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SoulBoy (2010)

A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.


Shimmy Marcus


Jeff Williams
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfie Allen ... Russ Mountjoy
Martin Compston ... Joe McCain
Hannah Crighton Hannah Crighton ... Purple Onion Lass
Brian McCardie ... Fish Shop Bobby
Jo Hartley ... Monica
Pat Shortt Pat Shortt ... Brendan
Nichola Burley ... Jane Rogers
Huey Morgan Huey Morgan ... Dee Dee
Danielle Henry ... Chrissie
Craig Parkinson ... Alan
Brennan Reece Brennan Reece ... Dexie
Felicity Jones ... Mandy Hodgson
Bruce Jones ... Mike the Manager
Vortre Williams Vortre Williams ... Derek (as Trevor Williams)
Honra Shirley Honra Shirley ... Mrs. Woods


A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 September 2010 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

SoulBoy - Tanz die ganze Nacht See more »


Box Office


£1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The Yellow Rover P6 on the drive has an AA recovery badge on the grille that was introduced in he 80s though this film is set in the 70s See more »


About an hour into the film, Alfie Allen orders a drink in the pub by saying "can I get a bottle please?".

"Can I get..." is an Americanism that has only crept into the UK some time in the last 10 years and definitely would never have been used in the 70s. See more »


Mandy Hodgson: Art college Joe, I've been accepted - and you're not going to stop me.
Joe McCain: Why would I stop you? I think you're amazing, like that guy mattress.
Mandy Hodgson: Matisse.
See more »


Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #13.46 (2010) See more »


Call On Me
Performed by Percy Milem
See more »

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User Reviews

Energetic Coming-of-Age Drama That Almost Gets the Period Atmosphere Right
28 November 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

The basic scenario of SOULBOY is a familiar one: boy Joe (Martin Compston) meets unattainable girl (Nichola Burley) and follows her up to a club in Wigan that functions as the center of Northern Soul. There he learns how to dance, but while doing so he gradually discovers that plain lass Mandy (Felicity Jones) has fallen in love with him. After Mandy takes an overdose, Joe realizes his true feelings. Back in the club he has an energetic dance-off with smarmy Alan (Craig Parkinson), and emerges triumphant, thereafter to enjoy love with Mandy.

The grimy, down-at-heel atmosphere of mid-Seventies Stoke-on-Trent is admirably evoked by director Shimmy Marcus, from the poky two-up, two-down houses to the local pub, where everyone pours pints down without ever seeming to enjoy themselves. Joe's mate Russ (Alfie Allen) has a grotesque dance that he calls the "dying fly," but he can only perform that when he is drunk. Sometimes Marcus overdoes the Seventies aura, such as having politician Enoch Powell speaking on one of the car radios; by 1974 he was virtually a spent force in politics, having resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Ulster Unionists. Some of the cars seem a little antiquated too, dating from a decade earlier.

Once the action shifts to the club, however, the mise-en-scene changes abruptly. Vladimir Trivic's camera admirably captures the phantasmagoria of color, light, bodily movements, sweat and unadulterated fun that characterized the late-night gigs at the club, whose patrons came from all over the country each Saturday night by coach to enjoy the fun. For those of us with longer memories, the set pieces have strong echoes of Saturday NIGHT FEVER (1977) with Joe in the John Travolta role, but that resemblance does not detract from the exuberant staging, in which music and dance combine to create a series of stirring sequences. The final dance-off between Joe and Alan is something to behold: director Marcus uses slow-motion and frequent close-ups to make us aware of the sheer effort involved by the protagonists.

The film ends with a series of of short interviews from people - now very much middle-aged - that frequented the club when it was in its heyday during the mid-Seventies. Their reminiscences capture the atmosphere of excitement and daring that was characteristic of the club; no wonder it was named "best disco in the world" later on in the decade, despite its assuming location in a Lancashire industrial town.

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