24 Hour Party People

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24 Hour Party People is a 2002 film that provides a fictionalised depiction of the real-life music and club scene in Manchester during the 1980s and 1990s, in particular following the life and exploits of Tony Wilson, the head of Factory Records, and his relationship with the bands Joy Division (later New Order) and The Happy Mondays.

Share the Ecstasy. (taglines)

Tony Wilson[edit]

  • [first lines] Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the latest craze sweeping the Pennines. I've got to be honest with you... right now I'd rather be sweeping the Pennines.
  • [First address to camera; after his hang-gliding news report] You’re gonna be seeing a lot more of that sort of thing in the film. All of that actually did happen. Obviously, it’s symbolic. It works on both levels. I don’t want to tell you too much, don’t want to spoil the film. But I’ll just say, "Icarus." OK? If you know what I mean, great. If you don’t, doesn’t matter. But you should probably read more.
  • [When caught receiving an act of oral sex from a prostitute by his wife Lindsay] It's not what it looks like, love!
  • [After Lindsay storms off when catching him with the prostitute; to Lindsay] I love you! [To the prostitute] Can you finish me off?
  • [When catching Lindsay having sex with Howard Devoto out of spite] I only got a blowjob. That's full penetration.
  • [To Lindsay, who's breaking up with him after Ian Curtis's death] Energy, energy? You don't know what energy is. That is nothing more than a lot of new age hokum masquerading as spirituality.
  • [To Peter Saville, about the tickets to the opening night of the Haçienda] They didn't hand out tickets to the Sermon on the Mount. People just turned up, they knew it was a good gig.
  • [to his friends, about A Certain Ratio's surprising move to another genre] Jazz is the last refuge of the untalented. Jazz musicians enjoy themselves more than anyone listening to them does.
  • [About the Happy Mondays, and when Shaun Ryder is introduced to Bez] Every band needs its own special chemistry. And Bez was a very good chemist.
  • [At a gig at the Haçienda] And tonight something equally epoch-making is taking place. See? They're applauding the DJ. Not the music, not the musician, not the creator, but the medium. This is it. The birth of rave culture. The beatification of the beat. The dance age. This is the moment when even the white man starts dancing. Welcome to Madchester.
  • [To an overweight Martin Hannett, during some sessions with the Happy Mondays] You can't threaten me anymore, Martin. You're a big man, but you're out of shape, although you could sit on me.
  • [To the camera, while leaving Granada studios with Yvette Livesey for the first time] I'm being postmodern, before it was fashionable.
  • [After a stoned Martin Hannett tries to set fire to him] I am not a lump of hash. I'm in charge of Factory Records. I think.
  • [About the music scene surrounding the Haçienda] It was like being on a fantastic fairground ride, centrifugal forces throwing us wider and wider. But it's all right, because there's this brilliant machine at the center that's going to bring us back down to earth. That was Manchester. That is the Haçienda. Now imagine the machine breaks. For a while, it's even better, because you're really flying; but then, you're fucked, because nobody beats gravity.
  • [On the glossing over of Hilary, his second wife] OK. I should have found time to tell you earlier: I did have children with my second wife, Hilary, and there was a time when I was with Lindsay when that was all I wanted, and no, I've not been the best father in the world; yes, I could have been there, more than I have; and obviously I've got regrets. But this is not a film about me. I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be. I'm a minor character in my own story. This is a film about the music, and the people who made the music: Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder, and Martin Hannett.
  • [after Shaun Ryder fires a gun in his general direction] You really ought to be careful with that, Shaun. You could take somebody's eye out.
  • [Whilst hosting 'Wheel of Fortune'] Welcome to the Wheel of Fortune. There it is, the wheel that throughout the centuries has been used as a symbol for the vicissitudes of life. Boethius himself in his great work 'The Consolation of Philosophy' compares history to a great wheel, hoisting us up, then dropping us down again. "Inconsistency is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Raise yourself up on my spokes if you wish, but don't complain when you plunge back down" Now spin the wheel.
  • [About a scene involving Vini Reilly] This scene didn't actually make it to the final cut. I'm sure it'll be on the DVD.
  • [To Roger Ames, explaining Factory's vision] Factory Records are not actually a company. We are an experiment in human nature. You're labouring under the misapprehension that we actually have a deal with, er, with our, our bands. That we have any kind of a contract, er, at all, and I'm afraid we, er, we don't because that's, er, that's the sum total of the paperwork to do with Factory Records, deal with, er, their various bands.
  • [To Roger Ames, explaining his raison d'etre for running Factory as he had been doing] I have protected myself from ever having to sell out by having nothing to sell out.
  • Most of all, I love Manchester. The crumbling warehouses, the railway arches, the cheap abundant drugs. That's what did it in the end. Not the money, not the music, not even the guns. That is my heroic flaw: my excess of civic pride.

Martin Hannett[edit]

  • [To Stephen Morris, on his drumming] Stop that fucking horrible racket, please. (...) Nothing wrong with the drumming as such. It's just people have been playing like that for the past 20,000 years and quite frankly, it's boring me arse off, y'know? Let's try something simpler. Faster, but slower.
  • [On learning how much came out of the music budget to build the Haçienda] Well, goodbye. I mean, we obviously have nothing in common. I'm a genius, you're fucking wankers, you'll never see me again. You don't deserve to see me again.
  • [To the members of the Happy Mondays] I'm still waiting, and it's very fucking boring! I'm gonna stick Bez's maracas up his fucking jacksie!


  • Bez: Can I offer anybody like the best drug experience they ever had?
  • God: It's a pity you didn't sign the Smiths, but you were right about Mick Hucknall. His music's rubbish, and he's a ginger.
  • God: Tony, you did a good job. Basically you are right: Shaun is the greatest poet since Yeats.
  • The Real Howard Devoto: [On his alleged affair with Tony Wilson's wife Lindsay] I definitely don't remember this happening.
  • John the Postman: [singing "Louie, Louie" drunkenly] Pogo like a bastard!
  • Boethius: It's my belief that history is a wheel. "Inconstancy is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don't complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away".
  • Shaun Ryder [explaining his stay in Barbados]]: I was stranded on a desert island with no shelter nor companionship. Every day, I kept watch for rescue, but no-one came. My only distraction was to write lyrics for my forthcoming album, but then I thought... "Why the fuck should I?!"
  • Roger Ames [reading Factory Records contract, written in Tony Wilson's blood]: The artists own all their work. The label owns nothing. Our bands have the freedom ... to fuck off.


Tony Wilson: Can I buy you half a lager?
Rob Gretton: You can buy me a pint.
Ian Curtis: [shouting across the bar] Wilson, ya fucking cunt!
Tony Wilson: That's original. [to Rob] Your drink's coming. Is he a friend of yours?
Rob Gretton: Yeah, he's our singer.
Ian Curtis: [crossing the bar to approach Tony] Out of the way, Steve.
Tony Wilson: Hi, Tony Wilson, pleased to meet you.
[Ian just glowers at him wordlessly]
Tony Wilson: ... Is he gonna hit me? You're quite close to me there.
Ian Curtis: Yeah, I know, I wanna be.
Tony Wilson: Why?
Ian Curtis: 'Cos you're a cunt, mate.
Tony Wilson: I know, I heard you the first time.

Tony Wilson: Martin, what are you doing?
Martin Hannett: Recording... silence.
Tony Wilson: You're recording silence?
Martin Hannett: Now, I'm recording Tony fucking Wilson!

Tony Wilson: What's wrong with London Records?
Rob Gretton: The name, for a start.

Rob Gretton: You've dropped a bollock, haven't you?
Tony Wilson: Yes, I've dropped a bollock. I've dropped a big massive hairy bollock.

[On learning about Tony's 'contract' with his bands]
Roger Ames: Tony, you're fucking mad.
Tony Wilson: Well, that is a point of view.

[Tony Wilson has just had a vision of God - who looked exactly like Tony Wilson]
Tony Wilson: It's says so in the Bible, though, doesn't it? 'God made man in His own image'.
Rob Gretton: Yeah - but not a specific man.

Tony Wilson: You know, I think Shaun Ryder is on a par with W.B. Yeats as a poet.
Yvette: Really?
Tony Wilson: Absolutely.
Yvette: Well, that is amazing, because everybody else thinks he's a fucking idiot.

Rob Gretton: You know your trouble, Tony? You don't know what you are. You see, I fucking know what you are, but you don't know what you are.
Tony Wilson: My curiosity's got the better of me, Rob, tell me, what am I?
Rob Gretton: You're a cunt.
Tony Wilson: Well, that was something I *did* know, you see, I actually did know that.

Tony Wilson: This morning I was doing a story about an elephant being washed by a midget.
Charles: He's a dwarf.
Tony Wilson: It doesn't matter!
Charles: Well, it matters to him.

[watching Vini Reilly of Durutti Column performing "You've Heard It Before"]
Ryan Letts: Got to stop him singing, Tony.
Tony Wilson: It's avant-garde, you wouldn't understand it.
Ryan Letts: It's very poor. Very poor.
Tony Wilson: It's provocative.
Ryan Letts: Provocatively poor. Appallingly poor. They're not calling you the new George Epstein, you know.
Tony Wilson: [getting annoyed] ... It's Brian Epstein.
Ryan Letts: George Epstein, The Beatles' manager.
Tony Wilson: That's Brian Epstein, you dickhead. It's fucking Brian Epstein.
Ryan Letts: [overlapping] George Epstein. It's Brian Martin.
Tony Wilson: It's George Martin, you knob.
Ryan Letts: Brian Martin the producer, George Epstein the, er... manager.
Alan Erasmus: Tony, tell him to fuck off.
Lindsay: Come on, let's sit down...
Tony Wilson: [to Letts] You're just fucking wrong!

Tony Wilson: You know broccoli?
Alan Erasmus: Broccoli the vegetable?
Tony Wilson: It's a little known fact that it was invented by Cubby Broccoli, the producer of the James Bond films.


  • [From film poster:] Share the Ecstasy.
  • The unbelievably true story of one man, one movement, the music and madness that was Manchester.
  • [Over images of Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder and Tony Wilson respectively:] Genius. Poet. Twat.


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