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U2: Rattle and Hum (1988)

A documentary of the Irish rock group U2 on their Fall 1987 tour of North America.


Phil Joanou

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Credited cast:
Bono ... Himself
The Edge ... Himself
Adam Clayton ... Himself
Larry Mullen Jr. ... Himself
B.B. King ... Himself
Phil Joanou ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Bell Dennis Bell ... Himself
Adam Gussow ... Himself
Jack Hale Jack Hale ... Himself
Jim Horn Jim Horn ... Himself
Wayne Jackson Wayne Jackson ... Himself (as The Memphis Horns)
Andrew Love Andrew Love ... Himself (as The Memphis Horns)
Sterling Magee ... Himself
Joey Miskulin Joey Miskulin ... Himself (as Joseph M. Miskulin)
Gayl Murphy Gayl Murphy ... Herself (as Press Conference Interviewer)


This film documents the 1987 North American tour of the great rock band U2. Fresh with their success of their best selling album "The Joshua Tree", the band plays monster gigs. Along the way, the band takes the opportunity in indulge in some special musical activities like playing with B.B. King and performing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking" with a famous church choir. All the while, concert footage of the band's biggest hits on tour is featured while Bono speaks his mind on the problems of his homeland. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

4 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rattle and Hum See more »

Filming Locations:

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Many of the songs performed in Rattle and Hum are altered from their original release, most notably: "With or Without You", which contains a whole new verse to end the song; "Exit", which includes the chorus from "Gloria" (interestingly, the Van Morrison song, although U2 also had an early hit titled "Gloria"); and "Bad", which adds verses from the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" and "Sympathy for the Devil". See more »


[just prior to "Star Spangled Banner/Bullet the Blue Sky"]
Adam Clayton: There are some people who say you shouldn't mix politics and music, sports and politics. Well... I think that's kinda bullshit!
See more »


Featured in U2: The Best of 1980-1990 (1999) See more »


Angel of Harlem
Words Bono
Music U2
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1 September 2002 | by DannyBoy-17See all my reviews

I knew little about U2 in the 80s. I was still a pre-teen, and I was probably listening to what my parents put on like Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, John Denver, Janis Joplin, and Willie Nelson. However, little by little, I grew to be a fan of theirs, probably especially after I first heard the song "Bad" on the radio as my parents drove me to college for my first year.

I bought the DVD of this on a total whim and was greatly rewarded. The opening sequence with "Helter Skelter" establishes a somewhat otherworldly yet gritty intensity for the b&w sequences. I agree that the film doesn't do a good job of getting at the personalities of the singers, and besides these guys are so used to the camera that they'd be able to manipulate the coverage anyway.

What Phil Joanou does get wonderfully is the passion for the music in these guys and how they inspire others: those moments when they stop and listen to the Harlem blues man singing "Freedom for My People" or the Gospel choir that takes flight with "Haven't Found what I'm Looking For" are something pure with a hint of magic. This is also well-played in the GORGEOUS transition to color in the Super Bowl-size stadium for "Streets Have No Name." You'd think Jesus himself was about to come on stage.

My only qualm: the music and lyrics themselves have enough social meaning of their own. Bono really doesn't need to interject much more on stage. Their performance of Bullet the Blue Sky gets at the social points with greater force, "Pelting the women and children/Pelting the women and children," than Bono's well-intentioned commentary. I give it four stars though because it hits all the right notes. PHIL, WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN YEARS?

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