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24 Hour Party People


24 Hour Party People is a 2002 film about Manchester's popular music community from 1977 to 1997, and specifically about Factory Records. It was written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and was directed by Michael Winterbottom.

It begins with the punk rock era, and moves through the 1980s into the "Madchester" scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The main character is Tony Wilson, the head of Factory Records (played by comedian Steve Coogan), and the narrative largely follows his career, while also covering the major Factory artists, especially Joy Division and New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column, and The Happy Mondays.

The movie is a dramatization based on a combination of real events, rumours, urban legends and the imaginations of the scriptwriter - as the movie makes clear. In one scene featuring Howard Devoto (played by Martin Hancock), the real Devoto, an extra in the scene, turns to the camera and says "I definitely don't remember this happening". Several other people from the era of the film appear in cameos, such as Mani from the Stone Roses, Vini Reilly, Paul Ryder, Mark E. Smith and Tony Wilson himself. Rowetta, the Happy Mondays backing singer, plays herself in the film. The actors are often intercut real concert footage taken at the time, including the famous Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall.


The ensemble cast includes:


  • Steve Coogan - Tony Wilson
  • Shirley Henderson - Lindsay Wilson (Tony's first wife)
  • Paddy Considine - Rob Gretton (Joy Division/New Order manager)
  • Lennie James - Alan Erasmus (co-founder of Factory)
  • Andy Serkis - Martin Hannett (producer)
  • Sean Harris - Ian Curtis (Joy Division singer)
  • John Simm - Bernard Sumner (Joy Division/New Order guitarist)
  • Danny Cunningham - Shaun Ryder (Happy Mondays' singer)


A novelization, 24 Hour Party People, based on the screenplay for the film, was written by Wilson himself and released in 2003. The title (and opening theme) for the film comes from the song "Twenty Four Hour Party People" by the Happy Mondays, from their album Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out).

External Links

Official site
24 Hour Party People at Internet Movie Database


Last updated on 29/08/2005 6:38:08 AM - 6:38:08 AM
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.