"Magnificent" (The New York Times), "amazing" (Los Angeles Times) and "a blast" (Rolling Stone), this true story of the raucous anti-establishment explosion that revolutionized the music industry is "miraculous one of the ... more »smartest, liveliest, most engaging and involving works you're likely to see this year" (Premiere)! Blown away by an unknown local band called the Sex Pistols, TV personality Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) is inspired to invent a uniquely anarchic record label. Soon he's promoting everyone from New Order to Happy Mondays on his newly formed Factory Records and partying like a rock star. From Tony's speedy rise to Factory's hedonistic fall, this "wonderful party of a movie stamps on a smiley face that will stay with you for hours" (New York Post)!« less
"This is a really good movie with an excellent excellent screenplay. The movie begins with the birth of punk, when a small roomful of people were fortunate enough to catch the Sex Pistols when they first came out, changing the course of music, and ends with the death of acid. As Tony Wilson puts it in the film, it is the "story of Manchester," that begins when a group of young and idealistic local boys decide to screw London and its record companies and start producing their own records out of Manchester, and boy, has music history benefited from this decision. It's interesting to note that as these young lads on the forefront of the music scene in Manchester began to age, they become less idealistic as they were in their youth, and more acknowledging of reality and its limits. My only complaint is that I wish the movie could have had more on Joy Division and New Order, than on the Happy Mondays. Why did Tony Wilson ever sign a band that came in last place in Manchester's Battle of the Bands??? The casting for this movie is outstanding, as well.
Two big thumbs up.
P.S. I don't know why they used the cover that they did for the DVD. It really has nothing to do with the film."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 08/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Michael Winterbottom certainly had no way to go but up after the dreadful "The Claim." And so he does more than make up for it with the fiendishly inventive and entertaining, "24 Hour Party People."
"24HPP" is based on the real life of Tony Wilson a Granada television personality (he hosted Britain's "Wheel of Fortune") who also had a real talent for scouting, producing shows for and recording new and talented bands like New Order, Joy Division and the Sex Pistols in Manchester, England circa 1971-1994. He was also a club owner who had a lot to do with the invention of the current DJ/Rave scene.
What makes this film so enjoyable is the tact that Winterbottom has adopted to tell Wilson's story: Wilson emcees his life both personal and professional in as droll and dry-witted, British middle class/bangers and mash way as possible. It's a hoot.
Along the way we are introduced to a myriad of 80's bands and their music mostly through actual live footage of the bands themselves. But it is Wilson himself as portrayed by Steve Coogan who is the revelation here. He's smart about music and his career but dumb about the realities of the music business. He's very much in love with his wife but doesn't hesitate to take advantage of the favors of music groupies. He wears suits, dress shirts and overcoats to meetings with his rowdy bands, who wear jeans,torn tee-shirts and make-up and sport scowls of miss-apprehension and distrust until Wilson speaks of his love of their music.
"24 Hour Party People" transcends it's 80's roots and becomes universal through the sheer joy, passion and love that Wilson and Winterbottom obviously feel for this music and it's milieu that has as much conviction and reverence for it's subject than do "Amadeus" or "Jail House Rock.""
One of 2002's best films!
Aaron | Chicago, Illinois USA | 01/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a terrific film this is! The U.K.'s most eclectic filmmaker turns his gaze this time back to the late Seventies and early Eighties for '24 Hour Party People', a unique docu-drama look at the music scene in Manchester at the time. Tony Wilson and his Factory Records ruled the scene with such groups as Joy Division/New Order, Happy Mondays and others. This is a nostalgic, funny and fascinating look back at this period. Every element of the film is first rate especially Steve Coogan as the amazingly ambitious TonyWilson the real stand out. Needless to say the soundtrack is excellent. Even if you're not a real fan of this music, you will like this film."
Great movie from the old school!
Chicago DJ | Chicago, IL United States | 12/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I first got into DJing and the club scene, I have always known of the legendary Hacienda nightclub of Manchester. This movie is pretty much the history of that nightclub and it's founder, Tony Wilson. Actor Steve Coogan plays the role of Wilson as we see the rise and fall of his fame through both the Hacienda and his record label, Factory Records. What I also found fascinating about this movie is the portrayal of the origins of groups like Joy Division, New Order, and Happy Mondays. It gives a pretty good look at how the Manchester scene was back when Chicago was living it up with the Wharehouse, Music Box, and Power Plant. While I enjoyed the story and the comedic bits that director Michael Winterbottom and writer Frank Cottrell Boyce slipped into this, I can't see this movie appealing to anyone outside of independent movie buffs and/or nightlife history nuts like myself. I think this is definitely a movie worth seeing for anyone who liked movies like Groove or Trainspotting. I'll definitely get this on DVD when it comes out."
Cool, Edgy, Independent Film
Seth Cooper | Seattle, WA | 01/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie manages to be funny, quirky and sad--all at the same time. It combines the story of Joy Division's Ian Curtis and Happy Monday's Shaun Ryder--apparently with much revisionist history along the way. The interesting combination proves to make for an entertaining and interesting film.
I was laughing from the very beginning, with the movie's re-enactment of the infamous Sex Pistols gig in Manchester. Long have I heard tales of this show and it was treat to see it in the film.
There is plenty of great acting in this movie--particular from Steve Coogan as an arrogant Tony Wilson. Plus, I enjoyed the performances of the actors playing Ian Curtis, Martin Hannett and Rob Gretton, respectively.
It might have been fun to see and hear more of New Order in the moveie, but there are plenty of stories to be told concerning the Manchester, England music scene and the folks who made the film probably had enough difficulty fitting in as much as they did.
Do be sure to check out the commentary track by the real Tony Wilson. It's a real kick, and very insightful.
Lest I forget to mention, there is some FANTASTIC music in this movie.
Keep in mind this movie isn't for the little kids!"