Duran Duran

Girls on Film

Song Review by

This frenetic new wave single played an important role in popularizing Duran Duran for more than one reason. "Girls on Film" presents an impressionistic set of images through its lyrics as it chronicles a rather racy photo shoot in a breathless first-person style, complete with fanciful and suggestive turns of phrase like "Lipstick cherry all over the lens as she's falling" and "Wider baby smiling you've just made a million." This hazy yet sexy imagery makes it tough to determine whether the photo shoot in question is fashion-oriented or pornographic, which adds to the song's saucy sense of fun. The music puts the song's barrage of imagery forth at a fast clip, alternating moody verses that swing with a jazzy edge and a chant-like chorus built on descending notes. Duran Duran's recording gives the song a churning dance beat as atmospheric synth lines and sharp electric guitar riffs duel over the top. Simon LeBon tops it with a vocal that manages to be lusty and emphatic all at once. All these elements made "Girls on Film" a bracing, danceable slice of new wave that quickly became a Top Five hit in the U.K. It also got some valuable U.S. exposure on MTV thanks in part to a racy video directed by erstwhile pop musicians Godley & Creme that featured the group performing as a group of sexy models and enacting the song's images around them. Fans will want to take note that the full-length version of this video utilizes the re-recorded 12" version of the song, which includes an extended intro that allows the rhythm section to show off their skill at creating a funky groove. The original cut of the video featured a few flashes of nudity so it had to be cut for television but still managed to achieve heavy rotation during MTV's early days in its edited version (the racy version later turned up on music video compilations). More importantly, this stylish video also paved the way for future video-supported Duran Duran hits like "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Duran Duran 1981 Capitol / EMI Records 3:36
Seven and the Ragged Tiger 1983 Toshiba EMI 0:00
No Image 1983 Sony Music Distribution
Sing Blue Silver [Video/DVD] 1984 Capitol
Decade: Greatest Hits 1989 Capitol 3:30
No Image 1991 Golden Stars 6:58
Club for Heroes 1992
Various Artists
3:33
Pop & Wave, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:52
Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 4 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 3:31
No Image 1996
Various Artists
EMI
Best of 1980-1990, Vol. 12 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:28
Dance Club Retro, Vol. 3: Pop Hits 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:46
Ultimate Dance Beat Collection: Durantastic 1998
Various Artists
Mastertone 3:49
Relax: Ultimate 80's Mix 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 3:14
Retro 80's, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:31
Greatest 1998 Capitol / EMI Records / EMI 3:27
Strip Jointz Rocks: Rock N' Roll for Sexy Dancers 1998
Various Artists
Robbins Entertainment 3:29
100% Rock [RCA] 1998
Various Artists
Sony BMG / RCA 0:00
Music for Heroes 1998
Various Artists
Bebutante 3:31
Electric Barbarella [UK] 1999 EMI Music Distribution 4:53
Strange Behaviour 1999 EMI Music Distribution 5:32
Girls on Film 1999 Capitol 8:28
In the Mix 2000: 37 Non-Stop Dance Hits 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:20
Now: 1981 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 3:28
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Virgin
Greatest Hits of the 80's [1999 Disky] 1999
Various Artists
Disky 3:30
Essential Eighties 2, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:28
The Essential Collection [EMI] 2000 EMI Music Distribution 3:28
Top Ten Hits of the 80s [EMI] 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:31
Maximum 80's [Disky Boxset] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 5:44
Music of the Millenium 2001
Various Artists
Umusic 3:27
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 3:30
Dance Box: 45 Massive Dance Hits 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 6:27
It Came from the 80's Part 2 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:25
The Original Electro Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:26
Remix Album, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 6:27
Essential Eighties, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:28
Best 80s Modern Rock Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:30
Totally New Romantic 2002
Various Artists
EMI
Absolute Synth Classics 2002
Various Artists
Eva 3:25
The Singles 81-85 2003 EMI / Parlophone / Warner Music 5:45
Wonderland [Original Soundtrack] 2003
Original Soundtrack
Epic 3:32
Oldies But Goodies: 80's Pop, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:26
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Disky
Summer Rock: Walking on Sunshine 2004
Various Artists
Disky 3:29
Brit Awards 2004 2004
Various Artists
BMG
Club Class: Pop 2004
Various Artists
EMI 6:28
Duran Duran/Rio/Seven and the Ragged Tiger 2004 EMI Music Distribution 3:36
The Singles 1986-1995 2004 EMI Music Distribution 3:31
I Want My New Wave 2005
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 3:25
Culture Club, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
541 4:30
Essential 80's 2005
Various Artists
Disky Communications 3:29
Best of 1980 & 1981 2005
Various Artists
Disky 3:30
Let's Party [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky 3:27
I Love 80's 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Wedding Party 2006
Various Artists
ZYX Music 0:00
This Is '80s New Wave 2006
Various Artists
Cleopatra 3:31
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Barking Mad
Excellent 80s 2006
Various Artists
Somerset Entertainment 3:28
The Original 80s Remix Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI
Le Bar: Plaza Athenee, Paris 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:16
Jim Beam: Pub Jukebox Classics 2007
Various Artists
Liberation
Essential 80s [EMI Gold] 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:27
Capital Gold Legendary Labels 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:28
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Top of the Pops 1981 [EMI] 2008
Various Artists
BBC Worldwide / EMI 3:27
Ashes to Ashes, Series 1 2008
Original TV Soundtrack
Sony Music 3:28
Playlist: Electro 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 3:28
Top of the Pops Collection [43 CD] 2008
Various Artists
EMI
This Is 1981 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 3:28
Pure Party 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 3:39
Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes 2008
Original TV Soundtrack
Sony Music 3:28
The Essential Car Album For Girls 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:27
100% 80's 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:27
Smash Hits 1981 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Original Hits: Eighties 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:31
Original Hits: 80s 12" 2009
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire
The Tiswas Album 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:26
Sing Blue Silver [2009] 2009 EMI Music Distribution
Anthems: Electronic '80s, Vol. 2 2010
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:27
No Image 2011 EMI Music Distribution
10 Great Songs 2011 Capitol 3:28
100 Hits: The New Romantics 2011
Various Artists
Demon 3:30
Sight & Sound 2012 EMI Gold 6:30
The Biggest and the Best 2012 Music Club Deluxe 3:32
Top of the Pops: New Romantic 2013
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:30
100 Hits: 80s Classics Karaoke 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits
Countdown 40th Anniversary 2014
Various Artists
ABC 3:28
Girls on Film: 1979 Demo 2016 Cleopatra 3:02
Stranger Things [Music from the Netflix Original Series] 2017
Original Television Soundtrack
Legacy / Legacy Recordings / Sony Music 3:28
100 Greatest Summer Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 3:39
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire
80s Classics: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music / WSM 3:30
No Image
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing
Classic Pop: 12 Inch
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 5:47
De Pre Historie: 1981, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 3:29
Dos Décadas Dance: 1980-1986
Various Artists
Beggars Banquet
Duran Duran/Rio/Seven & the Ragged Tiger/Big Thing EMI 3:39
Electronic 80s: The Collection [Ministry of Sound]
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 3:28
Essential Eighties [Mixed Repertoire]
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire / Parlophone / Warner Music 3:30
Essential New Wave
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 3:30
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 3:39
Happy Mother's Day
Various Artists
Rhino 5:45
No Image
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 3:28
Mother's Day
Various Artists
Rhino 3:39
Mum
Various Artists
Mum
Rhino 5:45
Mum: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 3:28
New Year's Eve [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 3:30
Party All Night [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:39
Radio Fresh 80s
Various Artists
ZYX / ZYX Music 3:29
Smash Hits Car-aoke
Various Artists
Rhino
Summer BBQ [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:39
The 80s [EMI 1999]
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The Eighties Album
Various Artists
Rhino 3:29
The New Romantics [EMI 2009]
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Top of the Pops: 1980-1984
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:30
Top of the Pops: Eighties [2011]
Various Artists