Rhino Factoids: Pink Floyd – The Wall: The Motion Picture
33 years ago today, theaters in America were graced with the cinematic adaption of Pink Floyd’s classic album, The Wall, which impressed more movie critics than it disappointed but further damaged the relationship between the members of the band.
It appears that the band – or certainly Roger Waters, anyway – always intended to make The Wall into a film, even before they’d recorded the album, although the plan in the beginning was simply to do a concert film interspersed with animated sequences from Gerald Scarfe and a handful of additional scenes starring Waters himself. EMI was befuddled by the concept, however, until director Alan Parker approached them and asked about the possibility of turning it into a film. They sent him to Waters, and Waters suggested that Parker produce it, with Scarfe and cinematographer Michael Seresin directing it, but when it was decided to drop the concert aspect of the film, Seresin dropped out and Parker stepped up to direct instead, with Bob Geldof being cast to play Pink, the role Waters had originally intended to play.
Although the film proved to be a critical success and went on to become a staple of late-night movie screenings, the members of Pink Floyd didn’t necessarily love it. David Gilmour has said that the album and concert stagings ultimately did a better job of telling the story of The Wall, while Waters described the making of the film as "a very unnerving and unpleasant experience ... we all fell out in a big way,” and in regards to actually watching the end result, he said, "I found it was so unremitting in its onslaught upon the senses, that it didn't give me, anyway, as an audience, a chance to get involved with it.”
Of course, they may be a little too close to the topic at hand to be able to deliver an unbiased opinion, but no matter what you think of the film, at least we’ve always got the album.