5.6/10
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43 user 25 critic

Absolute Beginners (1986)

PG-13 | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 18 April 1986 (USA)
In 1958 London 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 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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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

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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Connections

Referenced in Elstree 1976 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Quiet Life
Performed and composed by Ray Davies
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User Reviews

 
A great journey through London
6 September 2003 | by christophaskellSee all my reviews

A fun musical with a lot of energy and great acting, 'Absolute Beginners' will win a place in your heart. This is the sharpest I've seen Bowie in a film, and Patsy Kensit was beautiful as Suzette. A political piece as well as a time piece, Temple captured the feel of a Broadway or West End musical perfectly. A great turnaround for Temple, who really had me worried after directing 'Mantrap'. It is a musical, so liberties have to be allowed, but for fans of the musical this is a great one to check out. Rating: 27/40


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