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Downtown 81 (1981)

Unrated
72 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering ...See moreThe film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he's paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he'll have a place to spend the night. Downtown 81 not only captures one of the most interesting and lively artists of the twentieth century as he is poised for fame, but it is a slice of life from one of the most exciting periods in American culture, with the emergence of new wave music, new painting, hip hop and graffiti. Written by Sujit R. Varma See less
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Box Office
Opening Wknd
$ 11,436
Gross (USA)
$ 100,293
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Release date
Jul 13, 2001 (United States)

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Cast

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114 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
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Anna Schroeder
Béatrice Béatrice   See fewer
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Giorgio Gomelsky
Landlord (as Giorgio Giomelsky) Landlord (as Giorgio Giomelsky)   See fewer
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Ted Bafaloukos
Junk Dealer Junk Dealer   See fewer
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Bobby Grossman
East Village Junkie East Village Junkie   See fewer
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Mickey Clean
Pot Dealer Pot Dealer   See fewer
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Roberta Bayley
Street Girl Street Girl   See fewer
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Dave Street
Musician Musician   See fewer
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Tish Bellomo
Manic Panic Girl Manic Panic Girl   See fewer
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Snooky Bellomo
Manic Panic Girl Manic Panic Girl   See fewer
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Kool Kyle
Rapper Rapper   See fewer
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Claudia Summers
Friend in Park Friend in Park   See fewer
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Tuxedomoon
Themselves Themselves   See fewer
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Steven Brown
Himself / Vocals, Tuxedomoon Himself / Vocals, Tuxedomoon   See fewer
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Peter Principle
Himself / Bass, Tuxedomoon Himself / Bass, Tuxedomoon   See fewer
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Blaine Reininger
Himself / Keyboard, Tuxedomoon Himself / Keyboard, Tuxedomoon   See fewer
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David McDermott
Man from the Past (as David MacDermott) Man from the Past (as David MacDermott)   See fewer
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Catherine Rebennack
1st Go-Go Dancer 1st Go-Go Dancer   See fewer
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Cookie Mueller
2nd Go-Go Dancer 2nd Go-Go Dancer   See fewer
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Steve Mass
Go-Go Bar Patron Go-Go Bar Patron   See fewer
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Ernest Scaglione
Go-Go Bar Manager Go-Go Bar Manager   See fewer
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George Dubose
Go-Go Bar Patron Go-Go Bar Patron   See fewer
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Ronnie Cutrone
Go-Go Bar Patron Go-Go Bar Patron   See fewer
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John Browner
Go-Go Bar Patron Go-Go Bar Patron   See fewer
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Tom Baker
Go-Go Bar Patron Go-Go Bar Patron   See fewer
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Larry 'Ratso' Sloman
Go-Go Bar Patron (as Larry Sloman) Go-Go Bar Patron (as Larry Sloman)   See fewer
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Walter Steding
Struggling Musician / Himself Struggling Musician / Himself   See fewer
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Lindzee Smith
Club Owner Club Owner   See fewer
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Marty Thau
Record Executive Record Executive   See fewer
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Daniela Morera
Mrs. Cavalcanti Mrs. Cavalcanti   See fewer
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Lisa Rosen
French Maid French Maid   See fewer
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Jimmy Destri
Taxi Driver Taxi Driver   See fewer
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D.N.A.
Themselves Themselves   See fewer
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Arto Lindsay
Himself / Vocals and Guitar, DNA Himself / Vocals and Guitar, DNA   See fewer
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Tim Wright
Himself / Bass, DNA Himself / Bass, DNA   See fewer
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Ikue Mori
Herself / Drums, DNA Herself / Drums, DNA   See fewer
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Michael Holman
Michael Michael   See fewer
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Olivier Mosset
Bike Rider Bike Rider   See fewer
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Bradley Field
Studio Manager Studio Manager   See fewer
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The Felons
Themselves Themselves   See fewer
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Chris Stein
Himself / Guitar, The Felons Himself / Guitar, The Felons   See fewer
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Clem Burke
Himself / Drums, The Felons Himself / Drums, The Felons   See fewer
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Snuky Tate
Himself / Bass, The Felons Himself / Bass, The Felons   See fewer
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Michael Sullivan
Himself / Maracas, The Felons Himself / Maracas, The Felons   See fewer
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Glenn O'Brien
Rock Critic Rock Critic   See fewer
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The Plastics
Themselves Themselves   See fewer
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Chica Nakanishi
Herself / Vocals, The Plastics Herself / Vocals, The Plastics   See fewer
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Toshio Nakanishi
Himself / Vocals and Guitar, The Plastics Himself / Vocals and Guitar, The Plastics   See fewer
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Hajime Tachibana
Himself / Guitar, The Plastics Himself / Guitar, The Plastics   See fewer
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Ma Chang
Himself / Keyboard, The Plastics (as Ma-Chang) Himself / Keyboard, The Plastics (as Ma-Chang)   See fewer
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Takemi Shima
Himself / Drums, The Plastics Himself / Drums, The Plastics   See fewer
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Mitsuru
Chica's Make-up Artist Chica's Make-up Artist   See fewer
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Maripol
Fashion Designer Fashion Designer   See fewer
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Eszter Balint
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Anne Carlisle
Fashion Show Model (as Ann Carlyle) Fashion Show Model (as Ann Carlyle)   See fewer
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Barbara Egan
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Patrice Kamins
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Lucille
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Hal Ludacer
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Benedicte Siroux
Fashion Show Model Fashion Show Model   See fewer
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Vicki Pedersen
Dresser Dresser   See fewer
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Haoui Montaug
Rock Lounge Doorman Rock Lounge Doorman   See fewer
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Diane Brill
Kid Creole Announcer Kid Creole Announcer   See fewer
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Kid Creole and The Coconuts
Themselves (as Kid Creole & The Coconuts) Themselves (as Kid Creole & The Coconuts)   See fewer
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Kid Creole
Himself / Vocals and Guitar, Kid Creole & The Coconuts (as August Darnell) Himself / Vocals and Guitar, Kid Creole & The Coconuts (as August Darnell)   See fewer
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Adriana Kaegi
Herself / The Coconuts Herself / The Coconuts   See fewer
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Cheryl Poirier
Herself / The Coconuts Herself / The Coconuts   See fewer
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Ronnie Griffith
Herself / The Coconuts Herself / The Coconuts   See fewer
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Coati Mundi
Himself / Vocals, Flute and Percussion, The Coconuts (as Coati Mundi A. Hernandez) Himself / Vocals, Flute and Percussion, The Coconuts (as Coati Mundi A. Hernandez)   See fewer
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Lori Eastside
Herself / Vocals, The Coconuts Herself / Vocals, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Andrew Lloyd
Himself / Percussion, The Coconuts Himself / Percussion, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Winston Grennan
Himself / Drums, The Coconuts Himself / Drums, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Carol Coleman
Herself / Bass, The Coconuts Herself / Bass, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Mark Mazur
Himself / Guitar, The Coconuts Himself / Guitar, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Peter Schott
Himself / Piano, The Coconuts Himself / Piano, The Coconuts   See fewer
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Danny Rosen
Friend in Limousine Friend in Limousine   See fewer
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Elliott Murphy
Rock Star Rock Star   See fewer
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Compton Maddux
Limo Driver Limo Driver   See fewer
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John Morton
Peppermint Lounge Doorman Peppermint Lounge Doorman   See fewer
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James White and the Blacks
Themselves (as James White & The Blacks) Themselves (as James White & The Blacks)   See fewer
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James Chance
Himself / Sax and Vocals, James White & The Blacks (as James White) Himself / Sax and Vocals, James White & The Blacks (as James White)   See fewer
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Joe Bowie
Himself / Trombone, James White & The Blacks Himself / Trombone, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Byron Bowie
Himself / Sax, James White & The Blacks Himself / Sax, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Bern Nix
Himself / Guitar, James White & The Blacks Himself / Guitar, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Tomas Doncker
Himself / Guitar, James White & The Blacks Himself / Guitar, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Richie Harrison
Himself / Drums, James White & The Blacks Himself / Drums, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Colin Wade
Himself / Bass, James White & The Blacks Himself / Bass, James White & The Blacks   See fewer
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Bemshi
Dancer Dancer   See fewer
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Karen Geniece
Herself / Guitar, Walter Steding & The Dragon People Herself / Guitar, Walter Steding & The Dragon People   See fewer
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Lenny Ferrari
Himself / Drums, Walter Steding & The Dragon People Himself / Drums, Walter Steding & The Dragon People   See fewer
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Victor Bockris
Mudd Club Friends Mudd Club Friends   See fewer
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Patrick Geoffrois
Mudd Club Friend Mudd Club Friend   See fewer
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Amos Poe
Mudd Club Friend Mudd Club Friend   See fewer
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Betsy Sussler
Mudd Club Friend Mudd Club Friend   See fewer
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Vinnie Grouppi
Mudd Club Friend Mudd Club Friend   See fewer
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Tav Falco
Mudd Club Friend Mudd Club Friend   See fewer
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Debbie Harry
Fairy Godmother (as Deborah Harry) Fairy Godmother (as Deborah Harry)   See fewer
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Steve Sabato
Car Seller Car Seller   See fewer
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Jo Shane
Club Girl Club Girl   See fewer
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Diego Cortez
Fist-fighter at the Mudd Club (uncredited) Fist-fighter at the Mudd Club (uncredited)   See fewer
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Vanya Edwards
Herself (uncredited) Herself (uncredited)   See fewer
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Fab 5 Freddy
Graffiti Artist (uncredited) Graffiti Artist (uncredited)   See fewer
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Vincent Gallo
Himself (uncredited) Himself (uncredited)   See fewer
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John Lurie
Himself (uncredited) Himself (uncredited)   See fewer
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Debi Mazar
Peppermint Lounge Dancer (uncredited) Peppermint Lounge Dancer (uncredited)   See fewer
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'Lee' George Quinones
Graffiti Artist (uncredited) Graffiti Artist (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

7.2 / 10 | 932 votes