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The Commitments (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  13 September 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 24,154 users  
Reviews: 104 user | 42 critic

When Jimmy Rabbitte wants to start a band, he has open auditions at his house.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Arkins ...
Michael Aherne ...
Steven Clifford
Imelda Quirke
Natalie Murphy (as Maria Doyle)
Dave Finnegan ...
Mickah Wallace
Bernie McGloughlin
Félim Gormley ...
Dean Fay
Outspan Foster
Dick Massey ...
Billy Mooney
Joey 'The Lips' Fagan
Ken McCluskey ...
Derek Scully (as Kenneth McCluskey)
Mr. Rabbitte
Mrs. Rabbitte


Jimmy Rabbitte, che vive di piccoli espedienti in un quartiere proletario di Dublino, si e' messo in testa di organizzare una band musicale per rinverdire i fasti del rythm&blues e del soul. Grazie ad un annuncio sul giornale, Rabbitte comincia a selezionare giovani dal lavoro precario ma pieni di talento: Dean, Fay, Outspan, l'occhialuto Steven , Clifford, Deco, il ciccione senza buone maniere ma con una grande voce, Billy il batterista e Joey "The lips", un bizzarro e maturo anziano suonatore di tromba che si vanta di aver suonato con famosi soul-singers. Aggrega anche Natalie, Imelda e Bernie, tre grintose ragazze, ottime coriste e molto sexy. Procuratisi a credito la strumentazione, cominciano le prove, massacranti, che impegnano tutti. Si inizia a suonare in pubblico, in capannoni e feste sociali: il gruppo sembra pervaso dal fuoco della musica e dell'ambizione. La band, pur se dilettantesca e provinciale, sembra lanciata verso il vertice e finisce invece nel fallimento: ... Written by rosebud6

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They had nothing to lose, they risked it all. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

13 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camino a la fama  »

Box Office


$14,919,570 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film runs for 113 minutes. In that time, the word "fuck" is used 145 times. See more »


When "The Commitments" play in their last gig, there is a big brass accompaniment. They are supposed just two. It's best heard during "In the Midnight Hour": there's a tenor saxophone from nowhere playing. See more »


Jimmy Rabbitte: Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I'm black and I'm proud.
See more »


References Wogan (1982) See more »


Take Me To The River
Written by Al Green and Teenie Hodges
Performed by Andrew Strong, with Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle and Bronagh Gallagher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Funny, heartbreaking and true
6 July 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Who needs expensive movie stars when a group of unknowns can light up the screen like this lot?

On paper, it sounds like a failure - a cast comprising almost entirely of untrained and untested performers, set in working class Dublin, based on the novella by Roddy Doyle. By God, does it defy expectations.

Jimmy Rabbitte is a working class Dublin lad who's been collecting unemployment benefits for two years. But he dreams of bigger things, namely making it big in the music industry. He sets out to form a soul band, and assembles a motley crew of musicians and singers, most of whom don't know each other and many of whom can't stand each other.

The look of the film is gritty and realistic - nothing is glossed over. North Dublin is presented in all it's glory. The home lives of the band members are depicted warts and all - their private lives set the scene for the inevitable personality clashes that are almost as explosive as the music. In the mix is the unique character of the Irish people - at one point Jimmy enters a tenement block and, as he waits for the lift, looks over to see a boy with a horse. "You aren't taking that in the lift, are you?" he asks. "I have to," the boy replies. "The stairs would kill him."

The real star of the show is the music - this film spawned two hugely successful soundtrack albums. The band members were cast partly due to their musical ability, and the results are superlative. The stand out is Andrew Strong as Deco - would you believe this kid was only 16 when the film was made? His amazing voice belies his tender years, and suggests that he's been smoking a packet a day since the age of about four. At the end of the day with is a fine ensemble piece, much like the band. The acting may be a little wonky at times, but the hysterical dialogue makes up for that.

Most remarkably, this is a feel good film that does not rely on any of the conventional feel good plot devices. There are no group hugs, no plot conveniences, no trite happy endings. Just a shrewdly observed and wittily captured human story about people who dream of making it out of their dreary world. And isn't that something we can all relate to?

45 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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