The Wall Movie by Pink Floyd
The Wall Movie by Pink Floyd is a British musical film directed by Alan Parker, released in 1982, with animated segments by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. It’s based on Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall.”
The making of the film was a considerable endeavour. It entailed 61 long and arduous days of shooting, which involved 977 shots, 4,885 takes, and 350,000 feet of film. Gerald Scarfe’s animation in the film, which comprises more than 15 minutes of its runtime, required more than 10,000 drawings. The process of editing was a mammoth task that spanned eight months.
The movie has a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes, and it received an IMDb rating of 8.0/10. It’s categorized as a drama, fantasy, and music genre film, depicting the descent of a troubled rock star into madness amid his physical and social isolation from everyone. The character of Pink is portrayed by Bob Geldof, whose real-life persona is noted to be significantly different from that of Pink.
Where can I see Pink Floyd The Wall Movie?
The movie can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. You may also find it available on various streaming platforms. I just had a quick look on Prime where it was available potentially in the USA but not the UK. However, it is available on YouTube too.
The Plot of The Wall Film
The plot of “The Wall” revolves around Pink, a rock star, who becomes increasingly alienated from the world due to a series of traumatic life events. Here’s a breakdown of the key plot points:
Early Life and Schooling
Pink’s father dies in World War II, leaving him to be raised by his overprotective mother. The absence of his father and the smothering love of his mother begin to sow seeds of alienation in him. Additionally, Pink faces harsh treatment from teachers at school, which further contributes to his growing disillusionment and resentment towards authority figures.
Rise to Stardom and Marriage
As Pink grows older, he achieves stardom as a rock musician but struggles to handle the pressures of fame. His marriage begins to fall apart due to his emotional unavailability and infidelity while on tour.
Descent into Isolation
As his personal life unravels, Pink begins to retreat into his mind, constructing a metaphorical wall around himself to keep the world out. The wall symbolizes his emotional and social isolation.
Hallucinations and Breakdown
Behind the wall, Pink starts to experience hallucinations and descends further into madness. In one of his hallucinations, he imagines himself as a fascist dictator with his fans as stormtroopers, enforcing brutal authority in a grotesque parody of a rock concert. Roger Waters has been accused many decades later of being antisemitic because of the imagery used, both in the film, and also live performances. Many would argue that Nazism is not being glorified by the movie, and that quite the opposite is true. The film says that the extreme pressures that old Pink was experiencing rotted his brain and caused awful hallucinations.
Trial and Redemption
Pink puts himself on trial in his mind, with grotesque caricatures of the significant figures in his life serving as the prosecution. The trial culminates in a verdict that orders the wall to be torn down. As the wall crumbles, Pink is left exposed and vulnerable, yet there’s a hint of hope for healing and connection with others.
The narrative of “The Wall” is deeply metaphorical and explores themes of abandonment, oppression, the consequences of fame, mental illness, and the human desire for connection amidst personal turmoil. Through its surreal storytelling and symbolic imagery, the film delves into a harrowing yet poignant exploration of human emotion and the potential for redemption.
The Wall Movie Photo Gallery
There are plenty photos in the NPF Photo gallery. Here are a selection of images below, but do also explore the archives for more in The Wall Photo Galleries – Screenshots from The Wall Movie / The Wall Live Performances / The Wall Live in Germany 1980 / The Wall Screenplay Document Images / High Resolution Gerald Scarf Drawings / Artwork of Gerald Scarfe / Mark Fisher Stage Designer Photos / 1980s Photos from The Wall
Alternative Versions of Songs from The Wall
One of the things I find most interesting about The Wall movie is the alternative recordings of the songs. Some of them sound quite different. I really enjoy listening to the alternative version of Mother because it sounds a lot more sparse and the vocals are amazing. The movie also included what was then additional songs. When The Tigers Broke Free is a fantastic song and its sad it didn’t fit onto the studio release of the album.
The Wall Movie Themes
The film delves into themes of abandonment, the loss of innocence, the oppressive nature of schooling, the horrors of war, and the dehumanizing effects of the rock and roll lifestyle. As Pink reflects on his life, he faces a personal trial and confronts his inner demons. The film, like the album, is known for its highly symbolic narrative and its criticism of the social and political systems of the time.
The movie blends live-action with animation to create a surreal and often disturbing visual experience, aiming to capture the emotional and psychological turmoil of the protagonist. The music of Pink Floyd serves as the score of the film, with the songs driving the narrative forward.
The Wall screenplay was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters. The film is highly metaphorical, and its narrative centres around a rock star named Pink who becomes increasingly alienated and isolated from the world, eventually constructing a metaphorical wall around himself.
Gerald Scarfe Animations
The film has since achieved cult status, with many praising its ambitious storytelling, the animation by Gerald Scarfe, and its exploration of dark and complex themes, although it received mixed reviews upon its initial release. Through its unorthodox narrative and powerful imagery, “The Wall” remains a unique piece in the realm of musical cinema that continues to resonate with audiences.
The cast of “The Wall” features a mix of actors, with some playing characters that represent significant figures in Pink’s life. Here are the key cast members and their roles:
- Bob Geldof as Pink: The protagonist, a troubled rock star who descends into madness amidst his physical and social isolation from the world1.
- Christine Hargreaves as Pink’s Mother: Depicts the overprotective mother of Pink.
- James Laurenson as J.A. Pinkerton (Pink’s Father): Portrays Pink’s father, whose death in World War II significantly affects Pink’s life.
- Eleanor David as Pink’s Wife: Represents Pink’s wife, whose relationship with Pink deteriorates due to his emotional unavailability and infidelity.
- Kevin McKeon as Young Pink: Plays a younger version of Pink, showcasing his early life experiences.
- Bob Hoskins as Rock and Roll Manager: Portrays a manager who is presumably involved in Pink’s musical career.
- David Bingham as Little Pink: Appears as a yet younger version of Pink.
- Various other actors play roles representing figures from different aspects of Pink’s life, including teachers, doctors, lovers, and roadies among others2.
Additional roles include American groupies, English and American doctors, hotel managers, and others, each contributing to the narrative depicting Pink’s life journey from different angles. Through their performances, the cast helps to narrate the story of Pink’s rise to stardom, his struggles with personal relationships, and his eventual mental breakdown and quest for self-discovery.
The Wall Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about “The Wall” movie by Pink Floyd along with their answers:
- What is the storyline of “The Wall” movie?
- The movie follows the life of Pink, a rock star, who becomes emotionally and socially isolated due to traumatic life events, eventually constructing a metaphorical wall around himself to cope with his pain.
- Who directed “The Wall” movie and who are the key cast members?
- “The Wall” was directed by Alan Parker. Key cast members include Bob Geldof as Pink, Christine Hargreaves as Pink’s Mother, James Laurenson as Pink’s Father, and Eleanor David as Pink’s Wife.
- What is the runtime of “The Wall” movie?
- The movie has a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes.
- What genre does “The Wall” movie fall under?
- “The Wall” is categorized as a drama, fantasy, and music genre film.
- What are the major themes explored in “The Wall” movie?
- The movie delves into themes of abandonment, oppression, the consequences of fame, mental illness, and the human desire for connection amidst personal turmoil.
- How was the animation in “The Wall” created?
- The animation in “The Wall” was created by political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, with over 10,000 drawings comprising more than 15 minutes of the film’s runtime.
- How was the film received by audiences and critics?
- “The Wall” received mixed reviews upon its release but has since achieved cult status. Some critics praised its ambitious storytelling and animation, while others found it lacking in humor and charm.
- Was “The Wall” based on an album?
- Yes, “The Wall” movie is based on Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall,” with the screenplay written by Pink Floyd’s vocalist and bassist Roger Waters.
- What are some notable songs featured in “The Wall” movie?
- The movie features songs from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” album, including iconic tracks like “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Comfortably Numb,” and “Hey You.”
- Is “The Wall” movie suitable for children?
- Due to its mature themes, dark imagery, and some disturbing scenes, “The Wall” may not be suitable for children. It’s advisable for viewers to check the movie’s rating and reviews to determine its appropriateness for different age groups.