Sunday, April 10, 2011

Movie Sunday: The Commitments

Image from here

When I was a kid, pretty much all we had to listen to was AM radio.* My hometown of Little Rock had exactly two stations that didn't play country or what I've come to think of as Vegas music. One was KAAY, one of the nation's 50,000 watt monsters that covered a good portion of the nation. They were strictly Top 40 in the daytime, and at night turned more subversive.**

The other was KOKY 1350, the self-described "black spot on your dial."  This is where I learned to love rhythm and blues, soul, and a little later, funk.  The Beatles, Grand Funk, Steppenwolf, and Three Dog Night I heard on one hand was no more important to me than the Marvin Gaye, Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops and War that played higher up on the dial.

This is one reason I really liked The Commitments. I also like just about anything Irish. Oh, and it's a good movie. The Commitments is the 1991 story of a group of working class Dubliners who form a band. It's a glimpse into the depressed Ireland of the 80's and early 90's, before the "Irish miracle" that led to the current "Irish bailout." The characters are engaging and rich, the plot is tight without seeming spare, and the music is great.

The film was directed by Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Fame, Mississippi Burning), and despite a largely untrained cast, was voted the Best Irish Film of All Time in a 2005 poll.  So if you like old soul music, and you've been missing pink lipstick and spiral perms, you should definitely check out The Commitments.  It's magically delicious.

* Shut up.

** Someone from the midwest or deep south will still occasionally talk to me about listening to Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford.


  1. best soundtrack from any film ever... one of the few CDs i keep in my office at work, for jammin' after hours. worth probably watching this again sometime...

  2. I liked this film so much, I spoilt it for myself, making my Spanish students watch it every end of term last class. Even if they couldn't understand the accents, they could enjoy the music (or at least get exposed to better music than they normally listened to...).

  3. This movie is bad ass.

    That is all.

  4. Great movie, agreed. Pink Lipstick has never 'gone away' but it's big this spring. Isn't that exciting?! What about Beeker Street from Memphis? I grew up loving to tune into it...