Synopsis: Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.
Director(s): Anton Corbijn
Production: The Weinstein Company
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 31 wins & 33 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
122 min


Well, what does it matter?

I exist on the best terms I can.

The past is now part of my future.

The present is well out of hand.

Get it.

Ian. Pass us the ball, will you?

Knob cheese.

All right, Ian?


Oh, you got it.


This is Deborah, you know,

who I told you about.

From the youth club.

You can't be in my gang

if you don't smoke.

Don't wanna be in your gang.

Neither do I.

I think we should go.

- Now?

- Yeah. I wanna go.


Ian, we're getting off.

- Who's the writer?

- Who'd you think?

Glucose... oxygen...

Carbon dioxide plus water.

You can clearly see here

that the chemicals

are currently out of balance.

Your task will be

to alter the molar ratios

in order to make the chemicals balance

before and after the combustion

reaction has occurred.

Wouldn't you say that was so,

Mr Curtis?


Come on, stop messing.

Uh, Mr Curtis?


Sorry, sir.

Who have we got today, then?

Mrs Brady.

- We done her before?

- Don't think so.

Let's hope she's got

a sympathetic doctor.

I mean, I like

me neighbours, don't get me wrong.

Mind you, the stink of some of them.

I tell you, they don't wash

or don't know how to.

Stink, stink, stink.

Stink to high heaven of piss.

Mrs Brady, please can I use

your toilet, please?

'Course you can, love.

- Second on the left, down the hall.

- Thank you.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.

It says here Cirazapan usually

prescribed for schizophrenia.

Side effects include drowsiness,

apathy, agitation

and blurred vision.

I'm taking two.

Oh, here we go. Who's that?

Stop it now! Stop it.

- Hi.

- Hi, Nick.

Nick, yeah. Hi.

- Ian.

- Hi.


Oh, wow, a dog. What's her name?

- Tess.

- Hello, Tess.

Come around to speak to, you know...

See if she wants to... for a bit.

- Debbie.

- Debbie, yeah. Yeah.

Debbie. Hi.

- Hi.

- She's gorgeous. Debbie, hi.

Hi. Do you want to come in?



My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky

So it was my life began

So is it now I am a man

So it be when I shall grow old

Or let me die

The child is the father of the man

And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety

- Did you write that?

- Wordsworth.

- Cheers.

- Cheers.

- I'm really excited for this.

- Yeah. Same here.

Never really into Bowie before,

you know, but...

It's a shame Nick couldn't come.

He did say I could go out with you.

He said it was all right.

As long as I looked after you.

Did he now?

Well, I didn't want him thinking we were

going behind his back or anything.

That's a bit presumptuous,

don't you think?


I might not have wanted

to go out with you.

- Go over there.

- All right.

I wish I were a Warhol silkscreen

Hanging on the wall

Or little Joe or maybe Lou

I'd love to be them all

All New York City's broken hearts

And secrets would be mine

I'd put you on a movie reel

And that would be just fine

I think we should get married.

Are you asking?

You're mine.


- Am I now?

- Yeah.

And you know it.


I've got a brew for you.


All right, lads?

- All right.

- All right, mate.

It's a bit empty in here tonight.

- Tony Wilson's over there.

- Who?

Posh bloke from Granada TV.

- Oh, yeah.

- One day he'll be recognising me.

- You'll have to be out a bit more.

- Yeah.

Been a bit busy.

Getting married, finding a house.

Sounds like fun.

- How's the band?

- Yeah. Not bad.

It's not particularly good

either, is it?

No. We're pretty shite.

Be a lot less shite if we could find

a singer who could sing.

I'm really looking forward

to seeing this lot tonight.

Apparently they tear up the stage

and kick off mid-set.

- All right?

- Gotta go.

- Take it easy.

- See you soon, Ian.

- Embarrassed of me or something?

- No.

- He's all right, him, isn't he?

- Yeah.

A bit tall, bit odd, but yeah.

So you're really

looking for a singer, then?

So, what do you like doing, Colin?

Watching telly.

- Apart from watching telly?

- Hmm, having breakfast, lunch and tea.

Food? Well, that's a start.

There's plenty of jobs

that involve food.

And watch telly.

- So you like food and watching telly?

- That's right.


There's a job here working

at Knutsford Cinema

behind the hot dog counter.

How does that sound?

- I do not like hot dogs!

- OK.

Well, should we give 'em

a ring anyway?

The colour scheme is f***in' brown

Everywhere in chicken town

The f***in' pubs are f***in' dull

The f***in' clubs are f***in' full

Of f***in' girls and f***in' guys

With f***in' murder in their eyes

A f***in' bloke gets f***in' stabbed

Waitin' for a f***in' cab

You f***in' stay at f***in' home

The f***in' neighbours f***in' moan

Keep the f***in' racket down

This is f***in' chicken town

I'm a bit nervous, me.

Just with it being recorded

and all that.

I mean, we're actually

gonna be on a record.

I can play it at my gran's

and everything.

How about you, Hooky?

You nervous or what?

Am I f***, man?

- What about you, Ian?

- This is just the start.



The f***in' pies are f***in' old

The f***in' chips are f***in' cold

The f***in' beer is f***in' flat

The f***in' flats have f***in' rats

The f***in' clocks are f***in' wrong

The f***in' days are f***in' long

It f***in' gets you f***in' down

Evidently chicken town

Thank you. Good night.

Right, Warsaw, we're on.

F***in' hell! Who's opened the ham?

You lot nervous or what?

The next band of the night, folks:


You all forgotten Rudolf Hess?

Ian, it's 400 pound.

Are you sure you want to do this?

I know, but...

The band are gonna pay us back.


Let's have a baby.


Four hundred quid.

What are you lot called again?

We were Warsaw.

Now we're Joy Division.

Excuse me, but what happened

to Slaves of Venus?


- All right. Joy Division's good.

- Joy Division, eh?

What's all that about?

It's the name of a brothel German

soldiers used during World War II.

Well, whatever. Studio's yours.

And it folds up to hold the record.

Have a look.

Yeah, it's good that, Bernard.


That's right. Her name's Corrine Lewis.

Is 2.45 Thursday all right?

OK, then, Mr Mathers,

she'll see you then.


Done. He sounds keen.

I'll get some water.

When you're looking at life

in a strange new room

Maybe drowning soon

Is this the start of it all?

I'd never stand for that.


Being called something like

"the Buzzcocks".

What are you on about?

I don't know. I don't mind the Buzz,

but calling themselves C*cks.

I don't get it.

They're not calling themselves

the C*cks, are they?

They're calling themselves

the Buzzcocks.

Still got the word "cock" in it, though.

Just saying I wouldn't stand for it,

that's all.


They were the Buzzcocks.

If you didn't know, well, now you do.

- As you'll soon know about these lot...

- That's us!

... a Manchester band called

Joy Division. This is an EP,

An Ideal for Living.

And that wraps it up for tonight.

Keep the music coming in. Next week

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Matt Greenhalgh

Matthew Greenhalgh is an English screenwriter from Manchester. He is best known for writing the screenplay to the film Back to Black and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, which earned him a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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