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The Commitments (1991)

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When Jimmy Rabbitte wants to start a band, he has open auditions at his house.

Director:

Alan Parker

Writers:

Roddy Doyle (novel), Dick Clement (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,821 ( 931)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Arkins ... Jimmy Rabbitte
Michael Aherne ... Steven Clifford
Angeline Ball ... Imelda Quirke
Maria Doyle Kennedy ... Natalie Murphy (as Maria Doyle)
Dave Finnegan Dave Finnegan ... Mickah Wallace
Bronagh Gallagher ... Bernie McGloughlin
Félim Gormley ... Dean Fay
Glen Hansard ... Outspan Foster
Dick Massey Dick Massey ... Billy Mooney
Johnny Murphy ... Joey 'The Lips' Fagan
Ken McCluskey ... Derek Scully (as Kenneth McCluskey)
Andrew Strong ... Deco Cuffe
Colm Meaney ... Mr. Rabbitte
Anne Kent ... Mrs. Rabbitte
Andrea Corr ... Sharon Rabbitte
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Storyline

Funny, musical and occasionally dramatic, this is the story of tumultuous rise and fall of a Dublin Soul band, The Commitments. Managed by Jimmy Rabbitte, an unemployed wheeler and dealer with a vision to create "The Worlds Hardest Working Band". Written by Rockpile

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They had nothing to lose, they risked it all. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

13 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Camino a la fama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,919,570
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jimmy shows Joey a newspaper article about the Commitments, in which musician Bob Geldof is mentioned. Geldof starred in Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) which was directed by Alan Parker. See more »

Goofs

In the song I Never Loved a Man, Natalie sings lead. There's a lock of hair sticking out next to her right eye, very obvious in the closeups early in the song. Yet in the wide shots, and the closing closeup shot, her hair is perfectly under control. [Although not specifically addressed, this is explained in the directors commentary on the bonus DVD -- for the live shots, they only had two cameras, and recorded the closeups first, the wide shots later. Typically a single live song would be done dozens of times, taking most of a day.] See more »

Quotes

Steve Clifford: [in confessional] Used to, when I studied I would sing hymns, but now all I can sing is "When A Man Loves A Woman" by Marvin Gaye
Father Molloy: Percy Sledge.
Steve Clifford: What?
Father Molloy: It was Percy Sledge did that particular song. I have the album.
Steve Clifford: Oh...
See more »

Connections

Features The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Stand The Rain
Written by Donald Bryant, Ann Peebles and Bernard Miller
Performed by Angeline Ball
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Funny, heartbreaking and true
6 July 2004 | by madam_QSee all my reviews

Who needs expensive movie stars when a group of unknowns can light up the screen like this lot?

On paper, it sounds like a failure - a cast comprising almost entirely of untrained and untested performers, set in working class Dublin, based on the novella by Roddy Doyle. By God, does it defy expectations.

Jimmy Rabbitte is a working class Dublin lad who's been collecting unemployment benefits for two years. But he dreams of bigger things, namely making it big in the music industry. He sets out to form a soul band, and assembles a motley crew of musicians and singers, most of whom don't know each other and many of whom can't stand each other.

The look of the film is gritty and realistic - nothing is glossed over. North Dublin is presented in all it's glory. The home lives of the band members are depicted warts and all - their private lives set the scene for the inevitable personality clashes that are almost as explosive as the music. In the mix is the unique character of the Irish people - at one point Jimmy enters a tenement block and, as he waits for the lift, looks over to see a boy with a horse. "You aren't taking that in the lift, are you?" he asks. "I have to," the boy replies. "The stairs would kill him."

The real star of the show is the music - this film spawned two hugely successful soundtrack albums. The band members were cast partly due to their musical ability, and the results are superlative. The stand out is Andrew Strong as Deco - would you believe this kid was only 16 when the film was made? His amazing voice belies his tender years, and suggests that he's been smoking a packet a day since the age of about four. At the end of the day with is a fine ensemble piece, much like the band. The acting may be a little wonky at times, but the hysterical dialogue makes up for that.

Most remarkably, this is a feel good film that does not rely on any of the conventional feel good plot devices. There are no group hugs, no plot conveniences, no trite happy endings. Just a shrewdly observed and wittily captured human story about people who dream of making it out of their dreary world. And isn't that something we can all relate to?


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