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Anvil: The Story of Anvil (2008)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Music  |  20 February 2009 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 12,534 users   Metascore: 82/100
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Since 1978, Anvil has become one of heavy metal's most influential yet commercially unsuccessful acts. In 2006, after a fledging European tour Anvil sets out to record their thirteenth album and continue to follow their dreams.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Rhythm Guitarist, Anthrax
Himself - Bassist, Motörhead
Malcolm Dome ...
Himself - Journalist, Metal Hammer Magazine
Himself - Drummer, Metallica
Himself - Guitarist
Tom Araya ...
Himself - Bassist, Slayer
John Zazula ...
Himself - Manager of Metallica, Anthrax, Anvil (as Jon Zazula)
Himself - Singer, Lead Guitarist, Anvil
Himself - Drummer, Anvil
Cut Loose ...
Himself - Anvil Fan
Mad Dog ...
Himself - Anvil Fan
Gary Greenblatt ...
Himself - Original Bassist, Anvil
Toby Kudlow ...
Herself - Steve 'Lips' Kudlow's Mother
Jane Reiner ...
Herself - Robb Reiner's Wife
Andrea Reiner ...
Herself - Robb Reiner's Sister (as Droid Reiner)


At 14, best friends Robb Reiner and Lips made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, hailed as the "demi-gods of Canadian metal, " influenced a musical generation that includes Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, despite never hitting the big time. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now in their fifties, set off to record their 13th album in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dreams. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At fourteen, they made a pact to rock together forever. They meant it.


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 February 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anvil!  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,651 (USA) (10 April 2009)


$666,659 (USA) (18 September 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Sacha Gervasi was once a roadie for Anvil. See more »


Steve 'Lips' Kudlow: Everything on the tour went drastically wrong. But at least there was a tour for it to go wrong on.
See more »


Written by Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway
Performed by Alice Cooper
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User Reviews

"Famliy's important sh*t man."
18 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From the Sundance Film Festival program:

"At 14, Toronto school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the "demigods of Canadian metal," releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's Metal on Metal. The album influenced a musical generation, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, that went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil's career took a different path - straight to obscurity.

Director Sacha Gervasi has concocted a wonderful and often hilarious account of Anvil's last-ditch quest for elusive fame and fortune. His ingenious film-making may first lead you to think this a mockumentary, but it isn't. Gervasi joined the legendary heavy-metal band as a roadie for a tour of Canadian hockey arenas, so he has intimate insight into the members' eccentricities. It's fascinating to see the reality of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to make ends meet, take a misguided European tour, and engage in antics on the road - which is not always lined with fans. Gervasi even finds a softer center to this raucous film, introducing us to band members' ever-supportive, but long-suffering, families. At its core, Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year. Anvil rocks - it has no other choice."

I saw this film at a special screening the first day of Sundance 2008 and I was blown away. This film is very watchable, even if you have no interest in metal music. It's fun, funny and emotional in a way that when it starts you are thinking "this can't be for real" then by the end it has drawn you in and made you a part of the band's struggle.

Already, I can tell it is going to be one of this year's best.

59 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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