Plays and Films about Bands


Here are some recommended plays, movies, and operas about community bands and instrumental music in general

Title Synopsis
The Benny Goodman Story Steve Allen stars in this 1955 biography of band leader, Benny Goodman
Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) 1996 German film about a daughter of deaf parents.  The daughter becomes talented playing the clarinet which causes tension.
Brassed Off This 1996 film tells of Yorkshire miners who fight, through their brass band, to keep the mine open.
Butterfly Moncho is a small boy in 1936 Spain with a liberty-loving elderly teacher, Fernando Fernán Gómez, during a period of political turmoil.  Meanwhile, Moncho's brother, Andreas, is learning to play the saxophone and ends up joining the local band.  
The Commitments There is harmony on-stage, but disharmony off-stage for this Dublin-based soul band.
The Famous Dorseys Chronicles the careers of the Dorsey brothers
The Five Pennies Jazz musician quits music to take care of sick daughter
The Gig Amateur jazz musicians get a chance to play at a resort
The Glen Miller Story Biography of bandleader, Glen Miller, as played by James Stewart
Lush Life Drama about two friends who play jazz
Mr. Holland's Opus Richard Dreyfuss stars as a high school band instructor who yearns to be a composer.
Music of the Heart A true story of a young teacher, played by Meryl Streep, who teaches music to inner-city children.
The Music Man Con man Harold Hill comes to Iowa to form a boy's band.  The show if filled with memorable songs - Til There Was You, 76 Trombones, Marian the Librarian, and Gary, Indiana to name just a few.
Pete Kelly's Blues Pete Kelly plays jazz in Kansas City in 1927 and gets involved with gangsters
Stars and Stripes Forever Biography of John Phillip Sousa
This is Spinal Tap Spoof Rock-umentary about a US tour by the fictitious band Spinal Tap
Wild Man Blues Documentary about Woody Allen playing jazz in Europe
Young Man With A Horn Kirk Douglas stars in this 1950 film about a trumpeter, Rick Martin, who leads a volatile life.  Based somewhat on the life of Bix Beiderbecke.

Other suggestions?  Send them to band@lexhamarts.org.

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Last updated: 2/15/2006