On August 6, 1982, the English rock band Pink Floyd premiered the musical drama, The Wall, based on the band's album. Bob Geldof from the Boomtown Rats starred in the film and spoke only one line that was not part of the album's song lyrics.
Pink Floyd - The Wall saw a limited release in August 1982, premiering in one theater. The film debuted on the US Box Office charts at No. 28 and earned over $68,000 in gross earnings. Directed by Alan Parker, known for the movie Mississippi Burning and the musicals Fame, The Commitments, and Evita. The screenplay was written by vocalist and bassist of the band Roger Waters, who, during the In The Flesh Tour of 1977, began to feel alienated from the audiences who he believed weren't listening to the band during the concerts. At one point, Waters was so frustrated that he spat on a fan, an act he would later admit was quite fascist.
Pink Floyd - The Wall, starring Bob Geldof
The story explores abandonment and isolation, symbolized by The Wall, and follows Pink, a depressed rock star, based on Waters and former band member Syd Barrett. The film follows Pink down a path to madness amid physical and social isolation. Bob Geldof, singer of the Boomtown Rats, portrayed Pink, whose spoken lines are directly from the album's lyrics. Only one line spoken by Pink isn't a lyric, "Next time, f*ckers!" spoken after he throws a TV out a window and then cuts his hand.
Waters was originally going to play Pink, but it was discovered he didn't have a knack for acting. Geldof was chosen for his charismatic presence, and he was a fan of Pink Floyd's music. This made him willing to work closely with the band to allow for guidance to ensure the film stayed true to the album.
Kevin McKeon and David Bingham, played younger versions of Pink and other cast members included Christine Hargreaves, Eleanor David, Alex McAvoy, Bob Hoskins, Michael Ensign, jams Laurenson, and Jenny Wright.
Pink Floyd - The Wall
The official premiere would occured on July 14, 1982, at Empire Leicester Square in London. Waters and fellow Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason attended this event. Also in attendance were Geldof, Paula Yates, Pete Townshend, Sting, Roger Taylor, James Hunt, Lulu, and Andy Summers. Artist Gerald Scarfe, who created much of the art for The Wall album and In The Flesh Tour, was also present on the premiere night.
By September, The Wall would be screened in over 600 theaters, climbing to No. 3 a the box office charts, behind E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial and An Officer and a Gentleman. By the time the movie closed in early 1983, it had generated $22 million.
""a stunning vision of self-destruction, one of the most horrifying musicals of all time ... but the movie is effective. The music is strong and true, the images are like sledge hammers, and for once, the rock and roll hero isn't just a spoiled narcissist, but a real, suffering image of all the despair of this nuclear age. This is a real good movie." "- Roger Ebert
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