Absolute Beginners (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Absolute Beginners Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Colin MacInnes' 1959 novel Absolute Beginners was widely regarded as the first authentic record of the British teen scene of the late 1950s. By the time the property made it to the screen, the lifestyle it celebrated had long faded from view; thus, Absolute Begineers was no longer a docudrama but a nostalgia piece. The story is related from the point-of-view of 18-year-old Colin (Eddie O'Connell), who lives to party. Colin's like-minded girlfriend, who calls herself "Crepe Suzette", is … More

Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: Colin MacInnes, Richard Burridge, Michael Hamlyn, Don MacPherson, Christopher Wicking
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 15, 2003
HBO Video

Watch it now


as Suzette

as Vendice Partners

as Henley of Mayfair

as Arthur

as Athene Duncannon

as The Fanatic

as Dido Lament

as Big Jill

as Fabulous Hoplite

as Ed the Ted

as Flikker

as Call-Me-Cobber

as Dean Swift

as The Misery Kid

as Baby Boom

as Harry Charms

as Johnny Wonder

as Cappuccino Man

as D.J. Entertainer

as Amberly Drove

as Party Singer

as Mrs. Larkin

as Zoot

as Cynthia Eve

as Slim Brother

as Slim Brother

as Trader Horn

as Carmen

as Eddie Sex

as Maltese Lodger

as Ms. Cool Sr.

as Mr. Cool Sr.

as Pamphleteer

as Santa Lucia Club Own...

as Bert the Tailor

as Chez Nobody Barman

as Ton-Up Vicar

as Baby Boom's Mum

as Maltese Lodger
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Absolute Beginners

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Absolute Beginners

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

'Absolute Beginners' ranks as one of David Bowie's greatest songs, and it's just a shame the frustrating movie of the same name doesn't come close to matching its glory.

Full Review… | July 4, 2015
Creative Loafing

Though the film is flawed, it's still underrated as an exploration of a crucial era of London's pop culture, and the eccentric cast (including David Bowie) adds a lot of color.

Full Review… | July 29, 2007

Audience Reviews for Absolute Beginners

On the box for this movie, a critic says it's a splashy musical or something, but that doesn't mean it's good, so I wondered why they put that on the box. If you ask me this movie is too splashy and doesn't focus on the story enough. Overall, it's okay.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Just re-watched this, having seen it in the theater when it came out and on VHS several years ago.
Sure it's not a GREAT film...but as musicals go (I generally hate them) this is one that I don't mind.
Which I'm sure is a testament to the historical aspects of it's story and the fact that it is riddled with cameo's (Sandie Shaw) and musical "numbers" performed by some really great musicians (Bowie, Ray Davies, Sade).

Robert C

Super Reviewer

Probably a case of "you had to be there". First, in the time this musical is set in, at the edge of the 1960s, and then in the 80s, when this film was made. The songs and story just don't work that well anymore, some parts feel entirely pointless and are hard to refer to. With David Bowie's appearance the movie picks up some speed and takes a rather entertaining turn in the last 30 minutes. Still, nothing to write home about. Only Bowie's title song is really awesome, the rest of the music doesn't really stick with the listener.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Absolute Beginners Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Absolute Beginners on our Movie forum!