Absolute Beginners

Synopsis: A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin's Notting Hill housing estate...
Director(s): Julien Temple
Production: HBO Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

I've nothing much to offer

And there's nothing much to take

I'm an absolute beginner

But I'm absolutely sane

As long as we're together

The rest can go to hell

I absolutely love you

But we're absolute beginners

With eyes completely open

But nervous all the same

If our love song

Could fly over mountains

Could laugh at the ocean

Just like the films

There's no reason

To feel all the hard times

To lay down the hard lines

It's absolutely true

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

Ba-ba-ba, ooh

I remember that hot, wonderful summer

when the teenage miracle

reached full bloom,

and everyone in England stopped

what they were doing

to stare at what had happened.

The Soho nights were cool in the heat,

with light and music in the streets.

And we couldn't believe

that this was really coming to us at last.

Nobody knew exactly why.

But after so many dreary years

of bombs and blitz and slow rebuilding,

no sugar, no jam,

nothing sweet anywhere,

with the whole English world

dressed in gray it seemed forever.

Suddenly life broke out

in warm colors again,

so young and beautiful that a lot of people

couldn't stand to look at it.

For the first time ever,

kids were teenagers.

We had loot, however come by.

And loot's for spending.

And where there's loot, trouble follows.


During my last teenage year,

I kept myself by taking photographs.

Naughty pictures for profit.

And solid street pictures for love.

So that when the blossom went off,

and the flower turned to plastic,

me and my friends

could remember how it looked.

Money for looks. Money for film.

Do you like it?

But most of all, money for Suzette.

You got it.

My beautiful Crpe Suzette.

Don't be late, Colin.

- What, no trousers, Ken?

- That's fine with me.

Yeah, this is England. Go back home.

Come on. Is this enough?

All right, 50 quid.

But that's for two of you, right?

Where to, girls?

- Mandy's house.

- Hey.

Oh, you b*tches, where are you going?

It was England all right,

but very un-English.

Every class, every income, every kink.

Boys, girls, black, white, yellow,

bent, versatile,

all on equal terms.


Hey, Joe, we got us some fun!

All right.

Let's have a night on the town, baby.

What a big boy, isn't he?


You naughty child.

Leave off.

Take it easy.

Bloody teenagers.

True, sometimes a knife came out.

But that was always between friends.

You behave yourself,

you're all right here.

It's not in Soho where some sex maniac

leaps on your back and violates you.

That's strictly for

the respectable neighborhoods.

All right then, come on.

I've got half an hour to kill.

Me and my pals are regulars down here.

Every night the same old young faces.


Wiz, a real child of the pavements.

Baby face like a mask

over his 2,000-year-old soul.

A colored cat named Cool.

So cool for reasons

too obvious to mention.

Fabulous Hoplite.

Our own low-rent Oscar Wilde

and a very well-connected boy.

Dean Swift.

A sharp modern jazz creation.

Expensive habit.

No bread.

- Whoo-hoo!

- Big Jill.

Hiya, big boy. Give us a flash. Ooh!

Chicks only for Big Jill.

But a boy's best friend anyway.

Christ. Midnight.

Hey, nobody.

Open up.

Just doesn't do to be late

for a girl like Suzette.

- Hi, doll.

- Hi, hon.

You nearly lost me there.

Cool, honey.

Hold this.





- Mods! Mods! Mods! Mods!

- Trads! Trads! Trads!

- Mods! Mods! Mods!

- Trads! Trads!

Yum-yum. Crpe Suzette.

Nice enough to eat.

Careful, Wizard.

Hey, Dorita, can I walk you home?

The streets have eyes, Cool.

And my mom and dad would kill me.

Why roll the dice, Dorita,

if you didn't want to bet, huh?

It's one thing in there,

but it's different on the streets.

- Look, I've gotta go.

- Taxi!


Come on, Suze. Hey!


Come on, it's not that late.

Your place or mine?

Some of us have to work for a living.

I have to be at Henley's show

tomorrow morning.

Why do you work for that creep, hon?

He's just using you.

You could take your designs anywhere.

I'm using him, too.

I may even get to Paris this year.

Paris, France?

Oh, Colin.

Look, he could help you, too,

if you'd let him.

You could take pictures of my designs.

We'd work together.

I told you, I'm not taking pics

of a lot of high-class tarts

wearing your silly hats.

And certainly not Henley's glad rags.

Oh, sorry, I forgot.

You're taking all those pics

for your exhibition.


The one you're having

in your wildest dreams.


- Hold it! Taxi!

- Go on, get out of here.

You should be at school in a few hours time,

you ratty little sod.

Take me there. Let me in.

Come on, let me in.

Look, I found another client for you.

Harold Charms, the pop mogul?

He could easily find

his own dirty postcards.

You'll do it. You're down

to your last pair of mock crocs.

And you promised to take me

to dinner tomorrow night.

Money isn't everything.

I know. But...


It'll do until everything comes along.

Help! Somebody!

Stop! Please, stop!

They've got knives!


Help! Help! No!

Don't get involved, Colin.

Oh, let's get out of here.


Over here.

I need my beauty sleep.

Where to, luv?


Okay. Jump in.

Well, last chance, Colin.

See you after the show

tomorrow, all right?

And don't be late.

Last chance.

She means business, all right.

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Colin MacInnes

Colin MacInnes (20 August 1914 – 22 April 1976) was an English novelist and journalist. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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