27 user 24 critic

Northern Soul (2014)

R | | Drama, Music | 17 October 2014 (UK)
2:23 | Trailer

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Set in 1974, an authentic and uplifting tale of two friends whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music.


Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mr. Banks
... Angela
... John's Grandad
... DJ Ray Henderson
... John Clark
... John's Dad
... Stee
... Terry
... Sean
... Matt
... John's Mum
... Marie
... Daz
Claire Garvey ... Betty
Ashley Taylor Dawson ... Paul


'Northern Soul' is the story of a youth culture in the 1970s which changed a generation.It tells the tale of a nightclub based movement which developed in Northern England . The film is an authentic and uplifting account of two young boys whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music. No longer satisfied with the prospect of a small town life and a factory production lin , they dream of going to America to discover super rare records which will help them become the best DJs on the Northern Soul scene. The difficult journey forces the two best friends to confront rivalry, violence and drug abuse as their friendship and loyalties are tested to the limit. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The music was Motown. The passion is British.


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language throughout and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official Site



Release Date:

17 October 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Northern Soul: No Ritmo da Vida  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,786, 4 October 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,786, 4 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Was originally only meant to be playing in 5 screens across the UK but due to high demand it got a blanket release of over 160 screens See more »


When the youth club lady hands Matt an album to play because the DJ is late, she hands him only one and says "OK, let's listen to this while we wait" The album she gives him is "Summer Holiday" by Cliff Richard and The Shadows; the music being played in the youth club is "The Young Ones" by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, this track was not on the "Summer Holiday" album. See more »


Ray Henderson: Listen, you! This is Northern Soul, not Northern Arsehole!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"We dedicate this film to our dear departed friend Fran Franklin, who spent years pouring passion and hard work into this project to make it the film it is now. We will miss you Franny, our soul sister, more than words can say." See more »


Featured in Northern Soul: Living for the Weekend (2014) See more »


Come On Train
Written and performed by Don Thomas
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User Reviews

It captured the era but this felt like a film more about drugs than it did Soul...

John Clark lives in the working class North West of the 1970s. Just as he is feeling disillusioned with school and falling out with his parents he is caught up in the new music vibe of Soul imported vinyl from America, soon him and his friend Matt are starting their own music night, swinging hip moves on the dance floor and embracing the new Northern Soul scene but drugs seem to play a major part of it all too, will that take over from the music?

Having seen the trailer for this movie, I was quite excited. I grew up in the 1970s and remember everything about the era and was hoping this might be similar to Good Vibrations which covered the rise and fall of a record label of the same era.

What I got was a realistic depiction of working class Northern England, with new music giving young people an outlet away from their dull lives which was great but then quickly became a story about drugs dominating the scene and their lives. Though I was a kid at the time my older friends who were on that scene never embraced the drug aspect of it which seemed to me far less dominant than as portrayed in the movie. The production design and depiction of the old school dance halls of the North are spot on and the acting all round by an energetic cast very worthy indeed with special mention going to newcomer Josh Whitehouse whom I am sure has a successful career ahead of him. Antonia Thomas is also very believable giving another effortless performance.

Where the film disappointed was in the drugs subplot which almost anchored the whole film. It began to fell more a film about drugs, drug taking and the extreme characters within that world rather than a film about the period, the halls, the Soul and the music. This wouldn't be such a bad thing but certainly from the PR for the film I was not expecting the 1970s version of Human Traffic. The film also felt as if it needed more humour - but these gripes aside, this is still an extremely well made and well acted piece which I am sure will gain a cult following over time.

If 1970s Northern Soul was your thing, then you really do need to check it out.

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