Rockumentaries aka films about real life singers and musiciansby sadfilmophile | created - 10 Aug 2012 | updated - 20 Feb 2013 | Public
Straight up documentaries, plus some fictionalized biographies.
Thanks a lot to morrison-dylan-fan and elanor, who suggested a lot of these names when we were discussing Velvet Goldmine in the Filmi Club.
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1. Funny Girl (1968)
G | 151 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfield girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
Votes: 15,261 | Gross: $0.22M
About singer/comedienne Fanny Brice. Cant recommend this enough.
3. Shine (1996)
PG-13 | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.
Votes: 46,641 | Gross: $35.81M
5. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (2010)
TV-MA | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.
6. Stoned (2005)
R | 102 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A chronicle of the sordid life and suspicious death of Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones, who was found in the bottom of his swimming pool weeks after being let go from the band.
7. Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)
R | 119 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A music-infused drama about Joe Meek, the flamboyantly gay, tone deaf, songwriter-producer behind the '60s hits "Have I the Right," "Just Like Eddie," "Johnny, Remember Me" and "Telstar."
8. Amadeus (1984)
R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporary composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.
Votes: 314,338 | Gross: $51.97M
9. Ray (I) (2004)
PG-13 | 152 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Votes: 121,509 | Gross: $75.33M
10. Nowhere Boy (2009)
R | 98 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
Votes: 31,379 | Gross: $1.45M
11. Selena (1997)
PG | 127 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.
Votes: 21,238 | Gross: $35.42M
12. The Runaways (2010)
R | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Votes: 42,460 | Gross: $3.57M
13. The Doors (1991)
R | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.
Votes: 74,156 | Gross: $35.18M
14. Sid and Nancy (1986)
R | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Votes: 25,854 | Gross: $2.83M
18. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
R | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Votes: 14,694 | Gross: $39.10M
19. Beyond the Sea (2004)
PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Votes: 13,677 | Gross: $6.32M
20. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.
Votes: 14,323 | Gross: $67.18M
23. The Buddy Holly Story (1978)
PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.
Votes: 7,041 | Gross: $14.36M
24. Cloclo (2012)
148 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A biopic of French pop star Claude Francois, most famous for co-writing the song 'My Way'. Tracing his life from childhood in Egypt through success in France to his untimely death in Paris in 1978.
25. Sweet Dreams (1985)
PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The story of Patsy Cline, the velvet-voiced country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at the height of her fame.
Votes: 3,558 | Gross: $9.09M
29. La Bamba (1987)
PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
Votes: 23,568 | Gross: $54.22M
30. Control (2007)
R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.
Votes: 55,562 | Gross: $0.87M
31. La Vie en Rose (2007)
PG-13 | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
Votes: 73,730 | Gross: $10.30M
32. Walk the Line (2005)
PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.
Votes: 203,355 | Gross: $119.52M
33. The Day the Music Died (2010)
25 min | Short, Biography, Drama
Inspired by the trailblazing music and tragic end of Buddy Holly, a modern-day depiction seeks after the same success in a surreal Los Angeles.
34. Almost Famous (2000)
R | 122 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour.
Votes: 225,423 | Gross: $32.53M
36. This Is Elvis (1981)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Music
The life and career of Elvis Presley are chronicled in home movies, concert footage, and dramatizations. Subjects include early performances, army service, Ed Sullivan Show appearance, marriage, 1968 comeback, health decline and death.
Votes: 955 | Gross: $2.03M
37. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.
Biography, Drama, Music | Announced
The real Marvin Gaye Jr. as only his entire life story can reveal.
Biography, Drama, Music | Announced
A look at the life and death of Keith Moon (Myers), whose innovative drumming and penchant for destroying his kit made the Who one of the most influential, rebellious bands of the 1970s.
Biography, Drama | Announced
A rags to riches story about a man who overcame inner demons to become one of the most successful and beloved entertainers in history. Part love story, part tragedy, this is the true story of Lou Rawls. Family man. Entertainer. Legend.
46. Leadbelly (1976)
PG | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Music
The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the... See full summary »
47. The Harmonists (1997)
R | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous, German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the "Comedian Harmonists", from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when they ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,914 | Gross: $0.48M
48. The Five Pennies (1959)
Approved | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Music
Loring "Red" Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise's band, but quits to ... See full summary »
49. Young Man with a Horn (1950)
Approved | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music
A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).
50. Night and Day (1946)
Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Musical
A fictionalized biopic of composer Cole Porter from his days at Yale in the 1910s through the height of his success to the 1940s.
53. 8 Mile (2002)
R | 110 min | Drama, Music
A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.
Votes: 213,396 | Gross: $116.72M
54. Pirate Radio (2009)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
A band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves.
Votes: 97,803 | Gross: $7.99M
55. De-Lovely (2004)
PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Music