8.5/10
10,961
65 user 67 critic

Stop Making Sense (1984)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Director:

Jonathan Demme
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

True Stories (1986)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small but growing Texas town, filled with strange and musical characters, celebrates its sesquicentennial and converge on a local parade and talent show.

Director: David Byrne
Stars: David Byrne, John Goodman, Annie McEnroe
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

David Byrne and the Talking Heads perform the song "Once in a Lifetime" before a live audience at the Pantages Theater theater in Hollywood.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Talking Heads
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Talking Heads perform in the music video "Wild Wild Life" from the album "True Stories" recorded for Sire Records. On a club stage in front of a band and a wall of televisions, a variety of... See full summary »

Director: David Byrne
Stars: David Byrne, Chris Frantz, John Goodman
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Spalding Gray discusses his participation in the film The Killing Fields (1984) and the background story about the troubles of Cambodia.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Spalding Gray, Sam Waterston, Ira Wheeler
Gimme Shelter (1970)
Certificate: GP Documentary | Music | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.

Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, George 'Red' Schwartz
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The true story of Jean Dominique, a Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jean Dominique, Aboudja, Ronald Reagan
Monterey Pop (1968)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A film about the greatest pre-Woodstock rock music festival.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Ravi Shankar
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rock-music lover and feature-film director Jonathan Demme takes on eccentric British singer-songwriter, Robyn Hitchcock, in an ambitious concert film. Setting up a stage in a New York ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Robyn Hitchcock, Deni Bonet, Tim Keegan
Cousin Bobby (1992)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A documentary about Director Jonathan Demme's cousin, an Episcopalian minister in Harlem.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Robert W. Castle, Jane Castle Moulton, Kate Castle
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bernie Worrell ... Keyboards
Alex Weir Alex Weir ... Guitar and Vocals
Steven Scales Steven Scales ... Percussion (as Steve Scales)
Lynn Mabry Lynn Mabry ... Backing Vocals
Ednah Holt Ednah Holt ... Backing Vocals (as Edna Holt)
Tina Weymouth ... Bass, Percussion and Vocals
Jerry Harrison ... Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
Chris Frantz ... Drums and Vocals
David Byrne ... Vocals and Guitar
Edit

Storyline

David Byrne walks onto the stage and does a solo "Psycho Killer." Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz join him for two more songs. The crew is busy, still setting up. Then, three more musicians and two back-up singers join the band. Everybody sings, plays, harmonizes, dances, and runs. They change instruments and clothes. Bryne appears in the Big Suit. The backdrop is often black, but sometimes it displays words, images, or children's drawings. The band cooks for 18 songs, the lyrics are clear, the house rocks. In this concert film, the Talking Heads hardly talk, don't stop, and always make sense. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | band | suit | stage | musician | See All (21) »

Taglines:

Why stop making sense? Why a movie? Why a big suit? Where do the odd movements come from? What will the band do next?

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1984 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Stop making sense See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,166, 21 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,020,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,027,479
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (1999 re-release)| Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more »

Goofs

At several points throughout the film, the sound and vision do not sync up. This is particularly noticeable during "Found A Job:" early in the song, a cymbal crash is heard, even though Chris Frantz is not seen to hit one. A few bars later, he hits the cymbal, but no sound is heard. See more »

Quotes

Drums and Vocals: James Brown - James Brown!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Video release is 12 minutes longer and features three additional songs not included in original theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cult Video (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Thank You for Sending Me an Angel
Written by David Byrne
Performed by Talking Heads
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pure cinema
4 August 2004 | by MichaelCarmichaelsCarSee all my reviews

'Stop Making Sense' is more than simply a concert film. It is pure cinema. It engages all of the senses, it creates a mood, it establishes an atmosphere, it has narrative logic, and it jolts the viewer with electric energy. You can't sit still while watching this. You can't keep your head from bobbing, or your mouth from moving, if you know the words to the songs.

Twenty years later, the sound and image of Talking Heads still feels new, maybe even post-new. It's frightening to look at this film and then consider that all of the Talking Heads are now in their fifties, and David Byrne's hair is as white as Steve Martin's. Byrne's music has mellowed just as people mellow with age, and his fascinating career along with the direction it's taken is emblematic of the excitement that youth brings to an artist's work. To watch 'Stop Making Sense' is to be alive, and for someone who never had and probably never will have the opportunity to see Talking Heads live, and even for those who have, it is a blessing to have a film such as this to preserve the unmatched innovation and energy of this band. Watching David Byrne perform in this film is an awesome sight. Schwarzenegger and Stallone were never this thrilling.


31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed