List of films about bands

List of films about bands
Year Film/Title Director(s) Cast/Leads Notes
1954 The Glenn Miller Story Anthony Mann James Stewart The film tells the story of the Glenn Miller Orchestra and big band leader Glenn Miller (1904–1944) (James Stewart) from his early days in the music business in 1929 through to his 1944 death when the airplane he was flying in was lost over the English Channel during World War II. The film features ten songs performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.[1]
June Allyson
1956 Rock Around the Clock Fred F. Sears Bill Haley and his Comets Considered the first true rock and roll feature film, it is a highly fictionalized account of the origins of rock. The film features several major acts of the day, including The Platters, but largely focuses on the success of Haley and his band, whose single “Rock Around the Clock” is widely considered to be the first rock and roll hit.[2]
Alan Freed
1966 Charlie Is My Darling Peter Whitehead The Rolling Stones The first documentary film about the Rolling Stones, shot during the band’s tour of Ireland in September 1965. A restored edition, with additional material, was released theatrically in 2012.
1970 Let It Be Neil Aspinall The Beatles A documentary about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be, it was filmed in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release.
Billy Preston
1970 Gimme Shelter Albert and David Maysles The Rolling Stones A documentary film chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. The film is named after “Gimme Shelter”, the lead track from the group’s 1969 album “Let It Bleed”.
Charlotte Zwerin
1977 Abba: The Movie Lasse Hallström Abba Largely filmed during Abba’s 1977 Australian tour, the film is a record of a pop band at the peak of its global chart success. It was the first English-language feature directed by future Academy Award nominee Hallström, who also directed most of the band’s pioneering music videos. He is also credited as writer, though he has admitted that much of the story, involving a radio reporter trying to land an interview with the band, was mostly improvised on the fly.[3] The film features 19 live performances including one song, “Get on the Carousel”, that has never been officially released on any other medium.
Robert Hughes
1978 The Last Waltz Martin Scorsese The Band Arranged by travel-weary Robbie Robertson as a farewell concert for The Band. Containing comments by the bandmembers and a host of notable guest performers associated with The Band, it contains concert footage and interviews taped both upon the occasion and afterward. The film drew controversy in part, as the other bandmates did not share Robertson’s eagerness to part. Other issues, according to Levon Helm, involved the lack of visibility of The Band itself, drug use both on set, (including by Scorsese and musicians ostensibly affecting the quality of the film), and Helm felt the film portrayed Robertson the key player in a star role, minimizing what appeared to him as the importance of the other bandmates and their contributions.[4]
1979 Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Allan Arkush Ramones A musical comedy about a high school girl and her quest to meet her rock heroes, The Ramones.
P.J. Soles
1982 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Lou Adler Diane Lane A cult classic starring about three teenage girls who form a punk rock band.[5]
Laura Dern
1983 Eddie and the Cruisers Martin Davidson Ellen Barkin A Jersey band in the 1960s rises to fame but right before their second album comes out, the master recordings and the lead singer Eddie, mysteriously disappear. Twenty years later a reporter investigates.[6]
Tom Berenger
1984 This Is Spinal Tap Rob Reiner Michael McKean A famous “mockumentary” about a heavy metal band trying to make a comeback while being followed around by a filmmaker.[7]
Christopher Guest
1986 Sid and Nancy Alex Cox Gary Oldman (Also known as Sid and Nancy: Love Kills[8][9]) A 1986 British film which portrays the life of Sid Vicious, bassist of the seminal punk rock band the Sex Pistols. It stars Oldman as Vicious and Webb as his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. The movie chronicles the lives of the couple and their early deaths.
Chloe Webb
1988 Vicious Lips Albert Pyun Dru-Anne Perry Film about an all-girl band that has to travel across the galaxy to play a gig.
Gina Calabrese
1991 The Commitments Alan Parker Robert Arkins A film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle, which tells the story of some unemployed Dubliners who form a soul band.
Colm Meaney
1991 The Doors Oliver Stone Val Kilmer Biopic about the 1960s rock band The Doors, focusing primarily on the life of Jim Morrison.
Meg Ryan
1994 Airheads Michael Lehmann Brendan Fraser In a desperate attempt to gain radio airplay for their demo, a would-be rock band take a local radio station hostage until their songs are played on the air.
Steve Buscemi
1996 That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks Tom Everett Scott The Wonders rise to fame for a brief while in the 60s before ultimately becoming a one-hit wonder.[10]
Liv Tyler
1997 Bandits Katja von Garnier Katja Riemann A German film about four female convicts who start a band, and then escape prison. While on the run, the heroines perform concerts and attain fame as a rock band.
Jasmin Tabatabai
2000 Almost Famous Cameron Crowe Patrick Fugit Semi-autobiographical story of writer and director Cameron Crowe’s life as a teenage journalist already working for Rolling Stone magazine while still in High School.[11]
Kate Hudson
2001 Rock Star Stephen Herek Mark Wahlberg Based loosely on the real story of the replacement lead singer for the band Judas Priest. In the film the band is the fictional “Steel Dragon” and the character is Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg). Cole’s life metamorphoses when he goes from singer of a Steel Dragon tribute band to the actual lead singer of Steel Dragon, replacing his idol in the process.[12]
Jennifer Aniston
2002 Garage Days Alex Proyas Kick Gurry The story of a young Sydney, Australia garage band desperately trying to make it big in the competitive world of rock and roll.
Maya Stange
2003 School of Rock Richard Linklater Jack Black A heavy metal guitar player voted out of his own band so later impersonates a substitute teacher for advanced placement kids for money. To compete in a battle of the bands with his former mates, the guitarist, played by Jack Black, teaches his students to be his rock group after discovering the kids are talented instrumentalists.[13]
Lucas Babin
2003 Prey for Rock & Roll Gina Gershon Gina Gershon Jacki is the lead singer of the all-girl punk band Clam Dandy. On the verge of turning 40, she decides to give the band one last shot at stardom before retiring her dreams.
Drea de Matteo
2006 Dreamgirls Bill Condon Jamie Foxx Academy-award winning, critically acclaimed story about an all-female African-American singing group in the 1960s starring Beyoncé Knowles.[14]
Jennifer Hudson
2006 BoyTown Kevin Carlin Glenn Robbins Australian comedic film about BoyTown, a fictional 80s boyband of the eighties who leave their terrible and bad-paying lives for one last crack at the big time. They return to the stage with slightly older fans and slightly larger pants to complete some unfinished business.
Mick Molloy
2007 Control Anton Corbijn Sam Riley A film about the English 1976 band Joy Division. Focus on lead singer Ian Curtis. Shows how the band rose to success and the depression that Ian had which eventually lead to his death. The film is shot completely in black and white.
Samantha Riley
2008 Rock On!! Abhishek Kapoor Arjun Rampal A Bollywood film about a 90’s-era grunge band who break up due to pressures of conforming to major label constraints. Ten years later, the estranged members meet up again by chance, eventually reforming the band and their friendships
Shahana Goswami
2008 Shine a Light Martin Scorsese The Rolling Stones A film documenting The Rolling Stones’ 2006 Beacon Theatre performance on their Bigger Bang tour. The Scorsese film also includes archive footage from the band’s career and marked the first utilisation by Scorsese of digital cinematography for his films with it being used for the backstage sequences.
Jack White
2008 Anvil! The Story of Anvil Sacha Gervasi Anvil A documentary about the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil and the lives of its members after they fail to hit it big in 80s.
2009 Bandslam Todd Graff Aly Michalka After moving to a new school, previously unpopular music enthusiast Will teams up in an unlikely pairing with former cheerleader Charlotte to form a rock group and perform in a battle of the bands competition called “Bandslam”.
Lisa Kudrow
2010 The Runaways Floria Sigismondi Dakota Fanning Film about the 1970s all-girl rock band The Runaways, based on the book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by the band’s original lead vocalist Cherie Currie.
Kristen Stewart
2010 Bus Palladium Christopher Thompson Marc-André Grondin A comedy that follows the break-up of a French rock group.
Arthur Dupont
2012 The Sapphires Wayne Blair Chris O’Dowd It’s 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.
Deborah Mailman
2012 Not Fade Away David Chase John Magaro Set in suburban New Jersey the 1960s, a group of friends form a rock band and try to make it big.[15]
Jack Huston
James Gandolfini
Bella Heathcote

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