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HISTORY

The 26 May 1990 Screen International announced plans by Alan Parker to direct The Commitments. Based on the 1987 novel by Roddy Doyle, The Commitments was the first installment of “The Barrytown Trilogy,” which chronicled the exploits of the fictional “Rabbitte” family. A “Casting Call” appeared in the Jul-Aug 1990 Irish American Press, seeking an Irish-born trumpet player, thirty-eight to fifty years old. Other instrumental skills would be considered as well. The 13 Aug 1990 DV reported that casting was completed following four months of auditioning 3,000 musicians and singers from Dublin, Ireland. Parker told the Aug/Sep 1991 Tower Video Collector that he also auditioned sixty-four bands, each of which was assigned two songs. The “Commitments” Parker chose had little or no acting experience, with the exception of Johnny Murphy, a veteran actor who was taught to play the trumpet for his role. Parker rehearsed the group, as actors and as a band, for a month before filming began. Principal photography began 27 Aug 1990, as reported in the 17 Jul 1990 HR. A news item in the 3 Sep 1991 HR stated that the band performed live on set, rather than miming to prerecorded music. However, Tower Video Collector noted that, on at least one occasion, the singers were accompanied by an instrumental track. Filming was completed ten weeks later on 3 Nov 1990, as noted in the 10 Nov 1990 Screen International. Production costs were estimated at slightly less than $12 million.
       The ... More Less

The 26 May 1990 Screen International announced plans by Alan Parker to direct The Commitments. Based on the 1987 novel by Roddy Doyle, The Commitments was the first installment of “The Barrytown Trilogy,” which chronicled the exploits of the fictional “Rabbitte” family. A “Casting Call” appeared in the Jul-Aug 1990 Irish American Press, seeking an Irish-born trumpet player, thirty-eight to fifty years old. Other instrumental skills would be considered as well. The 13 Aug 1990 DV reported that casting was completed following four months of auditioning 3,000 musicians and singers from Dublin, Ireland. Parker told the Aug/Sep 1991 Tower Video Collector that he also auditioned sixty-four bands, each of which was assigned two songs. The “Commitments” Parker chose had little or no acting experience, with the exception of Johnny Murphy, a veteran actor who was taught to play the trumpet for his role. Parker rehearsed the group, as actors and as a band, for a month before filming began. Principal photography began 27 Aug 1990, as reported in the 17 Jul 1990 HR. A news item in the 3 Sep 1991 HR stated that the band performed live on set, rather than miming to prerecorded music. However, Tower Video Collector noted that, on at least one occasion, the singers were accompanied by an instrumental track. Filming was completed ten weeks later on 3 Nov 1990, as noted in the 10 Nov 1990 Screen International. Production costs were estimated at slightly less than $12 million.
       The 31 Jul 1991 DV announced the West Coast debut of The Commitments at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA, on 6 Aug 1991. According to the 14 Aug 1991 HR, the picture was screened numerous times in New York City; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; and Toronto, Canada, beginning in Apr 1991, for audiences comprised of “opinion makers, the press, record company executives, club owners, disc jockeys.” Distributor Twentieth Century Fox also organized a press junket in Dublin, inviting representatives from news organizations, broadcasting, and entertainment publications. Posters were issued to exhibitors in Feb 1991 announcing an Aug 1991 release followed by two film clips. In addition, postcards were sent to the news media as release dates approached. Alan Parker explained the intensive approach to marketing as necessary to reach the film’s intended audience. Although Fox executives targeted a young adult audience, test screenings demonstrated the picture’s appeal to older viewers, due in part to its musical content. The Commitments opened 14 Aug 1991 in Los Angeles, New York City, and Ireland, and 16 Aug 1991 in Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto. As reported in the 23 Aug 1991 LA Weekly, “counterculture consultant” J. V. McAuley hosted a bus tour of Los Angeles-area nightclubs on 6 Aug 1991, during which journalists could drink and socialize with cast members. An official premiere was held the next night at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, CA, which included a performance by the Commitments, with guest vocalist Wilson Pickett. The film opened to positive reviews. Although audience members received a “Tosser’s Glossary” of Dublin slang to better understand the dialogue, Parker told the 2 Aug 1991 HR that “the language is like music,” and could easily be understood by laypersons.
       The 23 Sep 1991 Var reported earnings of $7.09 million within the first five weekends of release, with grosses as high as $52,852 per screen. Fox commended Parker, who previously worked in advertising, for his assistance with the successful marketing campaign. The 23 Jan 1992 HR noted that The Commitments was “the highest grossing film of all time in the Irish Republic.”
       On 28 Jan 1992, DV announced that FoxVideo was sending retailers 90,000 free promotional videocassettes to herald the film’s 9 Apr 1992 release on home video. The “making-of featurette” was intended as a free rental to customers, as well as for in-store exhibition. The studio assigned four cassettes for each retailer, along with a display unit and brochure. The estimated cost to the studio was $300,000. Another $200,000 was allocated for print and broadcast advertising for the featurette, “with tentative plans for cable, syndication and radio exposure.” Additional promotion was expected through Fox Broadcasting stations, and possibly through the VH-1 network.
       According to the 12 Jun 1992 DV, singer James Brown filed a $3 million lawsuit against Fox, claiming footage of his performance from The T.A.M.I. Show (1964, see entry) appeared in the film without his consent. Studio attorneys argued that Brown sold all rights to the performance in 1964, and that production company Beacon Films was meticulous in licensing the footage. However, Brown contended that the 1964 agreement was “an informal, ambiguous document,” which still allowed him some control over the footage. The singer also took offense over the studio’s failure to notify him that it was licensing the sequence. Although Fox apologized for the error and offered $10,000 compensation, Brown’s attorney declined, noting that his client was paid $50,000 the previous year for use of the clip in a music video. Nearly two months later, the 6 Aug 1992 HR reported that a U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit, confirming that Brown had relinquished all rights to the footage. However, Brown intended to appeal the decision, as stated in the 10 Aug 1992 HR. The final outcome of the case could not be determined.
       On 22 Dec 1998, HR reported that Alan Parker filed a $3 million suit against Beacon Communications, claiming the company did not fulfill its contractual obligation, which guaranteed him fifty percent of “all revenue from distribution and ancillary rights.” An audit determined that Parker was owed nearly $2.45 million in profits, and nearly $3 million in soundtrack album royalties. Eighteen months later, the 30 Jun 2000 HR stated that Beacon was sued by First Film Company, which sold the motion picture rights to the defendant in 1989. According to the agreement, the plaintiff was to receive $200,000, plus 17.5% of net profits. At the time of the lawsuit, First Film had received no profits participation from the film, and claimed Beacon was secretly diverting profits from the two soundtrack albums to a fictitious company. No further information on either suit was available as of Feb 2016.
       On 4 Jan 2000, DV reported that Beacon planned a sequel, to be produced by Cathy Konrad and scripted by Warren Leight. Previous plans for a sequel had been abandoned until Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films acquired the rights. The tentative story involved former members of the Commitments reorganizing the band with new characters and touring the U.S. At the time of the article, several cast members were performing in a band called “The Committed,” and singer Andrew Strong, who appeared in the film as “Deco Cuffe,” was a moderately successful recording artist. As of Feb 2016, the sequel had not been completed. As for the remaining “Barrytown Trilogy” novels, The Snapper was filmed as a 1993 television episode, and The Van was a 1996 theatrical release.
       End credits include the following statements: “Maria Doyle is a member of The Black Velvet Band and she appears courtesy of Elektra Entertainment”; “Glen Hansard appears by kind permission of Island Records”; “Thanks to: Mavis Ascot, Tom Bliss, Lisa Clarkson, The Factory, Liz Gordon, Frances Kappelle, Paul McGuinness, Sona Partayan, Bonnie Pearce, Rob Strong, The Waterfront Café, Violet Williams”; and, "Filmed entirely on location in Ireland."
       Songwriter Bert Kalmar’s name was misspelled as “Kalmer” in end credits. James Brown’s backing group, the Famous Flames, appeared in end credits as “the Fabulous Flames.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1990.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1991.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1992.
---
Daily Variety
12 Jun 1992
p. 1, 48.
Daily Variety
4 Jan 2000
p. 1, 32.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1991
p. 12, 53.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1991
p. 10, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 1992
p. 4, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1998.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 2000.
---
Irish American Press
Jul-Aug 1990.
---
LA Weekly
23 Aug 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Aug 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Aug 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
5 Jan 1992.
---
New York Times
14 Aug 1991
Section C, p. 11.
Screen International
26 May 1990.
---
Screen International
10 Nov 1990.
---
Tower Record Collector
Aug/Sep 1991
pp. 34-35.
Variety
15 Jul 1991.
---
Variety
12 Aug 1991
p. 43.
Variety
23 Sep 1991
p. 3, 97.
Variety
29 Mar 1992.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Beacon Presents
A First Film Company/Dirty Hands Production
An Alan Parker Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
Co-2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
Trainee asst dir
Trainee asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Line prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Focus puller
2d cam op
Clapper loader
Still photog
Cam trainee
Cam trainee
Cam trainee
Best boy
Best boy
Rigging gaffer
Charge hand elec
Cams and lenses supplied by
Lighting equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dept asst
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
2d asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Charge hand prop
Standby prop
Standby carpenter
Standby painter
Standby rigger
Standby stagehand
Prop buyer
Dressing prop master
Const mgr
Action vehicles
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward mistress
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus arr
Mixes by
Mus coord
Mus liaison (Dublin)
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
Musicians & vocalists
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Set rec eng
Sd consultant
Multi-track crew
Multi-track crew
Multi-track crew
Asst eng
Supv sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Asst sd ed
Foley ed
ADR rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Film titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Asst to Alan Parker
Prod coord
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Asst accountant
Asst to the producers
Casting asst
Casting asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Catering
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Processed by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Commitments by Roddy Doyle (New York, 1987).
AUTHOR
SONGS
“Treat Her Right,” performed by Robert Arkins, written by Gene Kurtz and Roy Head, used by permission of Duchess Music Corporation and Joyfully Sad Music, rights administered by MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc.
“Fiddle Jig,” performed by Benedict Fox (Traditional)
“Cathy’s Clown,” performed by Cahir O’Doherty, written by Don Everly, used by permission of Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
+
SONGS
“Treat Her Right,” performed by Robert Arkins, written by Gene Kurtz and Roy Head, used by permission of Duchess Music Corporation and Joyfully Sad Music, rights administered by MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc.
“Fiddle Jig,” performed by Benedict Fox (Traditional)
“Cathy’s Clown,” performed by Cahir O’Doherty, written by Don Everly, used by permission of Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
“Spring Hill Mining Disaster, performed by Aidan O’Halloran (Traditional)
“Destination Anywhere,” performed by Niamh Kavanagh, written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, used by permission of Jobete Music Co., Inc.
“Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa,” performed by And And! And, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, used by permission of Chappell & Co.
“Letter From America,” performed by The Proclaimers, written by Charles Reid & Craig Reid, used by permission of Warner Bros. Music Ltd., all rights for Western Hemisphere administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
“Needles And Pins,” performed by And And! And, written by Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche, used by permission of EMI Unart Catalog Inc.
“I Can’t Stand The Rain,” performed by Angeline Ball, written by Donald Bryant, Ann Peebles & Bernard Miller, used by permission of Irving Music, Inc.
“Can’t Help Falling In Love,” performed by Colm Meaney, written by Luigi Creatore, George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, used by permission of Gladys Music, all rights administered by Chappell & Co.
“On The Good Ship Lollipop,” performed by Anne-Marie Scannell, written by Richard A. Whiting and Sidney Clare, used by permission of Bourne Co., Whiting Music Corp. and Movietone Music Corp.
“In A Wrong World,” performed by Conor Malone, written by Alan Parker and Paul Bushnell
“Blood Blood! Blood,” performed by Jezz Bell, written by Alan Parker and Paul Bushnell
“Clare Jig,” performed by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (Traditional)
“Beauty Queen,” performed by Emily Dawson, written by Emily Dawson
“Poppa Joe,” performed by Kristel Harris, Dave Kane and Maria Place, written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, used by permission of BMG Songs, Inc.
“Shoulder Of The Road,” performed by Daragh McCarthy, written by Daragh McCarthy
“Uileann Pipe Music,” performed by Brian Mac Aodha (Traditional)
“I Dreamed A Dream,” performed by Tricia Smith, written by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer and Jean-Marc Natel, used by permission of Alain Boublil Music Ltd.
“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” performed by Canice William, written by John Marr & Steven Morrissey, used by permission of Morrissey/Marr Songs Ltd., all rights for Western Hemisphere administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
“Baton Rouge,” performed by Patrick Foy, Alan Murray and Jody Campbell, written by Alan Parker and Paul Bushnell
“Who’s Sorry Now,” performed by Philomena Kavanagh, written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby and Ted Snyder, used by permission of Mills Music, Inc., Ted Snyder Music and Harry Ruby Music
“Only The Lonely,” performed by Eamon O’Connor, written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, used by permission of Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
“Slip Away,” performed by Robert Arkins, written by Wilbur Terrell, Marcus Daniels and Armstrong Williams, used by permission of Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc. and by Colgems-EMI Music Inc.
“Please Please Please,” performed by James Brown with the Famous Flames, written by James Brown and Johnny Terry, used by permission of Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., courtesy of Dick Clark Productions, Inc. and UPA Productions
“All You Need Is Love,” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, used by permission of ATV Music
“Moon River,” written by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, used by permission of Famous Music Corporation
“Mustang Sally,” performed by The Commitments, written by Bonny Rice, used by permission of Fourteenth Hour Music and Springtime Music
“Nowhere To Run,” performed by Niamh Kavanagh, written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Edward Holland, used by permission of Stone Agate Music (a Division of Jobete Co., Inc.)
“Do Right Woman Do Right Man,” performed by Niamh Kavanagh, written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, used by permission of Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.
“I Can’t Turn You Loose,” written by Otis Redding, used by permission of East Memphis Music Corp. & Time Music and Irving Music, Inc.
“Too Many Fish In The Sea,” performed by The Commitments, written by Norman Whitfield and Edward Holland, used by permission of Stone Agate Music (a Division of Jobete Co., Inc.)
“A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” performed by Michael Aherne with Robert Arkins, written by Keith Reid & Gary Brooker, used by permission of Bucks Music Ltd.
“Mr. Pitiful,” performed by The Commitments, written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, used by permission of East Memphis Music Corp. and Irving Music, Inc.
“I Don’t Like Mondays,” performed by Dave Finnegan, written by Bob Geldof, used by permission of Nob Music, all rights administered by Intersong Music-USA, Inc.
“Show Me,” performed by The Commitments, written by Joe Tex, used by permission of Tree Publishing Co., Inc.
“Bye Bye Baby,” performed by The Commitments, written by Mary Wells, used by permission of Stone Agate Music (a Division of Jobete Co., Inc.)
“Theme From ‘Shaft,’” performed by Isaac Hayes, courtesy of Fantasy, Inc., written by Isaac Hayes, used by permission of East Memphis Music Corp. and Irving Music, Inc.
“Hail Queen Of Heavens,” performed by Maura O’Malley (Traditional)
“Jimmy Mo Mhile Stor,” performed by Maria Doyle (Traditional)
“Take Me To The River,” performed by The Commitments, written by Al Green and Mabon Hodges, used by permission of Irving Music, Inc. and Al Green Music, Inc.
“The Dark End Of The Street,” performed by The Commitments, written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, used by permission of Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.
“Fame,” written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, used by permission of EMI Affiliated Catalog Inc.
“Mouthful Of Lies,” performed by Avant-Garde-A-Clue, written by Daniel Bintii & Gerry Leonard
“Hard To Handle,” performed by The Commitments, written by Alvertis Isbell, Allen Jones & Otis Redding, used by permission of East Memphis Music Corp., Time Music & Redwal Music and Irving Music, Inc.
“Chain Of Fools,” performed by The Commitments, written by Don Covay, used by permission of Pronto Music and Fourteenth Hour Music, all rights administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
“I’ve Got Dreams To Remember,” performed by Andrew Strong, written by Otis Redding, Zelma Redding & Joe Rock, used by permission of East Memphis Music Corp. & Time Music and Irving Music, Inc.
“I Never Loved A Man,” performed by The Commitments, written by Ronnie Shannon, used by permission of Pronto Music and Fourteenth Hour Music, all rights administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
“Try A Little Tenderness,” performed by The Commitments, written by Harry M. Woods, Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly, used by permission of EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.
“In The Midnight Hour,” performed by The Commitments, written by Wilson Pickett & Steve Cropper, used by permission of Cotillion Music Inc. and Irving Music, Inc. all rights administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 August 1991
Premiere Information:
West Hollywood screening: 6 August 1991
Los Angeles premiere: 7 August 1991
Los Angeles, NY, and Ireland opening: 14 August 1991
Production Date:
27 August--3 November 1990
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording® Dolby Stereo SR in selected theaters
Color
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
113
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, Ireland, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30632
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Dublin, Ireland, aspiring impresario Jimmy Rabbitte attends a wedding reception, where his friends, Outspan Foster and Derek Scully, provide entertainment. While the musicians are on a break, Declan “Deco” Cuffe, a drunken, overweight bus conductor, gives an impressive vocal performance before passing out. At Derek and Outspan’s request, Jimmy agrees to manage their band, on condition they fire their vocalist and adopt a repertoire of American soul music as an expression of their “working-class roots.” Jimmy auditions dozens of candidates, from which he hires saxophonist Dean Fay, drummer and blacksmith Billy Mooney, and piano-playing medical student Steven Clifford. He invites former classmate Bernie McGloughlin to audition as backing vocalist, and to bring along neighborhood beauty Imelda Quirke. Bernie agrees, and also invites her friend, Natalie Murphy. After recruiting Deco Cuffe as lead vocalist, Jimmy gathers the musicians to watch a video of singer James Brown. When Dean Fay questions their qualifications to perform African American music, Jimmy explains that the Irish are the “blacks of Europe,” and instructs the group to declare, “I’m black and I’m prowd.” Later, Jimmy is visited by middle-aged trumpeter Joey “The Lips” Fagan, an evangelical Christian who claims to have performed with many of the great soul and blues musicians of the 1960s. Believing he is on a mission from God to bring soul music to Ireland, Joey assembles the band in his garage and dubs them “The Commitments.” After buying a sound system on credit from black-marketeer Duffy, Jimmy converts a pool hall attic into a rehearsal studio. Although their first rehearsal is fraught with mistakes, Jimmy and Joey believe the ... +


In Dublin, Ireland, aspiring impresario Jimmy Rabbitte attends a wedding reception, where his friends, Outspan Foster and Derek Scully, provide entertainment. While the musicians are on a break, Declan “Deco” Cuffe, a drunken, overweight bus conductor, gives an impressive vocal performance before passing out. At Derek and Outspan’s request, Jimmy agrees to manage their band, on condition they fire their vocalist and adopt a repertoire of American soul music as an expression of their “working-class roots.” Jimmy auditions dozens of candidates, from which he hires saxophonist Dean Fay, drummer and blacksmith Billy Mooney, and piano-playing medical student Steven Clifford. He invites former classmate Bernie McGloughlin to audition as backing vocalist, and to bring along neighborhood beauty Imelda Quirke. Bernie agrees, and also invites her friend, Natalie Murphy. After recruiting Deco Cuffe as lead vocalist, Jimmy gathers the musicians to watch a video of singer James Brown. When Dean Fay questions their qualifications to perform African American music, Jimmy explains that the Irish are the “blacks of Europe,” and instructs the group to declare, “I’m black and I’m prowd.” Later, Jimmy is visited by middle-aged trumpeter Joey “The Lips” Fagan, an evangelical Christian who claims to have performed with many of the great soul and blues musicians of the 1960s. Believing he is on a mission from God to bring soul music to Ireland, Joey assembles the band in his garage and dubs them “The Commitments.” After buying a sound system on credit from black-marketeer Duffy, Jimmy converts a pool hall attic into a rehearsal studio. Although their first rehearsal is fraught with mistakes, Jimmy and Joey believe the band shows promise. Conflicts arise among the members as Billy and the girls become increasingly annoyed with the egotistical Deco, and Natalie carries on an affair with Joey. The Commitments debut at a church dance, with Jimmy’s new assistant, street-fighter Mickah Wallace, as bouncer. The group gains confidence over the course of the performance, until Deco accidentally electrocutes Derek Scully with a microphone. While Jimmy and several bandmates take Derek to the hospital, Bernie spends the night with Joey. As the band’s next performance approaches, Imelda angers her possessive fiancé, Greg, by postponing vacation plans, and Natalie develops an attraction to Jimmy, despite his seeming disinterest. Billy Mooney’s intolerance of Deco forces him to quit the band, and Mickah Wallace takes his place. Jimmy secures a paid engagement at a nightclub across town, where he is interviewed by newspaper reporter Roddy Craig. When Duffy enters the club with two henchmen, demanding money from Jimmy, Mickah leaps from the stage and singlehandedly subdues the thugs. Prior to their show the following Saturday, Joey claims to have arranged a guest appearance by singer Wilson Pickett, who is in town for an engagement. Although some band members are skeptical, Jimmy shares the news with Roddy Craig for publication in his column. On Saturday night, Deco reveals that he is considering an offer from a band with a recording contract. Dean appears with a new suit and haircut, identifying himself as a jazz musician. Bernie discovers that Imelda is also having an affair with Joey and a heated exchange ensues. Jimmy waits in vain for Wilson Pickett’s arrival, believing the band’s future depends on it. Despite their backstage bickering, the Commitments give the best performance of their career, and are offered a meager contract by an independent record company. Afterward, fights break out between band members, and Jimmy quits in disgust. He feels particularly betrayed by Joey, accusing the trumpeter of lying about his relationship with Pickett. However, Joey commends Jimmy for giving the band members an opportunity to envision better lives for themselves. As Jimmy walks home, a limousine driver asks directions to the nightclub on behalf of his passenger, Wilson Pickett. Later, Jimmy imagines himself being interviewed on television, and discusses the whereabouts of the former Commitments: Derek and Outspan are buskers; Bernie is a country music singer; Dean Fay joined a jazz band; Billy Mooney was kicked in the head by a horse; Steven Clifford became a physician; Mickah Wallace is a punk rock star; Imelda Quirke abandoned music for marriage and motherhood; Deco Cuffe is a recording artist, and more arrogant than ever; Natalie Murphy, now a famous singer, is romantically involved with Jimmy. According to Joey Fagan’s mother, her son is currently touring the U.S. with soul legend Joe Tex, who died several years earlier. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.