In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.


Todd Haynes


James Lyons (story), Todd Haynes (story) | 1 more credit »
4,178 ( 778)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Curt Wild
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Brian Slade
Christian Bale ... Arthur Stuart
Toni Collette ... Mandy Slade
Eddie Izzard ... Jerry Devine
Emily Woof ... Shannon
Michael Feast ... Cecil
Janet McTeer ... Female Narrator (voice)
Mairead McKinley Mairead McKinley ... Wilde Housemaid (as Maraid McKinley)
Luke Morgan Oliver Luke Morgan Oliver ... Oscar Wilde (8)
Osheen Jones Osheen Jones ... Jack Fairy (7)
Micko Westmoreland Micko Westmoreland ... Jack Fairy
Damian Suchet Damian Suchet ... BBC Reporter
Danny Nutt ... Kissing Sailor
Wash Westmoreland ... Young Man


London, 1971 - Flower Power is on the wane and floundering hippie troubadour Brian Slade feels old-fashioned and out of step until he experiences the raw power of rock musician and exhibitionist Curt Wild at a live concert. Smitten and inspired, Slade rises from the ashes of fussy brocade, reincarnating as the ambiguous pop-rock God/dess of platinum dust and phoenix feathers, Maxwell Demon. His alluring androgynous imagery and the seductive sounds his 'glitter rock' seduce teenagers across the world, offering refuge for the weird and unwanted with the promise of an everything-goes hedonism. At the height of his fame and cultural influence, he plots his sensational demise to escape, alienating his fans and falling into obscurity. On the 10th anniversary of the character assassination, journalist Arthur Stuart investigates Slade's disappearance, forcing him to revisit his own confusing teenage identity crisis and rebirth mirroring that of his idol Brian Slade. Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Rise Of A Star... The Fall Of A Legend! See more »


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The character of Curt Wild was unfairly compared to Kurt Cobain, even though their only similarities were their hair and name. Wild's sexuality, music, performances, style, and off-stage antics were incredibly different than that of Cobain. See more »


(at around 1h 26 mins) In the scene "The Break-up" as Toni Colette's character walks away from Jonathon Rhys Meyers a boom microphone shadow comes into view. See more »


Brian Slade: There's suffering at the birth of a child as at the birth of a star.
See more »


References Flaming Creatures (1963) See more »


T.V. Eye
Written by David Alexander, Scott Asheton, Ron Asheton (as Ronald Asheton) and Iggy Pop (as James Osterberg Jr.)
Performed by The Wylde Ratttz
Vocal by Ewan McGregor
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User Reviews

A fairly entertaining (if rather silly) film...
5 August 2013 | by KamikazeBabySee all my reviews

This is a fairly entertaining (if rather silly) film that is very loosely based upon David Bowie's career as Ziggy Stardust and his relationships with Iggy Pop, Angie Bowie, etc. Some of the scenes depicted, such as Bowie's performance for the actors from Andy Warhol's Pork, ARE based on true events. The writer, Todd Haynes, incorrectly portrayed other true events: for example, it was probably Lou Reed Haynes was thinking of who received shock treatments to supposedly discourage homosexual behavior; Iggy did NOT, nor did he even HAVE a brother; he is the only child of schoolteacher parents. He DID grow up in a trailer near Detroit, although at the time trailers were more of a novelty, not the symbol of white trash that they are today. Ewan McGregor didn't do much for me trying to portray the Iggy character, Curt Wild (and the Rats? Ha ha ha, there WAS actually a glam band called The Rats but Iggy's band was, of course, The Stooges). Apparently Iggy co-operated at least to an extent with the filmmakers since they used the Stooges' song "T.V. Eye". Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays the part of the Bowie character, Brian Slade, does a terrible job singing it; the New York Dolls "Personality Crisis" is also butchered. David Bowie refused to allow his music to be used (showing his usual intelligence and taste). Some good tunes from Roxy Music, Brian Eno, and Slade (the actual glam band… not the fictional title character) are used, however. "Needle in the Camel's Eye" is especially effective for the opening of the film. All in all, this COULD have been a great movie but instead is just so-so. There are some great tunes and clothes to admire; glam rock fans will enjoy those! But perhaps one should just watch footage of Ziggy Stardust or the New York Dolls or Marc Bolan...

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English | French

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Velvet Goldmine See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$301,787, 8 November 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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