The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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½ November 1, 2015
Most documentaries about rock bands do not go into the exhaustive detail of The Promise. They are mostly exercises in masturbation with drugs thrown in. This is about creativity, not the fairy kind of tepid films, but the painful hard working variety that creates most masterpieces. All members of the band get to speak, which makes the creation of the album a miracle because these men have serious creative differences.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2013
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.
½ May 9, 2013
Who knew a man who comes off on the surface like a quintessential blue collar rocker is actually a perfectionist with ambitions to make tone poems? I guess he'll prove it all night - for 400 takes.
½ March 14, 2013
The interesting journey that Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band went on to make the follow up record to Born to Run, all the struggles & creative walls they hit.

It honestly shows the Ego Bruce had to have to get the project going but his dedication to the sound and artistry of the album is incredible to see and all the people interviewed equally feel the same about Bruce & the journey they went on.

It really shows a man giving his all, 110% to get the music & lyrics right and the incredible artistic journey they went on....a subtle simple Doco top watch.
½ January 7, 2012
The Promise is an insightful look into one of Springsteen's most important records. The documentary is pretty straight forward in it's depiction of the drama in making a classic album. The Promise is far less important than the album it documents, but it remains a worthy look into the creative process of music.
December 31, 2011
This is an absolute must for fans of Bruce Springsteen & for fans of Rock N Roll in general. During the 2nd viewing of this I quickly realized that this Rock N Roll documentary about one of the essential Rock N Roll albums of all time completely blows away another documentary about another essential all time album. The one about the making of Exile On Main Street.
September 28, 2011
This Film was fucking amazing i loved it i hope he dose one for his Born in the Usa and his tunnel of love
½ June 30, 2011
Pretty great doc on one of the greatest albums ever. Bruce comes across as a very intense but very thoughtful and soulful guy. The ins and outs of making a great record have rarely been as well documented.
½ April 4, 2011
The Promise is an insightful look into one of Springsteen's most important records. The documentary is pretty straight forward in it's depiction of the drama in making a classic album. The Promise is far less important than the album it documents, but it remains a worthy look into the creative process of music.
½ October 17, 2010
As much as I love Springsteen, and as neat as it is to see the genius at work, they could have picked a better album.

Springsteen is like Hemingway for me... I don't like all his stuff, but his good stuff is as good as anything out there. And he has plenty of good stuff. Regardless of the music on this album, his follow-up try after the smash Born to Run, I know what Bruce does down the road, so it's fun to watch him at work.

It is obvious The Boss is all about passion. Even in 2010, his concerts appear to be the best ticket out there. Maybe only Garth Brooks can compete with intensity. That is one reason I like Springsteen so much, and some of that passion is evident here. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of something else to put yourself out there artistically. Frankly, some of what Springsteen did on tape back in the day seems silly and childish. If I didn't know his other stuff, I'd write him off as half a quack. Instead, that passion and silliness are somewhat inspiring. Even on the bad songs, it seems, Springsteen gives a song his all. Imagine what he must have acted like on the good songs.

Secondly, I like Springsteen because of the attitude. Few, if any, have written about the working class better than the Boss. Even fewer have done so believably. I don't think it is as present on this album (but who knows, I don't really know the songs), but a collection of his greatest hits reveals a true genius in telling the story of the working man. Part of this documentary was the struggle of a man/band that was working class, then had a lot after a big first album. How could he still write about those things? This docu doesn't really get into that as it stays mostly on this album, but it's obvious he was able to hold on to those roots and still does today. To keep the passion and still making moving music through all these years is what makes Springsteen the one and only Boss.
½ October 15, 2010
If you love Springsteen, you're gonna love this look at one of his best albums and will go crazy on some of the archival live and studio footage from the recording sessions. Could have gone a little deeper into a couple of the tunes ("Adam Raised and Cain" and "Promised Land") but all the boys are here and die-hard fans need to see this.
October 10, 2010
This is an absolute must for fans of Bruce Springsteen & for fans of Rock N Roll in general. During the 2nd viewing of this I quickly realized that this Rock N Roll documentary about one of the essential Rock N Roll albums of all time completely blows away another documentary about another essential all time album. The one about the making of Exile On Main Street.
October 4, 2010
a must see for any springsteen fan. the studio footage is epic and something you'll want to savor every second of. it was also pretty sweet to see the world premiere with bruce sitting two sections away. pick up the rerelease of the 'the promise: the darkness on the edge of town story' on november 16th.
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