U2 Pop Culture Database



The Commitments


Format:
Film
Year:
1991
Writer:
Roddy Doyle [The Snapper] and Dick Clement [Never Say Never Again] and Ian La Frenais [Never Say Never Again]
Principal Cast:
Jimmy Rabbitte.....Robert Arkins
Steve Clifford.....Michael Aherne
Imelda Quirke.....Angeline Ball [My Girl 2, Evita]
Jimmy Rabbitte, Sr. .....Colm Meany [Dick Tracy, Die Hard 2, Come See The Paradise, Far And Away, The Last Of The Mohicans, Under Siege, The Snapper, The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain, Con Air]

Synopsis:
Dublin youth, believing that the Irish are the blacks of Europe, form a soul band.

U2 Pop Culture Reference:
[Film Time about 12:00] Jimmy is a bit of a Dublin hustler and has put an advertisement in the paper looking to start a soul band. He opens his front door to a succession of hopeful applicants. The ad says 'rednecks and southsiders need not apply'.
Jimmy: Who are your influences?
Skinhead with earrings and scars: Barry Manilow. [Door slams.]
Jimmy: Who are your influences?
Hippy-chick with floppy hat: Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell...
Skinny guy with long hair in leather jacket: Wings. [Door slams. With his face pressed against door window he adds:] Bachman Turner Overdrive.
Shy girl: Spandau Ballet. Soft Cell.
Morrissey-looking guy: Sinead O'Connor. [Door slams.]
Tap-dancing woman singing: ...pop. It's a nice trip to a candy shop, where....[Door slams.]
Boy George lookalike: Hi, I've come about the audition....[Door slams.]
Big-haired guy with bandana on head: Led Zeppelin. [Door slams.]
Back to hippy-chick: Uh...[Door Slams.]
Leather jacket guy with huge pink mohawk: Billy and the Bullocks. [Door slams.]
Curly red haired serious girl: U2. [Door slams.]
Sid Vicious looking guy at door says nothing. [Door slams.]

[Film Time about 15:00] Jimmy is introducing the new saxophone player to the two guys already in the band.
Jimmy: Hey lads, this is Steve Clifford.
Steve: Hello.
Jimmy: He says his influences are Clarence Clemmons and the guy from Madness.
Guy: That's a nice sax.
Steve: Yeah. I haven't had it long. Me uncle gave it to me when his lung collapsed.
Jimmy's Father: This the band, is it?
Jimmy: Yeah.
Jimmy's Father: I bet ya U2 are shittin' themselves.

[Film Time about 87:00] Jimmy runs out to meet the trumpet player holding a newspaper with their first review in it.
Jimmy: Listen to this. "Following in the footsteps of U2 and Sinead O'Connor, The Commitments could be the next major act to come out of Dublin. The lead singer has a voice Bob Geldoff would starve for." U2, Sinead, Geldoff, and us, in one paragraph. Deadly.

Besides U2, is it worth watching?
This movie had some terrific white-boy soul in it and the lead singer guy who I have never seen again really can belt out the favorites. There is a blonde goddess in this film who has also since disappeared. Part of its charm was that it was a bunch of unknowns and with the exception of Jimmy's dad, who even made it into a terrible Hollywood film like CON AIR, most of the actors went back to obscurity. When all is said and done there isn't much to this film, except songs and a certain Dublin grittiness that makes it seem a bit more unique than it probably is.
Extras:
In the very first scene in the Dublin outdoor market, a boy is singing "Springfield Mining Disaster" which we fans know is one of the most sought-after bootlegs in U2's catalogue. They played it in 1987 in Chicago, where Bono uttered the famous "Shut up for a moment, this is not the Beatles, this is U2 up here" to try to quiet the crowd at the Rosemont Horizon. I've also heard a version they did for Irish television. Another extra is that Andrea Corr, of the singing Corr family, who opened for U2 during the first dates of the Elevation tour plays Jimmy's younger sister. If you glance behind the band while they watch videotape of James Brown, you'll notice box covers of Alan Parker's other films including the brilliant BIRDY.




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copyright © 2001 Michael Warner Cummins
Most recent update: 7/9/01 3:02:43 PM
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