"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during ...
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Ray is an aging ex-socialist who has become a bankrobber after seeing the demise of socialism in 1980s Britain. Teaming up with a gang of other has-beenish crims, he commits one bank job ... See full summary »
Mean, gritty, dirty and low and that's just the Policeman Gary Keltie (Ken Stott) out for retribution for the horrendous crimes against the helpless people of Edinburgh during the nineteen ... See full summary »
Billy Connolly plays Steve Myers, a lawyer who became a fisherman from frustration. When his one piece of property, his boat, is struck by lightning and destroyed he is denied insurance ... See full summary »
Brian and Charlie (B & C) work for a gangster. When the boss learns they want to "leave", he sets them up to be killed, after they help rob the local Triads of their drug dealing profits. B... See full summary »
At the Paradise Theater, Jonathan Chance from the Music Underground, and Robert Kilroy, who broke out of prison to see Chance, meet, and Kilroy relates the events of the final concert at the Paradise, the night he was framed for murder.
"Strange Fruit" had everything that makes a legendary rockband: Money, Fame, Success, Groupies, a Singer who died of drugs and even a divine ending, when lightning struck the stage during an open-air. Twenty years later, all band members are minding their own businesses, the idea of a band reunion is brought up by, well, public request. Tony, the former keyboard player, sets out only to find his former friends working as a roofer, a gardener and a hotel clerk. They all became rather everyday people, married or still single, they definitely are not wild and crazy anymore. But with the help of former manager Karen, who is still dreaming of Brian, the apparently deceased lead guitarist, they all, old, fat and wrinkled as they are, try to catch that spirit again. Written by
After the disastrous Dutch concert where Ray goes missing, the rest of the group drinks a beer at the bar. Hughie is drinking Grolsch, while the rest appears to be drinking Brouwers Bier. The latter is an "economy" supermarket label, and extremely unlikely to be served in normal Dutch establishments. See more »
In the voice over which begins the film, Hughie(Billy Connolly), a roadie for the great 70's band Strange Fruit, said the reason lightning struck at a rock festival to stop Strange Fruit's set was that God was sick of 70's excess. Indeed, it's been popular to put down that era of music, and see punk as a welcome antidote to it. While I agree the excess was tiresome(as well as the misogynistic urges which came out of it), and like punk, I still am a fan of what is considered classic rock or glam rock, and this film about Strange Fruit's long, strange reunion is an affectionate tribute to those days.
One of the reasons the film works is the care of the people behind the scenes. Brian Gibson directed WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, about Tina Turner(while I had problems with the dramatic parts of the film, the music was handled very well), writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais co-wrote THE COMMITMENTS and were behind the music-oriented British TV show OVER THE RAINBOW, and the songs Strange Fruit played were co-written by Foreigner's Mick Jones(not to be confused with The Clash's Mick Jones), so it was a meeting of people who knew what they were talking about. Also, two cast members are musicians in their own right(Bill Nye I don't know about, though the film credits him with his own singing, and he certainly looks like a lead singer of that era, while Jimmy Nail was in another British TV show which was music-oriented, though I forget the name, and he was in EVITA), and the others are convincing at it. And while, as I said, a lot of 70's bands like Strange Fruit behaved badly towards women, the movie doesn't make the same mistake(except for the woman who follows Timothy Spall around); as the manager of the reunion, Juliet Aubrey is quite good and plays a fully rounded character.
The other actors are all good as well, with special praise to Stephen Rea, who handles the more dramatic role well without sentimentality. There are a couple of plot points which don't work, but overall this is quite enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the music is good too.
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