5.6/10
2,870
44 user 26 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 »
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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:

Welcome to the world of your dreams! 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

The character of "Harry Charms" was based on a real-life British manager and impresario of the period, Larry Parnes, who was famous for hiring unknown singers and giving them extravagant stage names (his most famous client was Billy Fury). In 1960 he hired an unknown Liverpool band called The Beatles to accompany one of his lesser stars, Johnny Gentle, on a tour of Scotland, but he decided not to take the Beatles on as clients because he was only interested in handling solo singers, not groups. See more »

Goofs

When Harry Charms is auditioning young singers with Colin, there is a boom mic visible when Harry and Colin first enter the studio. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

References Naked City (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

That's Motivation
Performed and composed by David Bowie
Brass arrangement by Gil Evans
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lack of beginner's luck
10 January 2010 | by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviewsSee all my reviews

I suppose I didn't know what to expect, when I sat down to watch this. However, I can't possibly imagine that I would have enjoyed it regardless of the quantity of warnings that I had been showered in beforehand. I haven't read the novel(though I understand that it is far superior to this). The movie is an eccentric little number that at times gets to be downright bizarre. I'm all for surrealism, but here, it just felt like they weren't taking the issues that they were dealing with seriously(which makes it difficult for the audience to), in spite of them being as important as identity, the effect fame has on you, and racism. There are even parts where it appears to be poorly "dubbed", meaning the words spoken and the lips moving do not match. How? Why? What? Did I seriously just write that? Did some of the actors not speak English? On that, the performances range somewhat, and Bowie is *terrible*. Why is this a musical, anyway? Not all of the songs chosen make sense. The pace is fast, at least at points. Plot-wise, this takes a nose-dive about halfway through. This is cheesy, and the score is way over the top. There is sensuality in this, and possibly language. I recommend this to fans of the type of tunes of the period this takes place during(the 1950's), and/or theatre. Anyone else, stay away for your own good. 5/10


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