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SoulBoy (2010)

SoulBoy is a movie starring Alfie Allen, Martin Compston, and Hannah Crighton. A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Russ Mountjoy
... Joe McCain
Hannah Crighton ... Purple Onion Lass
... Fish Shop Bobby
... Monica
Pat Shortt ... Brendan
... Jane Rogers
Huey Morgan ... Dee Dee
... Chrissie
... Alan
Brennan Reece ... Dexie
... Mandy Hodgson
... Mike the Manager
... Derek (as Trevor Williams)
Honra Shirley ... Mrs. Woods


A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


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Release Date:

3 September 2010 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

SoulBoy - Tanz die ganze Nacht  »


Box Office


£1,000,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Filmed in 2008. See more »


When our hero runs out of fuel on his moped and throws it into the side of the road, notice the curb stones along the side of the road, these 'Beany Blocks' have regular drainage holes in them that were only introduced around 2000, certainly not even dreamed of in the 70's. See more »


Mandy Hodgson: Art college Joe, I've been accepted - and you're not going to stop me.
Joe McCain: Why would I stop you? I think you're amazing, like that guy mattress.
Mandy Hodgson: Matisse.
See more »


Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #13.46 (2010) See more »


Breakaway (Part 1)
Performed by The Steve Karmen Big Band
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User Reviews

Energetic Coming-of-Age Drama That Almost Gets the Period Atmosphere Right
28 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

The basic scenario of SOULBOY is a familiar one: boy Joe (Martin Compston) meets unattainable girl (Nichola Burley) and follows her up to a club in Wigan that functions as the center of Northern Soul. There he learns how to dance, but while doing so he gradually discovers that plain lass Mandy (Felicity Jones) has fallen in love with him. After Mandy takes an overdose, Joe realizes his true feelings. Back in the club he has an energetic dance-off with smarmy Alan (Craig Parkinson), and emerges triumphant, thereafter to enjoy love with Mandy.

The grimy, down-at-heel atmosphere of mid-Seventies Stoke-on-Trent is admirably evoked by director Shimmy Marcus, from the poky two-up, two-down houses to the local pub, where everyone pours pints down without ever seeming to enjoy themselves. Joe's mate Russ (Alfie Allen) has a grotesque dance that he calls the "dying fly," but he can only perform that when he is drunk. Sometimes Marcus overdoes the Seventies aura, such as having politician Enoch Powell speaking on one of the car radios; by 1974 he was virtually a spent force in politics, having resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Ulster Unionists. Some of the cars seem a little antiquated too, dating from a decade earlier.

Once the action shifts to the club, however, the mise-en-scene changes abruptly. Vladimir Trivic's camera admirably captures the phantasmagoria of color, light, bodily movements, sweat and unadulterated fun that characterized the late-night gigs at the club, whose patrons came from all over the country each Saturday night by coach to enjoy the fun. For those of us with longer memories, the set pieces have strong echoes of Saturday NIGHT FEVER (1977) with Joe in the John Travolta role, but that resemblance does not detract from the exuberant staging, in which music and dance combine to create a series of stirring sequences. The final dance-off between Joe and Alan is something to behold: director Marcus uses slow-motion and frequent close-ups to make us aware of the sheer effort involved by the protagonists.

The film ends with a series of of short interviews from people - now very much middle-aged - that frequented the club when it was in its heyday during the mid-Seventies. Their reminiscences capture the atmosphere of excitement and daring that was characteristic of the club; no wonder it was named "best disco in the world" later on in the decade, despite its assuming location in a Lancashire industrial town.

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