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Making the Monkees (2007)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  10 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 36 users  
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In 1967, four unknown actors in a kids TV show became the biggest pop band in the world. In America, they outsold Elvis and The Beatles combined. They were The Monkees. But The Monkees were... See full summary »


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Title: Making the Monkees (TV Movie 2007)

Making the Monkees (TV Movie 2007) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Credited cast:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Kirshner ...
Himself (archive footage)
Peter Tork ...


In 1967, four unknown actors in a kids TV show became the biggest pop band in the world. In America, they outsold Elvis and The Beatles combined. They were The Monkees. But The Monkees were not a real band, they were a man-made money making machine, driven by ego and ambition. A machine that would ultimately crash and burn. This is the inside story of pop music's first manufactured band. Written by Brian Henry Martin

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User Reviews

Interesting and enjoyable look back at the rise and fall of the original manufactured pop band
18 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a child I remember enjoying the TV show The Monkees but the time when they were originally big was long before I was born and so I couldn't tell you much about them beyond Head and the songs that everyone knows. So coming from my knowledge standpoint, this slick documentary was telling me things that I didn't know and doing so in an accessible and entertaining way. Those that know The Monkees career path may find that this is telling them nothing new, but even they will acknowledge that this serves as a sufficient and enjoyable summary.

The story itself is of interest even though the idea of a manufactured band is nothing unusual today and it is hard to relate to the idea being a revelation as it apparently was back then. However it is not often you get to see a celebrity break-up in gory detail because nowadays bands simply split in very stage-managed ways that reflect a new product being released and an old one replaced (Boyzone to Westlife and so on). So to hear about people punching walls, or the Monkees' new manager being thrown down a flight of stairs as the shooting of Head was threatened is good stuff and you can hear that there is still a certain amount of acrimony there.

The contributions are all very good. The absence of Mike Nesmith will be of no surprise to anyone but Peter, Davy and Micky are all interviewed and quite open. Likewise Bob Rafelson doesn't put any sort of spin on the events of the time, mainly because he came out of it very well and went onto bigger and better things. With only clips to fill the rest of the film, the contributions are important and well used throughout. John Simm's narration is good and sparingly used as the film is best when those involved are telling it.

Overall then an interesting and engaging documentary that quickly charts the assembly and collapse of The Monkees. The short time means that there is little detail but what there is is interesting and the (almost) full set of contributions from the key players are well used and valuable assets.

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