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The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town (2011)

Bruce Springsteen , Thom Zimmy  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Springsteen
  • Directors: Thom Zimmy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Columbia
  • DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004R0MF20
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

"The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge of Town" was directed by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. The film
received a rapturous critical response around the world, including as an official selection, Toronto International Film Festival, The BFI London Film Festival, and The International Rome Film Festival. The Los Angeles Times gave 'The Promise' five stars, while Variety called it "thrilling...a vivid portrait."

The award-winning film will be accompanied by the bonus features "Songs From the Promise," a five-song concert event filmed in Asbury Park, NJ, and "A Conversation With His Fans," an intimate question-and-answer session.

The ninety-minute documentary combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978 including home rehearsals and studio sessions with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.

"Songs From The Promise" was filmed before an audience of approximately sixty fans in December, 2010, in Asbury Park, NJ's historic carousel house. For this one-time concert event, Springsteen and members of the E Street Band lineup were joined by keyboardist Charles Giordano, a full horn section and special guest David Lindley, who played violin during the original recording sessions. Directed and edited by Zimny and mixed by Emmy-winner Bob Clearmountain, the concert features the only live E Street Band performances of four tracks from 'The Promise' plus "Blue Christmas."

Hosted by music critic and Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh, "A Conversation With His Fans" is an intimate, 22-minute question-and-answer session featuring Springsteen at his most candid.

Track list:
1.The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town
2.Songs From The Promise
-Racing in the Street ('78)
- Gotta Get That Feeling
-Ain't Good Enough For You
-The Promise
- Blue Christmas
3.A Conversation With His Fans

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand Alone Of The Promise May 4, 2011
Format:DVD
The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town was originally included as part of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town deluxe edition that was released in November '10. If you bought that set, then there is no need to pick up this dvd. But if you didn't plunk down the $100. for that superb set or don't have HBO (where this film also aired), then this dvd is a nice alternative. The film itself is first rate. It takes you right into the recording studio and you get a real feel and of how the Darkness album was made. It shows the all the frustration and pressure the band felt trying to follow-up the Born To Run album. Mr. Springsteen expresses his concerns about being a one-hit wonder at the time and trying to produce an album with substance and grit. There is also some rehearsal footage showing a shirtless Mr. Springsteen with a mountain of hair that is quite striking compared to his other public personas. This film does everything it should, show you the creative process of making an album, talk to all the key participants (band members, engineer Jimmy Iovine, etc.) and give you insight into the artists thoughts and moods.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa!!! Essential Viewing!! May 13, 2011
Format:DVD
Like the bulk of music fans from my generation, my first impression of Bruce Springsteen was established when I was young, back when Bruce was doing the Born in the USA thing. He'd stick his underbite way out, wear skin tight jeans and headbands, stomp around on stage riffing like he was in a hair band, ride those cheesy synthlines, etc. Needless to say, I wrote the guy off before I was in high school and even figured him for some sort of idiot savant. By the time I was 20 or so I was a fan of his music, surely; but not until I saw director Thom Zimny's The Promise: The Making of the Darkness on the Edge of Town did I realize that, in his day, Bruce was as cool as anyone, and an all-around brilliant man of deep artistry.

The bulk of Zimny's film is comprised of archival footage of Bruce and The E Street Band following the worldwide success of their previous album, Born to Run. Overnight, it seemed, Bruce had become a household name. His working class background forever lingering, Bruce saw the opportunity to make something that was not just better than Born to Run, but different. Next came the notebooks, then the songs, then the rehearsals, then the recording. Then more recording. Then more writing. Eventually Bruce and his band had 70+ new songs to choose from, 10 of which ended up on his now-classic Darkness record. Thanks for Zimny's film, we get to see the whole process, mixed up with recent footage of the band reflecting on the Darkness era.

The Promise is one of the 10 best music docs I've ever seen, telling a great story that focuses on a great - and brilliant - leading man. The movie reminds me quite a bit of Sam Jones' film about Wilco, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, but with a much cooler focus and much cheesier production.
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51 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to be excited about this.... March 11, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Originally released September 14, 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival; Broadcast as an HBO Special on October 7th 2010 and finally released to the public on November 16th 2010 as part of a 6 disc Box set: The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge of Town Story (3 CD/ 3 Blu-ray) or The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story (3 CD/3 DVD)

Fast Forward 4 months - Now it will be available as a stand alone DVD or Blu-ray format.

But to show the true appreciation to those who supported Bruce and bought the original box set when it came out, they've seen fit to include additional material NOT included in Box set.

In order to get these additional features, I'm expected to buy the stand alone release as well. I can't help but feel like I'm being taken for a ride.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
had Bruce released all 11 of the songs from the show instead of just 5, this would have been a more worthy re-release.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shining a Light on the Darkness August 6, 2011
Format:DVD
This documentary is brilliant on so many levels. It doucments an artist who is trying to re-invent himself, under enormous pressure, while creating something new and meaningful in the process. You can see what Bruce was up against after the success of Born to Run in 1975 and the agony of the ensuing lawsuit with a former manager over the control of his music. Bruce is clearly a "control freak" and a perfectionist in the studio, but he is also obsessive and relentless when he is creating the sound that he hears in his head. The E Street Band members are loyal to their boss in spite of the new direction he is taking them in an attempt to not repeat himself. Darkness On the Edge of Town is my favorite album by Bruce, and the 1978 tour is one of the greatest in the history of rock music. The "fly on the wall" perspective of seeing Bruce in the studio gives you a whole new appreciation for his creative process, his craft, and his incedible work ethic. While many of Bruce's peers were making disco records or snorting cocaine in 1977 and 1978, Bruce was following his muse with integrity and a rock and roll passion that cannot be faked. If you are not a fan of Bruce's music or concerts, and there must be something wrong with you if this is the case, then you can discover through this documentary what the rest of us see and hear in the man.
Paul Haider, Chicago
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for every serious Bruce fan... Love the raw footage! The...
Full of rare footage I've never seen before, like Bruce & Steven V. going at Sherry Darling almost like a joke... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cherie Mondrella
5.0 out of 5 stars A few too many interviews almost spoil it
Given the fact that there are hours, weeks, of raw footage of Bruce and the E. Street Band in 1978 at the height of their sonic powers, recording outtakes and demos and alt... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Budas Root
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Utterly compelling video of Bruce trying to finish recording Darkness at the End of Town. You don't have to look too closely to see exactly why Elvis and Michael Jackson ended up... Read more
Published 16 months ago by JayJay
5.0 out of 5 stars promise delivered
Very well done documentary of a fascinating and creative period for Springsteen. Great interviews and old footage to help tell the story.
Published 21 months ago by David M. Sasso
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking ripoff of fans
Like many others here, I purchased the box set, now I find out there is a (really extraordinary) performance of some of the songs from "The Promise" included on the standalone disc... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Stephen Maher
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness
The Promise, the left out song on Darkness on the Edge of Town is a great Blu Ray. If you like watching old clips of Bruce and the band in the Studio you will like this BLu Ray... Read more
Published on April 24, 2012 by Daniel J. Kummer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having had the "Darkness Sessions" for many years, I looked forward to the releases but have been disappointed. Read more
Published on September 29, 2011 by Peter Hyatt
4.0 out of 5 stars Great interviews and footage
Well, the actual film with the old footage of the making of the record and Bruce's interview was 5 stars. Read more
Published on September 3, 2011 by M. NyBlom
1.0 out of 5 stars Bruce is King! This is Robbery.
I too forked out the $100 + bucks for the lavish box set when it came out. Now Bruce / Columbia gonna try and squeeze another $15-$20 out of me so I can get 5 songs not in the... Read more
Published on June 19, 2011 by MRod
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!!......33 years later!
I was actually emotional during my viewing of this great film. To be able to witness the philosophy expressed and the working process exhibited by Springsteen and the E Street... Read more
Published on June 7, 2011 by Bruce R. Aydelotte
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