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Absolute Beginners (1986)

PG-13 | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 18 April 1986 (USA)
In London in 1958, a young photographer seeks media stardom to keep the love of a beautiful, aspiring fashion designer.

Director:

Julien Temple

Writers:

Colin MacInnes (based on the novel by), Michael Hamlyn (developed for the screen by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patsy Kensit ... Suzette
Eddie O'Connell Eddie O'Connell ... Colin
David Bowie ... Vendice Partners
James Fox ... Henley of Mayfair
Ray Davies ... Arthur
Mandy Rice-Davies Mandy Rice-Davies ... Mum
Eve Ferret ... Big Jill
Tony Hippolyte Tony Hippolyte ... Mr. Cool
Graham Fletcher-Cook ... Wizard
Joseph McKenna Joseph McKenna ... Fabulous Hoplite (as Joe McKenna)
Steven Berkoff ... The Fanatic
Sade ... Athene Duncannon (as Sade Adu)
Edward Tudor-Pole ... Ed the Ted (as Tenpole Tudor)
Bruce Payne ... Flikker
Alan Freeman Alan Freeman ... Call-Me-Cobber
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Storyline

A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin's Notting Hill housing estate... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sounds. The Moves. The Style. The Magic. The Musical. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Absolutamente Principiantes See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,743, 20 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$930,211
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Its been claimed that the entire Soho street exteriors set was actially built in the 007 Stage at Pinewood. See more »

Goofs

Stock sound effect of glass breaking is heard every time a window is broken and thunder stock sound effect is heard each time lightning strikes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin: [narrating] I remember that hot, wonderful summer. When the teenage miracle reached full bloom and everyone in England stopped what they were doing to stare at what had happened. The Soho nights were cool in the heat, with light and music in the streets. And we couldn't believe that this was really coming to us at last. Nobody knew exactly why. But after so many dreary years of bombs and blitz and slow rebuilding; no sugar, no jam, nothing sweet anywhere; with the whole English ...
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Soundtracks

Bongo Rock
Performed by The Jet Streams
Composed by Preston Epps and Arthur Egnoian
See more »

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User Reviews

Too soon, too much, too costly
12 March 2005 | by ptb-8See all my reviews

A great idea and a huge Brit budget, ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS is so ambitious and so technically well and packed with great 80s Soho jazz musical numbers that it forgets to include the hooks for an audience. It is actually for people in theater and film who love musicals and the techniques. It isn't for the general ticket buying public who expect a conventional story with a structure. The lead actor Eddie OConnell is a bit Ken doll or even Cliff Richard...maybe that is the point but he is lacking in charisma. Visually it is a feast and musically it is very engaging, but like the Minnelli musicals YOLANDA AND THE THIEF or THE PIRATE and the Brit satire Ken Russell musical THE BOYFRIEND or John Waters 1988 film of HAIRSPRAY there has to be a strong core to break though to mainstream cinema goers; otherwise, like those films, it is relegated to cult interest and the 'noble failure' bin. In time it will be a quintessential 80s style musical and we are not far enough away from then yet. It also cost a massive amount and lost it all, killing off the studio that financed the $15m.... ugh. If made today, it would be financed by Absolute Vodka and marketed with panache, finding a huge multiplex audience and making zillions of dollars for all concerned...thus being hailed as a success and a masterpiece.


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