Pink Floyd’s THE WALL: 25 years ago this week

posted by efriedmann on August 8, 2007 at 7:55 am

PINK FLOYD: THE WALL opened on August 6, 1982. It was directed by Alan Parker (who had previously scored a big hit with FAME two years earlier), written by Roger Waters (the album’s original creator) and designed by Gerald Scarfe (the album’s original animator).

In New York City, the film opened at the famous Ziegfeld Theatre. Film critic Roger Ebert called it one of the best new films he’d seen in years. For years after, it dominated many of the “midnight movie madness” screens with nearly the same popularity as THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.

I first saw the film out of pure curiousity. I rented the video in 1984 at the age of sixteen, not knowing anything about the movie, The Wall album, or even Pink Floyd, for that matter. I had merely heard that this movie was supposed to be good. It was immediately apparent that this was no ordinary movie with the traditional three-act structure. This was an R-rated, 90-minute rock video (virtually no dialogue) and an all-out attack on the senses.

At the heart of the story was a burned-out, drug-addicted rock star named Pink (played by Bob Geldof), who is slowly alienating himself from all of those around him as he builds “the wall” around himself, brick by brick, and slowly goes insane, until the final moment when the wall is torn down in a furious rage. When it was over, I was absolutely blown away! I rewound the tape and watched it two more times before having to return it to the local neighborhood video store (Blockbuster chains had not opened yet). I must have worn out my video card re-renting that movie over and over again.

Thus, a longtime Pink Floyd fan was born. That movie led to my obsession with The Wall album and that inevitably lead to their other classic albums like DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, WISH YOU WERE HERE, ANIMALS, THE FINAL CUT, etc. Pink Floyd has been my favorite band ever since.

I would not see PINK FLOYD THE WALL on screen, though, until around 1987, at the Amherst 3 in Buffalo, New York, where I was at college. Basically, there are two ways you can watch this movie; sober and straight or…not. The latter is a lot more fun.

If you’ve never seen this movie and are a fan of Pink Floyd’s music and the The Wall itself, then see it…see it…see it!

And to Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason…thank you for 25 years of great movie madness!

Theaters in this post

Comments (7)

efriedmann on August 8, 2007 at 12:37 pm

“Is there anybody out there?”

vic1964 on August 8, 2007 at 4:50 pm

It was the Park theatre in London Ontario.Our only 70mm venue but THE WALL only played in 35mm stereo surround.It still sounded so great that my friends and i must have gone to see it 20 times!Fame had played in 70mm so i knew how good a musical could sound in this place.I love the film and cant wait for HD DVD with true HD audio or a theatrical re release.

BradE41 on August 9, 2007 at 5:35 pm

I worked at the Mann Village in Westwood during that Summer. We opened it Exclusively and it played for 2 months. It was a trip because almost everyone came in stoned. They were the nicest crowd and they ate ALOT of popcorn. :–) It was a 70MM Engagement.

William on August 10, 2007 at 7:48 am

I saw the Wall at the Mann’s Village and at the Mann’s National in Westwood, both in 70MM. And a special screening at the Cineplex Odeon (Festival) in Westwood in 70MM a few years later. All looked and sounded great in those theatres.

MPol on August 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I first saw “Pink Floyd: The Wall” at the Orson Welles Cinema, in Cambridge, MA, back in the spring of 1982, when I was living right around the corner from that cinema. My brother and I took in a midnight screening of it, and it was a cool film. Not long ago, “Pink Floyd: The Wall” played again, at the Brattle Theatre, and I went to see it again. I enjoyed this intense film immensely…both times.

TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Played it first run at REGENCY 1.2.3. Cinemas.Augusta. I never could see what the big deal was with kids wanting to cross over all day.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment