Jubilee (1978)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Jubilee Photos

Movie Info

Steeped in the nihilistic philosophy and rebellious fashions of the British punk movement, this early feature by experimental filmmaker Derek Jarman presents an unusual look at late 1970s London. The bulk of Jubilee focuses on a loosely connected group of female outcasts, united by a hatred of convention that at times extends into dark violence. Providing contrast is the film's framing story, in which Queen Elizabeth I travels forward in time to view the future of England and finds unexpected sympathy with the female rebels. The film references both William Shakespeare and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and it alternates scenes of transgressive violence with heady discussions of English history. The film's casting alone makes it an intriguing artifact of its time, showcasing subcultural icons from musician Adam Ant to several cast members of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Cinegate Ltd.


Jenny Runacre
as Elizabeth I
as Amyl Nitrite
Richard O'Brien
as John Dee
Adam Ant
as Kid
Karl Johnson
as Sphinx
as Borgia Ginz
Helen Wellington-Lloyd
as Lady in Waiting
Claire Davenport
as First Customs Lady
Barney James
as Policeman
Howard Malin
as Schmeitzer
Lindsay Kemp
as Cabaret performer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Jubilee

All Critics (4)

One of the more bleak but imaginative nihilist films to come out of England in the 1970s.

Full Review… | February 8, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Flawed but fascinating, deliriously self-indulgent and perverse, it's the cinematic equivalent of having a mouthful of bile gobbed in your eye.

Full Review… | May 31, 2010
SFX Magazine

The film stands as an exemplar of its origin era, both undeniably bold and alienating.

Full Review… | June 4, 2003
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Quote not available.

August 10, 2005

Audience Reviews for Jubilee

This must be my week of crap movies, I'm going to be honest right from the start: I've only seen two films from the late Derek Jarman, this and The Last of England (1987). And I must say that neither of them made much of an impression on me. Jubilee tells the disjointed story of Queen Elizabeth I, who bored by her own existence has her court astrologer and an angel invent a time travel devise that will allow her to travel forward to twentieth century Britain. Once again Jarman revels in pointing out the failings in modern British culture, from the violent punk scene that the main characters are part of, to the harsh severity of the music industry and corporate big business. This has no precedence over the plot, because Jubilee has no plot, just a rambling incoherent mish-mash of filth and vulgarity, which Jarman seems to think will help drive his message of a Britain on the brink of self-destruction home. Jubilee is a film that so obviously wanted to be hip it hurts, looking back it seems Jarman took everything that was just about to explode into the public conscious and structured a highly self-indulgent story around it. So we are shown one of the most miss-representative looks at punk one could ever imagine, and a cast that reads like the who's-who of seventies underground celebrities (Richard O Brien rubs shoulders with the likes of a chubby Toyah Wilcox and a pre-fame Adam Ant). Jarman was clearly pandering to his overly inflated ego, after his gay swords and sandals "epic" Sebastiane (1976) was hailed a modern classic. Jubilee is yet another product of art-house cinema gone wrong and film-making in it's most brash and unsubtle form. 1 Star 9-29-13

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

weird weird weird British stage show and street trash exhibition. I'm a Toyah fan so had to see this movie.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

Great set-up, not so great outcome. Definitely worth watching once if you're even slightly interested in weird films or punk rock, but perhaps not a second time (though I suppose you'd really need a second watch to fully understand this film).

vieras esine
vieras esine

Super Reviewer

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