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Episode #95: The Commitments

Listen to Episode 95 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In The Commitments, Jimmy Rabbitte (played by Robert Arkins) decides to manage a band led by his two friends. He’s hoping to take Dublin by storm, and then the world. He puts together a 10 person ensemble to cover the great soul songs of the past. They have talent, and conflicting personalities, but what they need most are gigs.

Screenplay by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, and Roddy Doyle; Directed by Alan Parker; and premiered in Los Angeles on August 7, 1991.


Early on in the episode we commented on how these two band members on the left start off as lead characters and instigators for the whole plot, but then get shoved aside by the script

There are a lot of people in the band, and it's tough to give equal time and character progression to all.

But there are a couple that show up out of nowhere and are part of the band without a formal introduction to the audience.

We found that weird since there is an extended, and highly enjoyable, audition segment of the movie where all sorts from the town come to try out.

The movie is about hopes and dreams and that time in your life when you feel invincible and anything is possible.

But there are a lot of personalities conflicting within the band and all kinds of other drama.

We both think that for a band to make it huge, they should have original songs and there aren't any here.

The concert sequences are well done, but hearing some songs (basically in full) multiple times got to be a bit much, even with great performances.

Awards Talk: The movie earned one Oscar nomination for Best Editing (Gerry Hambling). It was a Golden Glove nominee for Best Picture - Comedy/Musical. Four BAFTA winner for Adapted Screenplay, Direction, Editing & Best Film. Also nominated for Best Sound, Best Supporting Actor (Andrew Strong). At the MTV Video Music Awards, it was nominated for the Best Video from a Film, and it was part of the MTV Movie Awards Quotes Montage.


This week we don't have any true crime but on this day there were some athletic accomplishments of note.

1991 World Championship of Athletics - August 7, 1991

Here are a couple videos of Carl Lewis. One above and this link (which does not give permission for embedded use) -

We also talk about The Commitments trilogy of books by author Roddy Doyle

The movie also spurred the group to become something of a real "The Commitments" band - Here is an article on their 25th Anniversary

How about a where they are now?

The Commitments Concert Tour

How about a clip from The Commitments 20th Anniversary show

There was also a The Commitments Musical -

And lastly The Commitments was one of the subjects of the Ireland 1996: Irish Cinema Centenary series Stamp as seen on Ebay


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - It was a charming, well-made movie, but when thinking about music-centric inspiring films we're going to gravitate towards "Sing Street" or "Once" much more frequently than this one. Still, this would certainly have its place in that rotation.

If you want to watch The Commitments, as of this recording in January 2023, it’s available on Hoopla, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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Join us next time for The Double Life of Veronique available on Criterion Channel, Kanopy, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD


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