The Commitments
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Commitments can be found here.

The Commitments is based on a novel of the same name by Irish novelist Roddy Doyle. It is the first book in The Barrytown Trilogy, which focuses on the Rabbittes, a working class family in Dublin, Ireland. The other two books in the trilogy include The Snapper (1990) and The Van (1991), both of which were also made into films: Screen Two: The Snapper (#9.10) (1993) and The Van (1996). The Commitments was adapted for the movie by Doyle along with British screenwriting partners Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.

"Dublin's Soul" band starts out with the core of an already established group called And And! And with Billy Mooney (Dick Massey) on drums, Outspan Foster (Glen Hansard) on guitar, Derek Scully (Ken McCluskey) on bass, and Steven Clifford (Michael Aherne) on keyboards. Jimmy (Robert Arkins) then brings in Dean Fay (Félim Gormley) to play alto sax and asks his friend Bernie McCloughlin (Bronagh Gallagher) to join as a backup singer. Bernie brings in her friends Imelda Quicke (Angeline Ball) and Natalie Murphy (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Jimmy decides to seek out Declan Cuffe (Andrew Strong), the drunken singer he heard at the Quirke wedding and whose voice impressed him. Finally, when veteran trumpet player Joey Fagan (Johnny Murphy) joins in, the band starts to coalesce. Eventually, Billy Mooney drops out of the band because of personality conflicts with Declan, and he is replaced by Mickah Wallace (Dave Finnegan).

Derek suggested A Flock of Budgies, but Outspan liked Cosmic Lino. When Jimmy says that they have to be THE...something, Outspan suggests The Northsiders. Derek comes back with The Liffy Lads, and Outspan suggests The F**kin Eejits.

Author Roddy Doyle made up the band for his novel. When it came to the filming, however, the actors brought together as "The Commitments" were really musicians who played their own instruments and sang their own songs (except for Johnny "Joey" Murphy and Bronagh "Bernie" Gallagher). But they are based on some bands of the vibrant Blues scene in Belfast in the 60s as Gerry McAvoy wrote in his biography Riding Shotgun: 35 Years on the Road with Rory Gallagher and Nine Below Zero (2005) about his life as a musician. Gerry McAvoy was the bass player of the Rory Gallagher Band for 20 years and Rory Gallagher (not related to Bronagh Gallagher) was even offered a role as guitar player, but he refused because of too much swearing in the movie.

At their gig at the roller skating rink, Jimmy introduces the band thusly: "I'd like to introduce you to the hardest-workin' band in the world. On bass, Derek 'Meatman' Scully. On piano, Steven 'Soul Surgeon' Clifford. Dean 'Mr Nipple' Fay on sax. Joey 'The Lips' Fagan on trumpet. Our gorgeous chanteuses are Bernie, Imelda, and Natalie. Deco 'Deep Throat' Cuffe on vocals. On lead guitar, Outspan 'Fender Bender' Foster. Finally, on drums, Mickah 'Don't f*uck With Me' Wallace. Ladies and gentlemen, The Commitments!".

...when the opening credits roll: Treat Her Right (orig: Roy Head and The Traits), performed by Robert Arkins

...when Jimmy walks through the market: (1) Fiddle Jig (traditional) performed by Benedict Fox; (2) Spring Hill Mining Disaster (traditional) performed by Aidan O'Halloran; and (3) Cathy's Clown (orig: The Everly Brothers) performed by Cahir ODoherty

...before Jimmy arrives at the Quirke wedding: Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa (orig: Gene Pitney) performed by And And And

...Jimmy hands out videos on the bus: Destination Anywhere, (orig: The Marvelettes) performed by Niamh Kavanagh

...Jimmy arrives at the wedding: Needles and Pins (orig: Jackie DeShannon) performed by And And And

...Deco sings drunkenly onstage: Letter From America ( orig: The Proclaimers) sung by Andrew Strong

...boys ride their bicycles through the playground: I Can't Stand the Rain (orig: Ann Peebles) performed by Angelina Ball

...Jimmy's dad asks if the band needs a singer: Can't Help Falling in Love (orig: Elvis) sung by Colm Meaney

...during the auditions: Snippets of On the Good Ship Lolllipop sung by Anne-Marie Sconnell; In a Wrong World protest song performed by Conor Malone; Blood Blood! Blood heavy metal song performed by Jezz Bell; Clare Jig (traditional) performed by Colm Mac Con Iomaire; Beauty Queen performed by Emily Dawson (punk girl singer); Poppa Joe performed by The Coconuts Trio (Kristal Harris, Dave Kane, Maria Place); Shoulder of the Road sung by Daragh McCarthy; Uileann Pipe Music (traditional) performed by Brian Mac Aodha; I Dreamed a Dream performed by Tricia Smith; Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now (orig: The Smiths) performed by Canice William; Baton Rouge (Elvis was a Cajun), performed by Patrick Foy, Alan Murray, and Jody Campbell; and Who's Sorry Now? (orig: Connie Francis) sung by Philomena Kavanaugh

...when they see Imelda in the pub: Only the Lonely, (orig: Roy Orbison) performed by Eamon OConnor

...in the TV clip of James Brown: Please Please Please performed by James Brown and The Fabulous Flames

...Joey arrives on his motorbike: Slip Away (orig: Clarence Carter) performed by Robert Arkins

...Joey auditions on trumpet: Moon River, written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini

...Jimmy is making tea: All You Need is Love (orig: The Beatles) sung by Robert Arkins

...the band sings along on the train: Destination Anywhere repeat

...the girls are practicing under the wash in the yard: Nowhere to Run (orig: Martha Reeves and The Vandellas) performed by Niamh Kavanagh

...the band holds their first rehearsal: Mustang Sally (orig: Wilson Pickett) performed by The Commitments

...they see Joey credited on an Otis Redding record album: I Can't Turn You Loose by Otis Redding

...Jimmy goes to Bernie's house: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (orig: Aretha Franklin) performed by Niamh Kavanagh.

...Steven plays the organ in church: A Whiter Shade of Pale (orig: Procol Harum) sung by Michael Aherne & Robert Arkins

...Imelda sings lead during practice: Too Many Fish in the Sea (orig: The Marvelettes) performed by The Commitments

...Joey goes for hamburgers: Bye Bye Baby (orig: Mary Wells) sung by The Commitment-ettes

...Mickah tests the mic: I Don't Like Mondays sung by Dave Finnigan

...The Commitments play their gig at St Bridget's Community Center: (1) Mr. Pitiful (orig: Otis Redding); (2) Bye Bye Baby; and (3) Show Me (A Man that's Got a Good Woman) (orig: Joe Tex)

...Joey's mom plays fiddle: Hail Queen of Heavens (traditional) performed by Maura O'Malley

...Joey is getting it on with Bernie: Theme from Shaft performed by Isaac Hayes.

...Bernie holds the crying baby: Jimmy mo Mhle Str (traditional) sung by Maria Doyle [translates from the Gaelic as "Jimmy my thousand treasures"]

...Imelda changes her mind about going on holiday with her family: Only the Lonely (orig: Roy Orbison) performed by Eamon O'Connor

...The Commitments play their gig in a pub: Take Me to the River (orig: Al Green) and The Dark End of the Street (orig: James Carr)

...The Commitments' photo session: Fame (orig: Irene Cara) sung by Dave Finnegan

...the band rides in the Mister Chippy van: Destination Anywhere repeat

...The Commitments play their gig at the roller skating rink: Hard to Handle (orig: Otis Redding); Mouthful of Lies performed by relief band Avant Guard-A-Clue (Paul Bushnell, Jim Corr, Larry Hogan, Bernard Keelan); Chain of Fools (orig: Aretha Franklin)

...Jimmy and Joey arrive in front of the Westley Hotel: I've Got Dreams to Remember (orig: Otis Redding) sung by Andrew Strong

...The Commitments' final gig: (1) Mustang Sally repeat; (2) I Never Loved a Man (orig: by Aretha Franklin); (3) Try a Little Tenderness (orig: Otis Redding); and (4) In the Midnight Hour (orig: Wilson Pickett)

...the end credits:Try a Little Tenderness repeat, and Treat her Right repeat

Too many egos clash, and the band breaks up. In the final narration, Jimmy says that Derek and Outspan now play on streetcorners, Bernie joined a country-western band, Dean is playing tossers music, Billy got kicked in the head by a horse, Steven became a doctor, Mickah formed a successful band, Imelda got married and retired from singing, Deco got a recording contract, and Natalie became a successful singer. The last they heard about Joey Fagan from his mum is that he was supposedly playing for Joe Tex in a North American tour, except that Joe Tex died in 1982.

Yes, but it was too late. The bar was closed, the band had broken up, and Jimmy was walking home when a limo pulled up next to him. The driver asked where the club was. When Jimmy informs him that it's closed, the driver asks "Mr Pickett" in the back seat what to do. They drive on, and Jimmy keeps walking.

r73731


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