The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (2010)

The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town (2010)

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In 1975, the album Born To Run transformed Bruce Springsteen from a barnstorming New Jersey rocker with an East Coast cult following to one of rock's most promising new stars. But the success of Born To Run brought Springsteen trouble as well as fame; when money began rolling in, he discovered just how unfair his contract with his then-manager was, leading to a long and difficult legal battle to win back control of his career. And while Springsteen spun tales of street kids in love and in trouble on Born To Run, for his next album he was eager too explore more mature themes in the lives of the working class community where he grew up. Recording the album became a long and painstaking process, as Springsteen wrote literally dozens of songs and spent months in the studio, tinkering with the tunes until the feel and the performances were exactly right. The album that resulted, 1977's Darkness On The Edge Of Town, was a critically lauded step forward for Springsteen that anticipated the themes and approach of much of his best work to follow. Documentary filmmaker Thom Zimny examines the genesis of this pivotal album in The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, in which Springsteen, his band mates, his production team and several other observers discuss the long road that led to a masterpiece. The film was included as a bonus DVD in a Springsteen box set chronicling the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions; it also played a number of major film festivals, including the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

Every great album has its own creation myth.

April 21, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

You've got to admire Springsteen's chutzpah in documenting and cataloguing his creative process with a borderline-Kubrickian obsessiveness long before his reputation warranted it...

October 5, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town

To an extent, it's for fans only, but as a Springsteen devotee I find this to be the most interesting phase of the Boss's career: embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to his star-making Born to Run album, Bruce and the band wait on the margins for three long years, prohibited from entering the studio. When the cloud finally lifts, there are about 70 songs in play, whittled down to 10 for the final product. I liked the discussion of the most known songs and how they captured the goal of the album, as well as the focus on the songs that were left off, but I was a little disappointed that the "deep cuts" weren't talked about more; "Because the Night" gets given away to Patti Smith, "Fire" to the Pointer Sisters, but we never do learn why exactly a song like "Streets of Fire" ends up on the album. Thom Zimny's Boss flicks are always a little hero-worshipping, but like I said, to an extent it's for fans only.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

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