Absolute Beginners (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This musical drama, inspired by the renowned novel, follows the turbulent relationship between two teenagers, aspiring photographer Colin and future fashion model Crepe Suzette. Achieving success in the teen scene of late 1950s Britain, Colin and Suzette drift apart, while watching the country drift towards social upheaval.
PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Art House & International , Cult Movies , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
HBO Video

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David Bowie
as Vendice Partners
Ray Davies
as Arthur
as Athene Duncannon
Patsy Kensit
as Suzette
Tony Hippolyte
as Mr. Cool
Steven Berkoff
as The Fanatic
James Fox
as Henley of Mayfair
Anita Morris
as Dido Lament
Eve Ferret
as Big Jill
Joe McKenna
as Fabulous Hoplite
Tenpole Tudor
as Ed the Ted
Bruce Payne
as Flikker
Alan Freeman
as Call-Me-Cobber
Paul Rhys
as Dean Swift
Julian Firth
as The Misery Kid
Chris Pitt
as Baby Boom
Lionel Blair
as Harry Charms
Gary Beadle
as Johnny Wonder
Jess Conrad
as Cappuccino Man
Smiley Culture
as D.J. Entertainer
Ronald Fraser
as Amberly Drove
Slim Gaillard
as Party Singer
Irene Handl
as Mrs. Larkin
as Zoot
Johnny Shannon
as Saltzman
Sylvia Syms
as Cynthia Eve
Robert Austin
as Slim Brother
Jim Dunk
as Slim Brother
Johnny Edge
as Trader Horn
Carmen Ejogo
as Carmen
Paul Fairminer
as Eddie Sex
Hugo First
as Maltese Lodger
Pat Hartley
as Ms. Cool Sr.
Astley Harvey
as Mr. Cool Sr.
Colin Jeavons
as Pamphleteer
Alfred Maron
as Bert the Tailor
Ekow Abban
as Santa Lucia Club Owner
Zoot Money
as Chez Nobody Barman
Gerry Alexander
as Ton-Up Vicar
Sandie Shaw
as Baby Boom's Mum
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Critic Reviews for Absolute Beginners

All Critics (8)

'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

More interesting for what it attempts than for what it accomplishes.

March 18, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quote not available.

October 10, 2005

Quote not available.

November 7, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Quote not available.

May 28, 2003

Audience Reviews for Absolute Beginners

Going to be honest and admit I was only watching for David Bowie. Wish I hadn't bothered. He's in it about 15 minutes and it's certainly not a career highlight for him when he is. Very hammy, but so is the rest of it. There is some mildly interesting bits and London looks bright and pretty, but it's a pretty crappy story honestly. The main character is uncharismatic and Patsy Kensit always struck me as a bit cheap, so I guess the money hungry Suzette she plays is good casting. The best part of the movie is when the credits roll and the theme song comes on. Can't believe such a great song got lumped in with this mess. I'd rather watch my David Bowie greatest hits DVD next time.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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
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
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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