Still Crazy (1998) Poster


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One of the best I've ever seen...
js914035 August 2005
I found 'Still Crazy' to be marvelously entertaining, and not only to those of us who lived through that raucous era of late '60s, early '70s rock. My 15 year old daughter watches it with me every time I drag out the DVD (don't worry, it's only been three times) and she loves it too.

It is a truly loving, poignant and hilarious nod to the era, and every actor hits his/her notes with perfection. It was my first introduction to Bill Nighy and I am glad his somewhat similar turn in 'Love Actually' brought him more attention. Bruce Robinson was incredible as Brian, bringing real life to what could have been a caricature of the drug-damaged rocker stereotype. It was interesting to see that Robinson has made quite a name for himself as a writer.

I live in Sherman Oaks, California, and after the first time I saw the movie I bumped into Billy Connolly at the local mall (he lived here at the time) and told him it was one of my five favorite films of all time. He invited me to sit down at the food court with him and we discussed the movie for some time. We even talked of the idea of an American-oriented remake before wisely dismissing that. Why mess with the original?

My only problem with 'Still Crazy' is that it wasn't hugely popular in theaters and too many people have missed out on a wonderful experience.
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A fantastic film.
sam-rs66 September 2005
This is perhaps the best rockumentary ever- a British, better This Is Spinal Tap. The characters are believable, the plot is great, and you can genuinely empathise with some of the events- such as Ray's problem with fitting in the band.

The soundtrack is excellent. Real period stuff, even if it is in the same key, you'll be humming some of the songs for days. What I liked was the nearly all-British cast, with some of the favourite household names. Ray's wife is priceless...

The film never drags, it just goes at the right pace, and has some genuinely funny sections in it. A generator of some really good catchphrases!

It's a hidden diamond.
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The Greatest Film . . .
moviebug2811 December 2000
Brian Gibson's Still Crazy was not a film on my list. However, one afternoon I was channel surfing on a satellite dish and came across this AMAZING film about a 1970's rock & roll band who comes back together twenty years after their disasterous final concert. For keyboard player Tony (Stephen Rea), guitar player/backup singer Les (Jimmy Nail), lead singer Ray (Bill Nighy), drummer Beano (Timothy Spall), "road dog" Hughie (Billy Connolly), and manager Karen (Juliet Aubrey), a second chance is a God send. Unfortunately, they are lacking two players, Keith, who died of a drug overdose two years before the Strange Fruit's final concert, and Brian, his brother, a stunning guitar player who was the genious and the glue of the band. Still Crazy is a fabulous mixture of British comedy, damn fine music, and superb performances, especially by Bill Nighy as the pathetically egotistical Ray Simms. Helena Bergstrom is also hilarious as Ray's over-protective wife, Astrid. Watch especially for a couple of poignant scenes between Juliet Aubrey and Bruce Robinson, who appears in a touching cameo. Out of 10 stars, I give this hilarious and sweet rock & roll resurrection film a good, solid 10!
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More Fruit please
alanrickmaniac25 May 2005
Hello, I was alanrickmaniac. I'm a Still Crazy-holic. It was just another movie I watched partly on TV. Then I had to get the video tape to finally find out how it ends. Then I wanted the DVD, because the tape showed first signs of decay after a few weeks. After the DVD I had to lay my hands on the soundtrack. Then on several film posters and the film script. Right now it has become that worse that I try to push other people into addiction with my website and Still Crazy parties.

How could that happen? What drove me into addiction?

OK, it's one of those funny but somehow sad and melancholic intelligent comedies like only the British can produce.

Alright, the movie is worlds apart from stuff like ''This Is Spinal Tap'', because of the characters, that aren't childish or ultra cool, but real. This is a story about men getting older, too. A story about men getting along with each other. Or don't. It contains some of the best actors possible. Tim Spall. Stephen Rea. Bruce Robinson. Jimmy Nail. And Bill Nighy. Bill Nighy who puts on one of the best performances I've ever seen in a film.

Good, the soundtrack is unbelievable. Foreigner's Mick Jones has written the songs for the imaginary band Strange Fruit. Jimmy Nail who plays bass-man Les Wickes and Bill Nighy portraying the egocentric but awkward singer Ray Simms are really singing. We know that about Jimmy Nail, but if you've only heard Bill Nighy's singing in "Love Actually", you have no idea how great and powerful his voice is.

Well, you'll fever for every scene to come for the x-th time, especially those concert scenes. You'd die to be able to really stand in the dancing crowd when Strange Fruit is doing "All Over The World", singing on the top of your lungs. You long to cry and celebrate with thousands of people the rebirth of the real Strange Fruit at Wisbech's festival stage.

It's hard but... I'm addicted to this film. I'm addicted to Strange Fruit. If there's a world where this band really exists I'd like to move there.

Got Still Crazy... anyone?
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Very Funny, BUT sadly, very truthful
terry-maker4 March 2006
I'm 60 years old, a guitarist, (lead/rhythm), and over the last forty years, I've been in four bands, it's all there, the fights, the foul-ups, the rotten food, the worse accommodation, always travelling, little or no money, and every one was drunk or high. But, the clubs, the fans, and the music, made it all worth it! Just like Strange Fruit! I'm too damn old for it now, and the arthritis in the hands and hips mean no more rocking, but for the length of that video, it all came back, and it was all there! The birds, the brawls, and the booze! And I was young again! It's just like Billy Connolly's voice over, God likes that 70's stuff! Rock On Forever!
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Very Good
milareppa7 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this when it first came out, and could barely remember it except for the fact I enjoyed it and that Bruce Robinson's performance really stood out, enough for me to remember his character five years later when I could barely remember anyone else (doesn't help that we watched the film first time round as part of a midnight marathon of films so I was spaced out from lack of sleep).

Then I got my hands on the DVD and watched it... and found myself wondering how I could have forgotten it.

Without spoilers, the plot is simple: A rock band formed in the late 60s, peaks in the early 70s. With tremendous potential and a huge following, the band is torn apart by the tragedic death of their lead singer, Keith, by drugs. Two years on, they've got themselves a new lead singer, Ray, whose glamorous, larger-than-life rock-star lifestyle and ambitions clash with the quieter, broodier, more ballard-loving song-writing base guitarist, Les. With Keith's brother, lead guitarist Brian, the acknowledged heart, soul and genius of the band, set to follow Keith to the great rehab in the sky, the band exits the limelight in an ignoble lightning explosion that mirrors the flames that engulf the band from within.

Simmering with anger and bitterness, the band, complete with its two faithful roadies, Hughie and Brian's girlfriend, Karen, seperate and go their seperate ways, never to contact each other again... ... Until 20 years later, the son of the promoter of their last ever gig, approaches Tony, the keyboard player whose life has deteriorated into refilling condom machines in resort bathrooms, and asks Strange Fruit to reunite for an anniversary gig of their last infamous festival. Tracking down Karen, now a frustrated hotel clerk, with a divorce behind her and sulky teenage daughter looking over her shoulder, he convinces her to climb on board. Together, they begin the long, hard process of tracking down the rest of the band members in the hopes of reforming Strange Fruit for one last gig to prove to the world they really did have what it took to be great.

But their unresolved grudges threaten to tear them apart before they can even begin, and when they finally track down the last missing member, Brian, to a single impersonal fax stating he died 5 years beforehand and bequeathed his Royalties to a cancer foundation in America, the band are left with no option but to recruit young and naive guitarist, Luke as a replacement. With time running out, the heart of their group dead and old wounds festering like sores as they career from one disastrous gig to another, can the band really bury the past before the past buries them?

All the way through you can see exactly why the band fell apart and the issues that prevented them from ever jelling as the team they needed to be in order to achieve the heights they all knew they were capable of reaching. But slowly, as the film progresses, you begin to see what brought them together as a band as well. As they struggle to learn how to recapture the glory, they gradually begin to understand what it is they've really lost. You can empathise with all the characters. Bill Nighy produces the best comic performance, but Stephen Rea, Juliet Aubrey and Bruce Robinson reveal the emotional core that shows how these people were so inescapably bound together regardless of whether they loved or hated each other.

This is an excellent film. Worth watching at least once and in my opinion, worth watching multiple times.
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this movie makes me shed tears every time and that is a rare phenomenon
veinbreaker6 October 2000
Alright. The cast is superb. these guys are all probably real big in UK but to me they were total strangers that I fell in love with. the story is real and makes one realize what the life of a rock band really is like. the funny moments and drama are very effective and realistic. And the song of the film will bing tears to the eyes of those who watch it. I have this film ad have watched it many times with different friends. and everytime the ending kicks in we all sit back and smile and say AAAAAH how nice. PS: the soundtrack is fantastic, even though a song I heard called ROCK N ROLL PROPHECY by LINES OF D could have had the same effect in the end but for a more ROCKIN audience. The soundtrack is superb. One thing I kept asking people was whether or not STRANGE FRUIT were a real band cause they seemed so real.
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Probably the best movie to date about Rock n'roll
taffarelli5 February 2003
What a good movie! At last a picture revealing a unknown side of rock: illusions of fame. Well-known Rockers are getting old and forgotten, not the music. And with a good sense of humour. Have you ever danced on Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock?

Anyway, Still Crazy is probably the best movie about rock n'roll I have ever seen. Far much better than Spinal Tap for instance. Why? Because in Still Crazy, people are mature. They have a different point of view about rock, about love and about life. They want to catch up with their crazy youth they miss so much. Beyond the story itself, we see characters with their own personality, weaknesses and dreams. Like anyone of us.

Spend a good time watching this (listen to the awesome soundtrack! )and finally thinking of your own future.

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"Here... I've got one - it's got THREE bits of the body in it!"
wordcraft31 January 2001
...Heads, Hands, and Feet - a band from the past, just like Strange Fruit. A triple whammy there. Those who have professed not to like this film are either heartless or under 40, and have had no experience of the real thing. Sad for them. This is an achingly well-observed little picture that is an excellent way of passing an hour or two, and will probably not even fade much on the second showing. Stephen Rae, Timothy Spall as the fat drummer (in many ways quite the most delightful figure of all), and Bill Nighy - a new name for me - as the neurotic vocalist and front man all turn in super performances, and Juliet Aubrey has lovely doe eyes to go with some sharp acting as Karen, who tries to hold the band together as they spectacularly self-destruct.

The Syd Barrett/Brian Wilson echoes are loud and clear, Mott the Hoople rear up before one in all their inflated ridiculousness, and the script is never mawkish for more than a minute. Don't compare this with Spinal Tap or The Rutles or The Full Monty - it's unfair on all of them. The nearest comparison is The Commitments, and that's no bad thing. And any film that can conjure up memories of Blodwyn Pig - a band I do not remember ever seeing, but the name lives on - well, it shows somebody in the team knew what they were on about.

A small delight, and thanks for the memory.

Oh... and I've got ANOTHER one - Stiff Little Fingers; a-a-and what about SteelEYE Span... Spooky TOOTH... Ten Inch NAILS anyone? (You have to see the movie or have been on the road)
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What is life like for aging rockers? Funny, sad, but sweet.
Phoenix-3626 January 1999
What happens to washed up rock-n-roll stars in the late 1990's? They launch a comeback / reunion tour. At least, that's what the members of Strange Fruit, a (fictional) 70's stadium rock group do.

Tony (Stephen Rea) has the concession on condom vending machines when he runs into the son of the promoter of a famous music festival. It was at that festival in the 70's that Strange Fruit broke up. The 70's are "retro" and the time is right to wide that wave. He sets off in search of the other members of the band.

Part of what broke up the band was the death and replacement of Keith, the lead singer and brilliant song writer. The band was known for its excessive lifestyle and now they are all back amongst the working class from which they came. Beano, the drummer, played by Timothy Spall (who was brilliant in Secrets and Lies) is a layabout, the bass player is a roofer, and their lead singer is still a rocker. While he owns a huge mansion he has been forced to sell it, as his fortune has not lasted. Brian, the lead guitarist, is dead, so a young guitarist is hired to replace him.

Somewhat reluctantly the band agree to give the reunion a try. Abandoning their day jobs, they begin to rehearse, and their manager approaches their label about reissuing their albums. But he wants them to start touring again first. And so they hit the club circuit around Europe. The club scene is not kind to these overweight, dated, old rockers.

It is on tour that the film really starts to develop. All of the old conflicts rearise, with the figures of Keith and Brian hovering throughout. They all hang together because they are all in search of a second chance for the greatness that eluded them earlier. And they rediscover some of the interpersonal chemistry that made playing together so enjoyable.

Still Crazy starts as Spinal Tap II but gradually becomes a more dramatically focused film, following the relationships of the band members. While it is still a very funny movie, it is the evolving characters, struggling to deal with the deaths of Brian and Keith and with their own personal demons, that make the film work.
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Rock N' Roll
itamarscomix31 July 2012
Still Crazy was certainly influenced by This Is Spinal Tap, and elements from that classic can be found all over the place, but the two should not be compared. You won't find the sharp satire of Spinal Tap in this movie; nor will you find the scope and heart of Almost Famous. Still Crazy is a small, sweet comedy in the vein of Brassed Off, The Commitments and The Full Monty, and it's highly recommended for anybody who enjoyed those movies and has any fondness towards the grandiose stadium rock of the 70's. Still Crazy is funny, fast-paced and heartwarming, and backed with some of the finest actors the UK has to offer, it's a fantastic piece of entertainment and one that's fun returning to over and over again. It's a bit slow in its first half, but by the ending it's irresistibly fun, thanks to the wonderful characters (every member of the band was well-developed as a believable and likable character) and the contagious soundtrack. A great, light-weight movie for fans of true rock n' roll.
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When good bands go bad...
catchick1 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I spotted this movie in the video store a few years ago and rented it. My husband and I enjoyed it so much we bought the VHS and have enjoyed it ever since.

The plot has been well-discussed, so no need in going over it again. The point is this movie deserves repeated viewings. Americans, especially, aren't going to get all the jokes the first time around. I know I didn't.

This movie is funny, touching, sad-- all at the same time. When Ray proposes the toast at his daughter's wedding, it's cringe-inducing. When Karen calls Tony "Brian" as he attempts to kiss her, it's heartbreaking. When Beano is finally cornered by the woman in black, it's too funny for words.

And the music: it's as good as any movie soundtrack I've heard in years. I was dancing in the living room to "All Over the World."

Every performance is absolutely perfect. Bill Nighy has been justly complimented for his portrayal of Ray, a man who has had one too many bad trips. Stephen Rea is perfect as Tony, the lovable keyboard player who has carried a torch for Karen all these years. He has an appealing hangdog look that makes women want to hug him. But all the actors are equally brilliant.

Ignore any pans you read about this movie and see it. It's a gem.
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This funny film is a bit of a hidden gem.
Flmbff28 June 1999
I'm not sure why this film didn't get more of a release in the U.S. It's a lot easier to understand and faster paced than THE FULL MONTY and it's a lot more accessible than TRAINSPOTTING. In this era of sleeper hit indies from The United Kingdom, it certainly seems like there could have been room in the American cinematic marketplace for this charming film. The plot revolves around a 60's/70's band called "Strange Fruit" whose members decide to reunite in the late 90's. Their lives are in shambles and they all seem to miss rock stardom, so the reunion seems natural, but before they know it, they are reminded why the band broke up in the first place. The squabbling bandmates are played by a great group of actors. Their attempts to recapture their old magic are at first pathetic (and hilarious), but by the end of the second act, you'll be rooting for these guys. Billy Connolly plays the band's 'road dog' and he lights up the screen whenever he's on it. The direction (Brian Gibson directed WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT and THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY) and script are first rate as well.
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A very funny, delightful and affectionate treat
Woodyanders8 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The funky, yet strictly second-tier British glam-rock band Strange Fruit breaks up at the end of the wild'n'wacky excess-ridden 70's. The individual band members go their separate ways and uncomfortably settle into lackluster middle age in the dull and uneventful 90's: morose keyboardist Stephen Rea winds up penniless and down on his luck, vain, neurotic, pretentious lead singer Bill Nighy tries (and fails) to pursue a floundering solo career, paranoid drummer Timothy Spall resides in obscurity on a remote farm so he can avoid paying a hefty back taxes debt, and surly bass player Jimmy Nail installs roofs for a living. Former loving groupie turned patient, understanding, long-suffering manager Juliet Aubrey gets the group back together for an ill-advised, largely ineffectual and hilariously disastrous twenty years later nostalgic reunion tour of Europe. Our lovably ragged bunch try gamely, but fumblingly to reignite a flame that once burned quite brightly back in the day. Scraggly zonked-out roadie Billy Connelly and cocky eager beaver young guitarist Hans Matheson tag along for the delightfully bumpy, trouble-plagued, but still ultimately rewarding and enjoyable ride.

Director Brian Gibson shows tremendously infectious respect and adoration for both his amiably screwy characters in particular and loud, ringing, flamboyantly overblown preening 70's rock in general, this imbuing this affectionate little pip with an utterly engaging sense of big-hearted charm and tireless verve. The astute, sharply written script by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais likewise bristles with spot-on dry wit and finely observed moments of joyous on the road inanity, capturing a certain bittersweetly affecting and frequently uproarious vibe that gives the picture itself an irresistibly luminescent glow. Ashley Rowe's lovely, elegant cinematography ensures that the movie always looks quite visually sumptuous while the perfectly catchy and groovy music does the trick with right-on rockin' flair and aplomb. Kudos also to the across-the-board terrific performances that vividly nail the burnt-out soul and tattered, but still fiercely beating heart of a past its prime has-been ragtag rock outfit desperate to regain its erstwhile evanescent glory in one final bid for big time success. All in all, this radiant and touching gem rates highly as one of the true seriocomic sleeper treats from the 90's.
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I wanted to rent Hardcore Logo, but they didn't have it.
jheisel2 July 1999
So I rented "Still Crazy" instead. When I described Hardcore Logo to the guy at the video store, he said that sounded kind of like Still Crazy. So I rented it. Was I disappointed? Well, yes, as Still Crazy focuses on a classic rock band rather than a punk band, but that's OK. Still Crazy tells the story of the Strange Fruit, a rock band that broke up in the 70s at the peak of their popularity at a large rock festival. Twenty years later, the band members are all struggling to make a living, and are offered the opportunity to play a concert at the twenty year anniversary of this festival. They take up the offer and decide to reform on a permanent basis, touring Europe in the process. Some quite funny hijinks ensue, and all the characters go through subtle changes. Watching this movie, you feel more like a viewer of a carefully edited documentary than a participant. And that's not bad at all.
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Loved this movie, moved to tears by the last song
rc21kp3421 October 2004
> Contrary to most reviews I've read, I didn't feel this followed any of the other rock movies ("Spinal Tap", etc.) The story was more unique, although I feel most people wanted to see the "sex, drugs & rock and roll" vices that the band kept alluding to.

> As an American, I knew a few of the actors - Spall, Connelly & Rea. Surprised to find out "Brian"/Bruce Robinson was in Zifferedi's (<sp?) classic "Romeo & Juliet". Guess I'll have to rent that next.

> "THE FLAME STILL BURNS" - My wife, who hails from Mexico, didn't follow the English/British language too well, missed some of the jokes (which I dutifully explained) but she cried her eyes out at the concert scene. She loves the song so much now.

> Funny that has the soundtrack for $30+usd when I bought the DVD in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart for $5.50usd. Price non-withstanding, I first saw this on late night cable and have been dying to find it ever since.
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Excellent Fun
Olivia-24 November 1998
If you need cheering up on a cold weekday evening, this is the film for you! Excellent script and perfectly cast actors. I especially loved Ray psyching himself up in front of the mirror before gigs - inspired!
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Category: Feel Good
ExiledRoyal22 December 2011
This is a straight-forward movie of a 70's Brit rock band trying to recapture their glory days. Whereas 'Spinal Tap' purported to be a rockumentary, this is just a film about some Has-Beens looking for the Good Old Days.

The plot is as above. But the cast are supremely adequate for the story, the story is funny and touching, the soundtrack will moisten any 70's rock lovers; the whole deal will make you laugh.

If you enjoyed 'School of Rock' and 'The Ship that Rocked' then you'll no doubt enjoy this. There's no need for any 'deep' analysis, because there isn't anything profound. It's a story, funny, rocking and nostalgic.

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great music movie
analisabailey20 May 2008
I agree with what "veinbreaker" wrote with regards to the "Ahhhh" feeling you get at the end of this movie. I absolutely loved the locations they chose to film, the songs were well written and interesting, especially the psychedelic sounding track on which Hans Matheson sings. It's trippy. Nighy was fab in his role, Nail "nailed" it, Beano was the typical drummer, and Rea kept it together. Bruce Robinson was awesome. Helena was a lovely girlfriend. But I felt Juliet Aubrey's performance was gorgeous. The scenes between Aubrey & Robinson killed me! Perfectly played and the music behind the scene was spot on! Too bad not many more musicians have checked this movie out! They ought to!I've told all my musician friends. great quote by Jimmy Nail's character: "it's supposed to be rock & roll, not the Phantom of the f*****g opera!"
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Greatest rock movie
laurapalmersdead7 November 2007
"Still Crazy" is without a doubt the greatest rock comedy of all-time. It has been erroneously compared to "This Is Spinal Tap", which it has no relation to. "Spinal Tap" is a satire (and, quite frankly, not a very good one, in spite of it's "outing" of many rock clichés). Unlike "Tap", "Still Crazy" is populated by great actors, great songs and great human situations. You CARE about the people in "Still Crazy". That's all that matters. Oh, yeah, the music's pretty damn good, too, written by Mick Jones of Foreigner and Chris Difford of Squeeze. American audiences were already familiar with Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), but would only later become familiar with Bill Nighy (Underworld, Love Actually, Pirates Of The Caribbean II) and Timothy Spall (the Harry Potter movies).
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This really is my favourite movie
SometimesKate3 May 2006
It's not without flaws, but even the flaws are charming. It's one of those films I can honestly watch several times in a row, and, despite having owned it for over a year, I still find nuances and bits I hadn't caught in prior viewings. The plot is basic. Washed-up 70's rockers have another chance at stardom. The secret is in the amazing actors and the fabulous music. There isn't a bad performance in this film. Bill Nighy is amazing, and Timothy Spall steals several scenes. Bruce Campbell only appears briefly, but it was enough to renew the crush I'd had on him at 13 after seeing "Romeo & Juliet". My only real complaint is that whoever did the casting felt that 29-year old Juliet Aubrey is a contemporary of the actors portraying the band members, who were in their 40's and 50's. Watch for Frances Barber in a brilliant but small role. The music is equally wonderful. I realize it was a bad time for music, but I'm amazed these songs didn't get radio airplay. I love the music so much I picked up a copy used from Amazon. It's not a great film, it's not a serious film, but it's a film of which you will not tire.
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A must see.
nightcrawler72725 February 2006
I thought this movie was fantastic. It was hilarious. Kinda reminded me of Spinal Tap. This is a must see for any fan of 70's rock. (I hope me and my friends aren't like that in twenty years!)

Bill Nighy gives an excellent performance as the off kilter lead singer trying to recapture that old spirit,

Stephen Rea fits perfectly into the movie as the glue trying to hold the band together, but not succeeding well.

If you love music, and were ever in a band, this movie is definitely for you. You won't regret seeing this movie. I know I don't. Even my family found it funny, and that's saying something.
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Excellent movie
direhard14 October 1999
If you like Deep Purple, you will enjoy in this excellent movie with Stephen Rea in main role. The story is about the most famous rock group back there in 70s, Strange Fruits, and they decided to play together again. But, of course, there is going to be lots of problem during theirs concerts. Jimmy Nail and Bill Nighy are great, and song "The Flame Still Burns" is perfect. You have to watch it.
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Good film, great soundtrack!
jocke-515 January 1999
When I sat myself down to watch this movie, I did not know much about what kind of movie I was about to see.

Its starting off rather slow; a rock band was cut off by lightning in the middle of a gig. They never stepped up on stage again. One day, though, twenty years later, someone starts digging up old dirt, and the band reunites.

But are the old grumps up to enlighten the world as they once did with their music?

It would not be fair to say that "Still Crazy" even nearly lives up to the qualities of "The Commitments". It does, though, sometimes pretty much, resemble the Irish music movie classic. The ending of this movie also is not much of a surprise to the audience. It is nevertheless a good movie. The soundtrack should definitely be rated among the 15 best soundtracks of all time. I'm actually still humming on one of the songs; "The Flame Still Burns", sung by Jimmy Nail.
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Funny, affectionate tribute to "classic" rock
SKG-214 July 1999
In the voice over which begins the film, Hughie(Billy Connolly), a roadie for the great 70's band Strange Fruit, said the reason lightning struck at a rock festival to stop Strange Fruit's set was that God was sick of 70's excess. Indeed, it's been popular to put down that era of music, and see punk as a welcome antidote to it. While I agree the excess was tiresome(as well as the misogynistic urges which came out of it), and like punk, I still am a fan of what is considered classic rock or glam rock, and this film about Strange Fruit's long, strange reunion is an affectionate tribute to those days.

One of the reasons the film works is the care of the people behind the scenes. Brian Gibson directed WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, about Tina Turner(while I had problems with the dramatic parts of the film, the music was handled very well), writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais co-wrote THE COMMITMENTS and were behind the music-oriented British TV show OVER THE RAINBOW, and the songs Strange Fruit played were co-written by Foreigner's Mick Jones(not to be confused with The Clash's Mick Jones), so it was a meeting of people who knew what they were talking about. Also, two cast members are musicians in their own right(Bill Nye I don't know about, though the film credits him with his own singing, and he certainly looks like a lead singer of that era, while Jimmy Nail was in another British TV show which was music-oriented, though I forget the name, and he was in EVITA), and the others are convincing at it. And while, as I said, a lot of 70's bands like Strange Fruit behaved badly towards women, the movie doesn't make the same mistake(except for the woman who follows Timothy Spall around); as the manager of the reunion, Juliet Aubrey is quite good and plays a fully rounded character.

The other actors are all good as well, with special praise to Stephen Rea, who handles the more dramatic role well without sentimentality. There are a couple of plot points which don't work, but overall this is quite enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the music is good too.
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