A fish-out-of-water comedy about a talented street drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a Southern university, expecting to lead its marching band's drumline to victory. He initially flounders in his new world, before realizing that it takes more than talent to reach the top. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
While Morris Brown is a real college in Atlanta, there is no real Atlanta A&T. The filming was done at Clark University in Atlanta and at Morris Brown. The performers (aside from those from Morris Brown) were recruited from high school and university bands all over the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area. High school band director Don Roberts was recruited to turn the performers into real, convincing bands. See more »
During the graduation scene, the drummer playing the tenor drums is using mallets that aren't used for tenor drums, but for keyboard instruments such as xylophone or vibraphone. See more »
Open up your mind and enjoy the movie for what it is!
Drumline is a great movie -- but you have to see it for what it is ... not what your preconceived notions lead you to believe it might be.
This movie is all about exposing people to the world of Black College marching bands. You couldn't have a movie that was 2 hours of nothing but band performances so you HAD to wrap a formulaic story around it. "Boy meets girl/boy loses girl/boy gets girl back and learns the value of teamwork in time for the big showdown" is a formula that has worked for years -- and it works here!
Another poster remarked that the band camp scenes were unrealistic because they were too "militaristic" ... he didn't believe that (among other things) that the students would be made to run around holding their drums and so forth. Well, believe it!
I marched in one of these bands (Southern University in Louisiana) 20 years ago and back then, band camp was FAR MORE INTENSE than anything you see on the screen in this movie. YES, it is that competitive. YES, it is that grueling. YES, it is that disciplined. Black College marching band is serious business and this film gives you only a small sample of what it takes to "make the band."
The actual band performances are AWESOME and will definitely be an eye-opener to anyone who has never seen this type of thing before. More importantly, there is no sex, violence, drug use, and very little bad language (just the requisite "d*mns" and "h@lls" - nothing any more intense than prime-time television.) Equally important, the movie features strong male figures who resolve differences without resorting to pathological violence.
One last point -- the movie grossed 13+ million dollars in its opening weekend. And this was against Star Trek (18.7 M) and the Jennifer Lopez (19 M) movie. Although it finished in third place, it was shown in about 1,000 fewer theaters than those two. It had (by far) the highest "revenue per theater" for the weekend!
Do yourself a favor -- open your mind and see this movie -- you and your family will enjoy it!
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