A classic.
5 April 2007 | by grahamellisonSee all my reviews

Breaking Glass is an excellent movie which has suffered from neglect and wholly inaccurate political associations. This movie was written and made in 1978 and 1979 and released in 1980. Therefore it couldn't possibly be: "A truly excellent portrayal of 80s Britain".Nor does it depict life in: "Thatcher's Britain".

In fact Breaking Glass depicts Callaghan's Britain, which was characterised by a deplorable catalogue of industrial disputes, strikes, high unemployment, and collapsing public services during the winter of 1978-9, dubbed the 'Winter of Discontent'.

What this movie is, is one of the best kept secrets in British cinema history. And although Hazel O'Connor enjoys second billing to Phil Daniels who had just done Quadrophenia to great acclaim, she is one of the greatest talents we've ever produced. Indeed, Hazel shines as the real star throughout, possibly drawing on her own personal experiences growing up in Coventry following the break-up of her parent's marriage, which lead to her running away to Europe at the age of 16.

I saw this film in the cinema the week it was released in the UK and I was stunned by both Hazel's singing and acting talent as well as that of the saxophonist superbly played (and dubbed) by Jonathan Pryce. That solo is a classic all on its own. Every feeling I felt at the time whilst watching this stark portrayal of human nature and the workings of the music industry has stayed with me until today.

In many ways Breaking Glass suffers from being too current. All stories of social history work best when set in the past. Quadrophenia worked because it spoke of a previous period of disruptive British history - 20 years in the past. Also, there was already an undercurrent of opposition to Thatcher, but the country the Conservatives inherited from Labour on 4th May 1979 was a wreck. So it was perhaps convenient for some to use it as a metaphor for the greed and excess that was in fact still yet to come.

See this movie and enjoy it for what it is: a landmark in British Cinema history and a brilliant one-off performance from everyone involved. And catch Hazel on the net, where she sells much of her music, and live on stage where she's still gigging.


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