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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:

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 film is based on a novel first published in 1959. One of the incidents portrayed in the story was based on the Notting Hill race riots of August, 1958. 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 ...
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Rodrigo Bay
Performed by Working Week
Composed by Simon Emmerson (as Booth), Larry Stabbins (as Stabbins) and Juliet Roberts (as Roberts)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unwatchable for Technical Reasons Alone
16 August 2015 | by davet1081-964-976110See all my reviews

I appreciate a good musical, however, this film was a narrow miss for me when I first saw it - though I really wanted to like it. After watching the blu-ray release 30 years later, I'm afraid I can't imagine why I ever thought I liked it at all. No doubt a good-looking picture with candy-color saturated sets and costumes but that's where its appeal ends. Mostly forgettable songs, and production values that worked well for short format music videos are all too much for one to endure as a 2 hour feature. The rushed, often cringe-inducing dialog, sloppy overdubbing, endless jump-cuts, even the claustrophobic framing are unsettling enough to inspire angst in anyone. There's something odd about the timing, pacing, and overall flow that feels so foreign and unnatural - like watching a really long television commercial. In any case, this is not an enjoyable film. A 1950's story trapped in a 1980's medium. Hopelessly dated.


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