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The Commitments

5.0 3
Director: Alan Parker, Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball

Cast: Alan Parker, Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball


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"The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!" Or so Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) tells his slightly puzzled friends as he tries to assemble a rhythm & blues show band in a working class community in Dublin in Alan Parker's film The Commitments


"The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin ... so say it loud -- I'm black and I'm proud!" Or so Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) tells his slightly puzzled friends as he tries to assemble a rhythm & blues show band in a working class community in Dublin in Alan Parker's film The Commitments. Jimmy is a would-be music business wheeler and dealer, and he's decided what Dublin needs is a top-shelf soul band. However, top-shelf soul musicians are hard to find in Dublin, so he has to make do with what he can find. However, after a long round of auditions, Jimmy makes two inspired discoveries: Deco (Andrew Strong), an abrasive and alcoholic streetcar conductor who nevertheless has a voice like the risen ghost of Otis Redding, and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (Johnny Murphy), a horn player who knows soul music backwards and forwards and claims to have played with everyone from Wilson Pickett to Elvis Presley. Before long, the band -- called the Commitments -- is packing them in at local clubs. But do they have what it takes to make the big time? Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, who also co-wrote the screenplay, The Commitments is sparked by fine performances by its young cast and enthusiastic performances of a number of '60s soul classics; the cast, who play their own instruments, reassembled the band for a concert tour after the film became a hit.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This unassuming little import from the United Kingdom exploded on U.S. movie screens in 1991, gleaning surprisingly enthusiastic reviews and -- despite an unknown cast with nearly impenetrable Irish brogues -- delighting American audiences. Director Alan Parker, whose films tend toward being overwrought, hit all the right notes in Roddy Doyle's engaging story about working-class youths who form a band to bring '60s-style soul music to their native Dublin. The group's ambitious manager (Robert Arkins) has to contend with an insufferably egotistical lead singer (Andrew Strong) and a bed-hopping trumpet player (Johnny Murphy) while fending off the amorous advances of a backup singer (Maria Doyle), but he manages to get "the world's hardest-working band" into a trendy nightclub nonetheless. The cast members -- many of whom made their film debuts in this movie -- still register appealingly in sharply defined roles, and their musical performances still impress as not only accomplished but exhilarating. Not yielding to his normal melodramatic predilections, Parker depicted the milieu with near-documentary fidelity, and he made the characters vivid and engaging. Still beguiling, The Commitments is every bit as entertaining today as it was when it premiered.
All Movie Guide
With perhaps more four-letter words than any other film ever made, The Commitments oozes authenticity. The relentless profanity is part of a rich, hilarious, musically satisfying portrait of a fictional working-class Irish band whose mission is to bring American soul music to Dublin. Avoiding the customary romantic view of Ireland and most clichés about the music industry, rebellious director Alan Parker presents a gritty, alcohol-soaked, often inspired portrait of an Emerald Isle most tourists never see: the alleys and bars of decidely unpicturesque urban ghettoes. The band, fronted by a Joe Cocker-like husky-voiced lead singer, is fabulous, and the music is as powerful as the rhythm-and-blues greats whose songs the band covers -- so good, in fact, that the band released two excellent CDs. This Is Spinal Tap introduced the genre of the rock mockumentary, but The Commitments is a stronger, more genuine, and musically superior film. In fact, it's among the best music films ever made, including those fashioned by "real" bands.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
[Dolby Digital]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Arkins Jimmy Rabbitte
Michael Aherne Steven Clifford
Angeline Ball Imelda Quirke
Maria Doyle Kennedy Natalie Murphy
Dave Finnegan Mickah Wallace
Johnny Murphy Joey "The Lips" Fagan
Andrew Strong Deco Cuffe
Bronagh Gallagher Bernie McGloughlin
Felim Gormley Dean Fay
Glen Hansard Outspan Foster
Kenneth McCluskey Derek Scully
Colm Meaney Mr. Rabbitte
Sheila Flitton Church Cleaner
John Hubbard Actor
Ros Hubbard Actor
Colm Mac Con Iomaire Fiddler Auditioner
Dick Massey Billy Mooney
Anne Kent Mrs. Rabbitte
Andrea Corr Sharon Rabbitte
Gerard Cassoni Darren Rabbitte
Ruth Fairclough Linda Rabbitte
Lindsay Fairclough Tracey Rabbitte
Michael O'Reilly Greg
Liam Carney Duffy
Ger Ryan Pawnbroker
Mark O'Regan Father Molloy
Phelim Drew Roddy the Reporter
Sean Hughes Dave from Eejit Records
Philip Bredin Ray
Aoife Lawless Imelda's Sister
Lance Daly Kid with Harmonica
Conor Malone Protest Song Singer
Jezz Bell Heavy Metal Singer
Emily Dawson Punk Girl Singer
Dave Kane Coconuts Trio Member
Kristel Harris Coconuts Trio Member
Maria Place Coconuts Trio Member
Brian Mac Aodha Uileann Pipe Player
Tricia Smith Les Miserables Singer
Canice William Smiths' Song Singer
Patrick Foy Cajun Trio Member
Alan Murray Cajun Trio Member
Jody Campbell Cajun Trio Member
Eanna Mac Liam Failed Drug Buyer
Philomena Kavanagh Rabbitte's Neighbor
Peter Rowen Shy Skateboard Auditioner
Eamon O'Connor Only De Lonely Singer
Maura O'Malley Joey's Mother
Blaise Smith Pool Hall Manager
Derek Herbert Duffy's Sidekick
Owen O'Gorman Duffy's Sidekick
Pat Leavy Unemployment Official
John Cronin Kid with Horse
Rynagh O'Grady Bernie's Mother
Michael Bolger Community Center Kid
Mick Nolan Imelda's Father
Eileen Reid Imelda's Mother
Bob Navan Regency Pub Barman
Derek Duggan Photographer
Paddy O'Connor Rock Salmon Man
Paul Bushnell Avante-Garde-A-Clue Band Member
Jim Corr Avante-Garde-A-Clue Band Member
Larry Hogan Avante-Garde-A-Clue Band Member
Bernard Keelan Avante-Garde-A-Clue Band Member
Ronan Hardiman Dance Hall Manager
Mikel Murfi Music Journalist
Josylen Lyons Deco's Fan
Winston Dennis Man in Limousine
Alan Parker Eejit Record Producer

Technical Credits
Alan Parker Director
Marc Abraham Co-producer
Armyan Bernstein Executive Producer
Laurie Borg Production Manager
Karen Brookes Set Decoration/Design
Paul Bushnell Score Composer
Dick Clement Co-producer,Screenwriter
Roddy Doyle Screenwriter
Arden Gantly Art Director
Mark Geraghty Art Director
Gerry Hambling Editor
Souter Harris Executive Producer
Ros Hubbard Casting
John Hubbard Casting
Ian La Frenais Co-producer,Screenwriter
Brian Morris Production Designer
Lynda Myles Producer
Roger Randall-Cutler Producer
Michael Roberts Camera Operator
Penny Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Rosenberg Executive Producer
G. Marq Roswell Musical Direction/Supervision
Gale Tattersall Cinematographer
David Wimbury Producer

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selection
1. Main Titles.
2. How It All Began.
3. Dublin Soul.
4. Answering the Ad.
5. Getting Some Singers.
6. Studying the Expert.
7. A Godsend.
8. The Commitment-ettes.
9. Eat, Sleep and Breathe Soul.
10. First Rehearsal.
11. An Unemployed Musician.
12. The Go-Ahead.
13. Too Many Fish In The Sea.
14. Preparations.
15. Ladies and Gentlemen...The Commitments.
16. Bye Bye Baby.
17. Show Me; A Shocking Experience.
18. It's Alive!
19. A Prior Commitment.
20. Talkin' Elvis.
21. Committed.
22. Take Me To The River.
23. The Dark End of the Street.
24. Billy Quits.
25. The Mister Chippy Van.
26. Hard To Handle.
27. Chain Of Fools; Collection Agents.
28. A Celebrity Jam?
29. Mustang Sally.
30. I Never Loved A Man.
31. Try A Little Tenderness.
32. In The Midnight Hour.
33. No Problems with the Band.
34. Where Are They Now?
35. End Titles.


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The Commitments 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The dry humor and subtle sight gags are enough to blow away the gloom and grit of of urban Ireland, the amazing music of the best wanna be R&amp B band yet is inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And really wish they were still together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was a great movie! a barrell of laughs. the music is great, bringing back soul from aretha to wilson! i recommend it to anyone whose irish or ever wanted to be!