7.6/10
21,416
163 user 50 critic

Beautiful Thing (1996)

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.

Director:

Hettie Macdonald

Writers:

Jonathan Harvey, Jonathan Harvey (play)
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Linda Henry Linda Henry ... Sandra Gangel
Glen Berry Glen Berry ... Jamie Gangel
Scott Neal Scott Neal ... Ste Pearce
Tameka Empson Tameka Empson ... Leah Russell
Ben Daniels ... Tony
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Benfield ... Rodney Barr
Daniel Bowers Daniel Bowers ... Trevor Pearce
Garry Cooper ... Ronnie Pearce
Terry Duggan Terry Duggan ... Kevin
Jeillo Edwards Jeillo Edwards ... Rose
Andrew Fraser Andrew Fraser ... Jayson
Beth Goddard ... Brewery Official
Davyd Harries ... Brewery Official
Anna Karen ... Marlene
Dave Lynn Dave Lynn ... Drag Performer
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Storyline

A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie's mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to 'top-and-tail' with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. It deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra's unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste's family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra's desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the ... Written by Mark Edwards <me93fm@soton.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An urban fairytale.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Classics

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csodálatos dolog See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,931, 11 October 1996

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamie Gangel is a real life news reporter for NBC in the United States, having begun as a correspondent for NBC's Today (1952) show in 1992, four years before production and release of Beautiful Thing (1996). See more »

Goofs

The movie clearly states that it is the middle of the summer and supported by the fact that schools are still in attendance and the quote "It's the middle of the summer, its a heat-wave." However during the party scene, it is clearly dark outside but the clock on the wall as Jamie enters the house says 9:00. During British Summertime it would still very much be light at this time. See more »

Quotes

Sandra: [Talking about Ste after he rushes off, obviously upset] What's his problem?
Jamie: He's in love, that's all.
See more »

Connections

References University Challenge (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Move In a Little Closer Baby
by Arnold Capitanelli (as Capitanelli) & Robert O'Connor (as O'Connor)
Sung by Cass Elliot (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Gay Romance
15 September 2003 | by davidalsSee all my reviews

BEAUTIFUL THING is a unique drama - presenting an adolescent gay couple as complex individuals, within a greater setting (an English housing project) that also captures a bit of a slice-of-life feel. I like the working-class setting, and wasn't bothered by the accents - as an American it required me to pay attention - a good thing as there are many subtle details that make this a very rich drama.

It does tug at the heartstrings a bit, and it lays on the cuteness a bit more than it should, but I loved the characters anyway, and the setting and context (very nicely detailed film-making) keeps those minor gripes minor.

There have been so many cynical or clichéd gay dramas released during the last decade or two, especially in the US (gay film from elsewhere in the world often seems so much more fresh and lifelike) - in many ways this film was (and remains) a real breath of fresh air.


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