A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.

Director:

Mat Whitecross

Writer:

Paul Viragh
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Serkis ... Ian Dury
Tom Hughes ... Chaz Jankel
Clifford Samuel ... Charlie Charles
Joseph Kennedy ... Davey Payne
Arthur Darvill ... Mick Gallagher
James Jagger ... John Turnbull (as Jimmy Jagger)
Shakraj Soornack Shakraj Soornack ... Norman Watt-Roy
Mackenzie Crook ... Russell Hardy
Olivia Williams ... Betty Dury
Sam Spruell ... Kilburns' Drummer
Julian Cox Julian Cox ... Kilburns' Bass
Nick Rowson Nick Rowson ... Kilburns' Guitar
Wesley Nelson Wesley Nelson ... Young Ian Dury
Ross Boatman Ross Boatman ... Pub Landlord
Msimisi Dlamini Msimisi Dlamini ... Kilburns' Drums
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Storyline

Flamboyant entertainer Ian Dury, backed by the Blockheads, takes to the stage, explaining to his audience how, as a child, he contracted polio from a swimming pool and attended a special needs school where he was bullied, particularly by orderly Hargreaves, a fact which shaped his tough and frequently iconoclastic approach to life, culminating in his controversial contribution to the Year of the Disabled. From his early days with Kilburn and the High Roads, playing seedy pubs with no dressing rooms Ian moves onto chart success with the Blockheads, collaborating with musician Chaz Jankel. His private life is complicated as, separated from the tolerant Betty with whom he remains friends but refuses to divorce for many years, he lives with the much younger Denise along with his adored son Baxter, who will himself become a performer. Ian dies in 2000, having packed an enormous amount of living into a comparatively short life. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"There are a couple of ways to avoid death - one is to be magnificent!" Ian Dury See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed around Egham and Watford between April-June 2009. See more »

Goofs

In the end titles one song is named as "If I was a woman" the actual title is "If I was with a woman". See more »

Quotes

Ian Dury: I'm not here to be remembered. I'm here to be alive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A clip of Andy Serkis and the cast 'Blockheads' performing "Reasons to Be Cheerful Pt. 3" is shown besides the final credits as these scroll up. See more »

Connections

References The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Avenging Hordes
(uncredited)
Music by H.M. Farrar
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
Andy Serkis makes for a pretty good experience overall
10 January 2010 | by markgormanSee all my reviews

I was a regular Ian Dury record buyer in my late teens but wouldn't say I was in his thrall. Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough to go and see this biopic featuring Andy Serkis (Golum in Lord of The Rings) as the great man himself.

His performance is top drawer and does make you feel you are in the room with the chief Blockhead himself. But this is more than a music homage. This is a reasonably complex life story told with more than a smattering of real film skills. It opens a bit frenetically with a hotch-potch of animation, flashbacks, montage and "stuff" that the director's (Mat Whitecross - not one I know) using to try to tell the back story quick as a flash. Whilst it works in story-telling terms it feels like it's trying too hard and it takes 20 minutes for the film to find its feet as Dury metamorphosises from Kilburn and The High Roads into Ian Dury and The Blockheads.

Thereafter, the film is far more assured, but strangely unmoving on the whole, despite the fact that there are a lot of episodes that could have jerked a tear or two. Little is made of his chart success. other than the typical excesses that stardom inevitably brings in its wake; rather, the film is much more interested in his complicated love life and (abysmal) family life which lays true the aphorism that what goes around comes around. Actually, it's better for that.

In particular the relationship with Dury and his son, Baxter (played brilliantly by Son of Rambow star Bill Milner) is the main thread of the movie. Initially reticent, Baxter becomes increasingly influenced by his rebellious father and follows suit. Again, like Dad, in response to the bullying and humiliation he faced at school.

The finale is really good and pulls together a lot of strands including the Spartacus references that cropped up earlier in the action. I won't spoil it by telling you how though.

actually,the movie tries a little too hard; it's a touch too stylised for my liking, but it zips along quickly despite its fairly lengthy 115 minute running time.

Overall, I'd recommend it; if for no other reason than to wonder at Andy Serkis.

7 out of 10.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,038,699
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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