5.5/10
3,064
48 user 27 critic

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 »

Photos

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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 music, the movement, the romance, the passion . . . all explodes on the BIG SCREEN. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After submitting the film for a 15 certificate producer Stephen Woolley was contacted by the BBFC and told that Patsy Kensit had revealed a nipple in one of the film's scenes. Despite Woolley's assurance that this was not the case because Kensit had been insistent during filming about not revealing her body, UK censor James Ferman painstakingly trawled through the movie using a BBFC "freeze frame" machine until he was finally convinced that the original information was incorrect. Only then did he grant the film an uncut certificate. See more »

Goofs

During the riot scenes, in one shot a double decker bus is on fire. In the next shot, it isn't burning. In the next shot, it is. (During the T.V. announcers speak to the viewing public about the 'race riots'). 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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Connections

Featured in London: The Modern Babylon (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

So What (Lyric Version)
Performed by Smiley Culture
Composed by Miles Davis
Lyrics by Smiley Culture
Brass arrangement by Gil Evans
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User Reviews

I like this one!
14 May 2004 | by d-maelSee all my reviews

First, I must respectfully disagree with the other reviewer who hated this movie. It has a complex set of plot lines that deal with a number of issues revolving around the lives of a young up-and-coming "pop photographer", and his love interest -- played by Patsy Kensit. Then, there is the "old queen" (also an unscrupulous real estate developer) who marries Patsy. Now, add to that the ad agency aspect (David Bowie's song and dance routine to "Selling Out" is a classic), plus the racial tensions in 1950's or 1960's London, and you have a multi-layered plot tapestry.

Personally, I don't mind that David Bowie is only in the movie for ten minutes -- I am a fan of Bowie, but this is really not "his movie".


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Absolute Beginners See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,743, 20 April 1986

Gross USA:

$930,211

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$930,211
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Company Credits

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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
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