7.7/10
424
6 user 5 critic

The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (2010)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 14 April 2011 (Denmark)
Takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album.

Director:

Thom Zimny
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The creation of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 1980 double album "The River" is recalled in this new rock-doc that includes archival footage as well as recent interviews.

Director: Thom Zimny
Stars: Bruce Springsteen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run chronicles the definitive story of Bruce Springsteens breakthrough album from songwriting to production and beyond. Includes archival film shot between 1973 and 1975 but never shown publicly.

Director: Thom Zimny
Stars: Bruce Springsteen
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 is one of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's most classic performances, perfectly encapsulating the passion, drama and intensity of the extraordinary band... See full summary »

Director: Derek Burbidge
Stars: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

For 40 years Bruce Springsteen has influenced fans from all over. His songs defined more than a generation. This film gives the fans just as much time as The Boss himself, with never shown footage and live performances from his last tour.

Director: Baillie Walsh
Stars: Bruce Springsteen, Mitchell A.S. Hallock, Matt Sullivan
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Live From New York City is the chronicle of Bruce Springsteen's first tour with The E Street Band in over a decade. A full-on rock revival packed with hits and fan favorites, Live From New ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Hilson
Stars: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Captured in London at the Hard Rock Calling Festival on June 28, 2009 in HD, the 172-minute film documents 27 tracks of live Springsteen that begin in daylight and progress through a gorgeous sunset into night.

Director: Chris Hilson
Stars: Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Recorded in 2002, partly broadcast on CBS and performed to a crowd best described as "deliriously insane," Barcelona captures the E Street Band with new addition Soozie Tyrell firing on all... See full summary »

Director: Chris Hilson
Stars: Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Bruce Springsteen With The Sessions Band Live in Dublin' features 23 songs drawn from the band's performances in Dublin, Ireland at The Point on November 17, 18 and 19, 2006. Songs include ... See full summary »

Director: Chris Hilson
Stars: Sam Bardfeld, Art Baron, Frank Bruno
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Elvis Presley's evolution as a musician and a man.

Director: Thom Zimny
Stars: Steve Allen, Ann-Margret, Chet Atkins
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bruce Springsteen, widely hailed as one of the all-time greats, looks back and muses upon his life as a successful musician. His reflection is coupled with snippets of live performance, all... See full summary »

Director: Nigel Cole
Stars: Bruce Springsteen
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert on The River tour of 1980. Filmed on November 5 at the former ASU Activity Center in Tempe, part of metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, in front of an enthusiastic 10,000-strong audience.

Director: Thom Zimny
Stars: Roy Bittan, Danny Federici, Garry Tallent
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Mike Appel Mike Appel ... Himself - Manager 1972-1977
Roy Bittan Roy Bittan ... Himself - E Street Band
Clarence Clemons ... Himself - E Street Band
Obie Dziedzic Obie Dziedzic ... Herself (archive footage)
E Street Band E Street Band ... Themselves
Danny Federici Danny Federici ... Himself - E Street Band
Jimmy Iovine ... Himself - Recording Engineer
Jon Landau Jon Landau ... Himself - Manager-Producer
Nils Lofgren ... Himself - E Street Band
Thom Panunzio Thom Panunzio ... Himself - Recording Engineer
Chuck Plotkin Chuck Plotkin ... Himself - Mixer
Patti Scialfa Patti Scialfa ... Herself - E Street Band
Toby Scott Toby Scott ... Himself
Patti Smith ... Herself
Bruce Springsteen ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Bruce Springsteen's "Darkness on the Edge of Town," released in 1978, was three years in the making, 10 songs chosen from 70 written and rehearsed during that period. Using archival footage from the studio and contemporary interviews with Springsteen, the E Street Band, and those who were in the control room, the film presents a portrait of an artist driving himself to capture working-class life with a rough and raw sound that felt more like a live performance than a studio recording. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 2011 (Denmark) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thrill Hill Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References The Searchers (1956) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Some Production Shortcomings But Otherwise Incredible
24 May 2011 | by Greg W. LockeSee all my reviews

Like the bulk of music fans from my generation, my first impression of Bruce Springsteen was established when I was young, back when Bruce was doing the Born in the USA thing. He'd stick his underbite way out, wear skin tight jeans and headbands, stomp around on stage riffing like he was in a hair band, ride those cheesy synthlines, etc. Needless to say, I wrote the guy off before I was in high school and even figured him for some sort of idiot savant. By the time I was 20 or so I was a fan of his music, surely; but not until I saw director Thom Zimny's The Promise: The Making of the Darkness on the Edge of Town did I realize that, in his day, Bruce was as cool as anyone, and an all-around brilliant man of deep artistry.

The bulk of Zimny's film is comprised of archival footage of Bruce and The E Street Band following the worldwide success of their previous album, Born to Run. Overnight, it seemed, Bruce had become a household name. His working class background forever lingering, Bruce saw the opportunity to make something that was not just better than Born to Run, but different. Next came the notebooks, then the songs, then the rehearsals, then the recording. Then more recording. Then more writing. Eventually Bruce and his band had 70+ new songs to choose from, 10 of which ended up on his now-classic Darkness record. Thanks for Zimny's film, we get to see the whole process, mixed up with recent footage of the band reflecting on the Darkness era.

The Promise is one of the 10 best music docs I've ever seen, telling a great story that focuses on a great – and brilliant – leading man. The movie reminds me quite a bit of Sam Jones' film about Wilco, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, but with a much cooler focus and much cheesier production. Had the producers and director done a better job of mixing the old footage with the new (and not used every cliché doc trick in the book), this would've been a near-perfect movie. Still, though, it's a must-see for fans of rock n' roll, pop culture, songwriting or film in general.

The movie is an amazing document of a brilliant writer, music mind, band leader and thinker who was working in his artistic prime. I still can't say much for the pop star 80s version of Bruce, but damn if the struggling back alley artist of the 70s wasn't as good as they came. This film will stand as the one of the essential pieces to the Art of Bruce.

Read more of my music- and film-related writing at ZeCatalist.com.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed