The Commitments (film)

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The Commitments
Commitments poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlan Parker
Produced byLynda Myles
Roger Randall-Cutler[1]
Screenplay byDick Clement
Ian La Frenais
Roddy Doyle
Based onThe Commitments 
by Roddy Doyle
StarringRobert Arkins
Colm Meaney
Andrew Strong
Maria Doyle
Music byWilson Pickett
Percy Sledge
CinematographyGale Tattersall
Editing byGerry Hambling
StudioBeacon Communications
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 14 August 1991 (1991-08-14)
Running time118 minutes
CountryIreland
United Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$14,919,570
 
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The Commitments
Commitments poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlan Parker
Produced byLynda Myles
Roger Randall-Cutler[1]
Screenplay byDick Clement
Ian La Frenais
Roddy Doyle
Based onThe Commitments 
by Roddy Doyle
StarringRobert Arkins
Colm Meaney
Andrew Strong
Maria Doyle
Music byWilson Pickett
Percy Sledge
CinematographyGale Tattersall
Editing byGerry Hambling
StudioBeacon Communications
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • 14 August 1991 (1991-08-14)
Running time118 minutes
CountryIreland
United Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$14,919,570

The Commitments is a 1991 comedy-drama film adaptation of the novel The Commitments by Roddy Doyle. It tells a story of working class Dubliners who form a soul band. It was directed by Alan Parker from a screenplay adapted by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, and Doyle himself.[2] The film was an international co-production between companies in the Republic of Ireland, the UK, and the United States. It was filmed on location in Dublin.[3]

Plot[edit]

Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) aspires to manage the world's greatest band, with only one music in mind: soul. Disgusted with bands in Ireland, he assembles a soul band in the tradition of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson Pickett. Jimmy holds auditions at his parents' home and assembles a group of young musicians. Unlike his idols, Jimmy's band is white. With the help of Joey "The Lips" Fagan, the veteran musician of the band who has unlikely stories about meeting and working with famous musicians, Jimmy begins to whip the members into shape - coming together beautifully onstage, only to have the group fall apart in a clash of egos.

Cast[edit]

The cast were mostly unknown before filming, chosen for musical rather than acting ability.[4]

Reception[edit]

The Commitments gained a positive reception from critics, as it holds an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 40 reviews.

The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film, as well as BAFTA Awards for Best Director, Best Editing (Gerry Hambling), and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

Legacy[edit]

The Commitments was voted best Irish film of all time in a 2005 poll sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey[7] and launched a generation of Irish musicians and actors.

Stage production[edit]

In 2013, a musical stage production The Commitments is due to open in London's West End at the Palace Theatre.[8] The musical is based on the 1987 novel, by Roddy Doyle.[9] Following the books adaption into the movie in 1991,[10] Doyle turned down offers to turn the novel into a musical.[11][12]

The stage show was officially confirmed on 19 April 2013, in Ireland,[13] producers announced that the show would play the Palace Theatre, with tickets going on sale everywhere on 23 April.[14] Despite initially looking to hire another writer to write the book for the musical,[15] Doyle ended up writing the show himself.[16] The show will be directed by Jamie Lloyd,[17] with choreography by Ann Yee, set design by Soutra Gilmour, sound design by Rory Madden and lightning by Jon Clark.[18] Ticket prices for the show began at £10,[14] with all preview tickets half price.[19] Cast of the show include Denis Grindel playing Jimmy Rabbitte, Killian Donnelly playing Deco,[20] Ben Fox playing Joey Fagan,[21] Sean Kearns as Jimmy Rabbitte’s father[21] and Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi playing The Commitmentettes.[21]

Soundtracks[edit]

The Commitments (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[edit]

The Commitments (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album
Released13 August 1991
GenreSoul
LabelMCA Records
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[22]
Robert ChristgauC+[23]

The Commitments (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), the soundtrack for the film, was released on 13 Aug 1991.[24] "Mustang Sally" was released as a single. Most songs on the album are performed by the cast band, with two by Irish singer Niamh Kavanagh.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original artistLength
1."Mustang Sally"  Mack RiceMack Rice4:02
2."Take Me To The River"  Al Green, Mabon "Teenie" HodgesAl Green3:36
3."Chain Of Fools"  Don CovayAretha Franklin2:58
4."The Dark End Of The Street"  Dan Penn, Chips MomanJames Carr2:34
5."Destination Anywhere" (Niamh Kavanagh)Nickolas Ashford, Valerie SimpsonThe Marvelettes3:08
6."I Can't Stand The Rain"  Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Bernard "Bernie" MillerAnn Peebles3:12
7."Try A Little Tenderness"  Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly, Harry M. WoodsOtis Redding4:31
8."Treat Her Right"  Roy Head and the TraitsRoy Head and the Traits3:35
9."Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (Niamh Kavanagh)Penn, MomanAretha Franklin3:15
10."Mr. Pitiful"  Redding, Steve CropperOtis Redding2:07
11."I Never Loved A Man"  Ronny ShannonAretha Franklin3:09
12."In The Midnight Hour"  Pickett, CropperWilson Pickett2:21
13."Bye Bye Baby"  Mary WellsMary Wells3:21
14."Slip Away"  William Armstrong, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur TerrellClarence Carter4:27

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991)Peak
Australian Albums Chart[25]2
Austrian Albums Chart[25]12
New Zealand Albums Chart[25]1
Norwegian Albums Chart[25]3
Swedish Albums Chart[25]17
Swiss Music Charts[25]6
UK Albums Chart[26]4
US Billboard 200[27]8

The Commitments, Vol. 2[edit]

The Commitments, Vol. 2: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album
Released17 March 1992
GenreSoul
LabelMCA Records

After the commercial success of the first soundtrack album, a follow-up entitled The Commitments, Vol. 2: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released in 1992.[24] The album included four more songs from the movie as well as seven additional tracks.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Original artistLength
1."Hard To Handle"  Allen Jones, Al Bell, Otis ReddingOtis Redding2:23
2."Grits Ain't Groceries"  Titus TurnerLittle Milton3:44
3."I Thank You"  Isaac Hayes, David PorterSam & Dave3:40
4."That's The Way Love Is"  Norman Whitfield, Barrett StrongMarvin Gaye4:08
5."Show Me"  Joe TexJoe Tex2:56
6."Saved"  Jerry Leiber and Mike StollerLaVern Baker2:54
7."Too Many Fish in the Sea"  Whitfield, Eddie HollandThe Marvelettes2:45
8."Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)"  Redding, Steve CropperOtis Redding2:52
9."Land Of A Thousand Dances"  Chris KennerWilson Pickett3:16
10."Nowhere To Run"  Holland–Dozier–HollandMartha and the Vandellas3:39
11."Bring It On Home To Me"  Sam CookeSam Cooke3:41

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992)Peak
Australian Albums Chart[28]6
Austrian Albums Chart[28]32
New Zealand Albums Chart[28]3
Norwegian Albums Chart[28]11
Swedish Albums Chart[28]25
Swiss Music Charts[28]15
UK Albums Chart[26]13
US Billboard 200[29]118

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Producer Remembers His Prior 'Commitments' : Lecture: Roger Randall-Cutler tells a UC Irvine audience that he's 'rather disappointed' with film's performance in the U.S.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  2. ^ "MOVIES : Irish Soul : How Alan Parker drew upon the working-class kids of Dublin to power his movie 'The Commitments,' about a fictional Irish band". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. ^ The Irish Filmography 1896-1996; Red Mountain Press (Dublin); 1996. Page 200
  4. ^ a b Alan Parker, DVD commentary.
  5. ^ Alan Parker, Movie Connections - "The Commitments", BBC Television, broadcast 2007-09-17
  6. ^ Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, Movie Connections - "The Commitments", BBC Television, broadcast 2007-09-17
  7. ^ "And the winner is................................." (PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Commitments West End". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ "The Commitments to be turned into musical by Roddy Doyle after novel and film success". mirror.co.uk. Daily Mirror. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Roddy Doyle's The Commitments becomes West End musical". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Commitments to be turned into West End musical". guardian.co.uk. The Guardian. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Roddy Doyle on The Commitments musical". irishpost.co.uk. The Irish Post. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Commitments On Sale in Ireland". thecommitmentslondon.com. The Commitments (musical). 19 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments to open in London with £5 tickets". irishpost.co.uk. The Irish Post. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Commitments made into West End musical". irishnews.com. The Irish News. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Roddy Doyle's The Commitments to be adapted for the stage". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments" finally made into musical". reuters.com. Reuters. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments to open in West End this September". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Commitments: all preview shows half price". standard.co.uk. Evening Standard. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "West End Cast have been announced". thecommitmentslondon.com. The Commitments (musical). 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c "Casting Announced for West End Premiere of Stage Version of The Commitments". Playbill.com. Playbill. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  22. ^ The Commitments (film) at AllMusic
  23. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 3, 1991). "Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b The Commitments at Amazon.com
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Ultratop - The Commitments". Ultratop. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  26. ^ a b The Official Charts - The Commitments
  27. ^ "The Commitments - The Commitments". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f "Ultratop - The Commitments Vol 2". Ultratop. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  29. ^ "The Commitments - The Commitments Vol 2". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 

External links[edit]