Stop Making Sense (1984)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  16 November 1984 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 7,802 users   Metascore: 89/100
Reviews: 63 user | 58 critic | 9 from

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.


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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Bernie Worrell ...
Alex Weir ...
Steven Scales ...
Percussion (as Steve Scales)
Lynn Mabry ...
Backing Vocals
Ednah Holt ...
Backing Vocals (as Edna Holt)
Tina Weymouth ...
Bass, Percussion and Vocals
Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
Chris Frantz ...
Drums and Vocals


David Byrne walks onto the stage and does a solo "Psycho Killer." Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz join him for two more songs. The crew is busy, still setting up. Then, three more musicians and two back-up singers join the band. Everybody sings, plays, harmonizes, dances, and runs. They change instruments and clothes. Bryne appears in the Big Suit. The backdrop is often black, but sometimes it displays words, images, or children's drawings. The band cooks for 18 songs, the lyrics are clear, the house rocks. In this concert film, the Talking Heads hardly talk, don't stop, and always make sense. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | band | suit | stage | musician | See All (21) »


Why stop making sense? Why a movie? Why a big suit? Where do the odd movements come from? What will the band do next?


Documentary | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 1984 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Не ищи смысла  »

Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,051 (USA) (28 May 1999)


$148,443 (USA) (3 December 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

(1999 re-release)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The footage was culled from several different shows. In order to minimize the amount of cameras in the frame, one show was all shot from one side of the stage, the next night was shot from the other side. See more »


Because the footage was edited together from three shows, there are numerous continuity errors. One mentioned on the commentary track of the DVD is the beach ball which is launched from the audience, but never falls. See more »


David Byrne: I've got a tape I want to play.
See more »


Referenced in Doug: Doug and the Yard of Doom/Doug's Garage Band (1993) See more »


Genius of Love
Written by Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Adrian Belew, Steven Stanley
Performed by Tom Tom Club
See more »

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User Reviews

A Masterpiece
10 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This concert/movie is simply a brilliant collaboration of music and film. First off, you have the Talking Heads, perhaps one of the most creative and interesting bands in the history of music who put on a concert that is so imaginative that I still cannot believe it happened. Second, you have veteran Director Johnathan Demme who brings the darkness and creepiness that he used in such films as Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, to a concert with sort of a dark and creepy demeanor, i.e. David Byrne in general, the style of music, the dancing. I mean dark and creepy in a good way however. I cannot help to think that this movie is also a comedy. David Byrne's movements, the bass players dancing, the songs and just everything i get a kick out of. I have always been a big fan of the Talking Heads, but after seeing this movie, my love for them skyrockets. They are a unbelievable band with an imagination that rivals that of the likes of Shel Silverstein and the Cohen Brothers. I could literally go on and on about how brilliant this movie is. I think the next time i watch it, i may actually get up and dance. I only wish that I could have been at the actual show. I also cannot figure out what I like better, The Last Waltz or this. Shame on anybody who badmouths this movie or the band in general. See this and then see it again and again and again. 10/10

27 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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