Take It or Leave It


Time Out says

This purports to be the 'true story' of the formative years of the north London bluebeat-inspired band Madness. By conveniently ending just before the onset of the band's unbroken spell of singles charts successes, the film sidesteps the usual rock movie concerns: the pressures of the music biz, the personal toll of overnight success, etc. Instead, it delivers an enjoyable enough picture of what it's like to be young, broke, working class, and trying to put a band together. The problems, according to Madness, are personnel changes, in-fighting, sheer idleness and selfishness, and - not least - lack of musical competence. But given the band's succession of fine hit singles, this last claim, and the fact that it fudges the issue of Madness' relationship with its early skinhead following, are the two things it's most difficult to swallow about the film. Otherwise, it's an adequately mythologising promo job.


Release details

87 mins

Cast and crew

Dave Robinson
Madness, Philip McDonald, Dave Robinson
Graham McPherson
Mark Bedford
Lee Thompson
Carl Smith
Dan Woodgate
Christopher Foreman
Mike Barson
John Hasler
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