Last week, we tried to fill the musical void with some of my favorite movies about music, bands or the music industry. We opened things up to the Daily Herald staff for more suggestions. Here are some more I love and some from my friends in the newsroom.
“A Star Is Born”: Actor Bradley Cooper makes his directing debut in the gritty 2018 adaptation of the 1937 film, also casting himself as the star in decline opposite the fascinatingly talented Lady Gaga’s rising success. Nominated for a number of awards and winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for its original music, this flick stole hearts from theatergoers with its realistic portrayal of the rise and fall of a relationship strained by two careers in starkly contrasting places. Available on HBO, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
• Also see Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson in the 1976 version: On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu
• Judy Garland and James Mason (1954): On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu
• Janet Gaynor and Fredric March (1937): On Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Tubi
“This Is Spinal Tap”: The 1984 mockumentary (starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) chronicles the struggles of a metal band fighting to get back in the game but besieged by a number of setbacks — including promoters, internal complications and that great Stonehenge issue. On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
“A Mighty Wind”: Joining the ranks of Christopher Guest-directed mockumentaries (including “Waiting for Guffman,” “For Your Consideration” and the incredibly funny-no-matter-how-many-times-I-watch-it “Best In Show”), “A Mighty Wind” looks at the ridiculous antics of three folk bands reuniting to celebrate the death of a former music exec. On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
“Oh, God, You Devil”: George Burns stars as both the good guy and the bad guy in this 1984 comedy, where a struggling musician sells his soul to, you guessed it, The Devil, in exchange for seven years of fame and success. On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
“High Fidelity”: John Cusack waxes poetic about love, relationships and tunes in a movie set in a Chicago record store in 2000 that’s more ABOUT music than a movie about music. But it still scratches that itch. And it’s also been remade into a Hulu series I hear is pretty crowd-pleasing. On iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
“Yesterday”: What if one day the only person in the world who remembered The Beatles was a singer-songwriter? This musically based rom-com explores that premise as Himesh Patel finds success with some of the best-loved music nobody’s ever heard of. Also starring Lily James and Ed Sheeran (in a surprising performance that should erase any negative memories of his shoehorned spot on “Game of Thrones”). On HBO, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu.
For other Beatles-themed movies:
• “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964): On iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu
• “Help!” (1965): On iTunes
• “Yellow Submarine” (1968): On iTunes
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).