One of the most popular British bands of the 1980s, the Smiths' bright but forceful guitar-based sound paved the way for the coming Brit-pop revolution, and lead singer Morrissey established himself as one of the most dist... more »inct front men in pop music. The Smiths: The Complete Picture is a home video release which collects promo clips and television appearances for 14 of the band's best-known songs, including "This Charming Man," "How Soon Is Now?," "What Difference Does It Make," "The Queen Is Dead," "Girlfriend in a Coma," and "Shoplifters of the World Unite." (Mark Deming, All Movie Guide) Well, if Mark thinks it's a cool DVD, we'll give it a looksy!
Actors: Heywood Hale Broun, Chuck Morgan (IV), Charlotte Rae, Don Keefer, Dan MorganDirectors: Boris Sagal, William CorriganFormat: Color, NTSCRegion: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)Number of discs: 1Rating:Studio: Reprise / WeaDVD Release Date: April 4, 2000Run Time: 50 minutesSize: 7 1/2" x 5 1/4"« less
"This collection is loathed by many, and I imagine it would be a shock to those expecting slickly-produced, MTV quality videos. But we are talking about The Smiths here, not a group known for their willingness to do videos. Quite the opposite, in fact. Add in the fact that the Smiths existed during the 1980s, when even the best videos reveled in cheesy glory. :)I quite enjoy the Top of the Pops appearances, which are what this DVD is largely comprised of. Yes, they are rather gaudy, over the top, and *very* 80s, which is precisely why I'm so fond of them. For those of us who never got to see the Smiths perform anywhere, this provides an opportunity to watch Morrissey sashay his way through many of their best known hits, complete with hearing aid and a small thicket in his back pocket. The Derek Jarman films are visually interesting, although frankly they make me a bit dizzy. The sound quality is good, and the menu makes song selection easier. If you're a diehard fan, you should own this. If you're simply someone who liked a few of their bigger hits, well, I wouldn't bother."
Smiths Live and on Video
K Hall | Phoenix, Arizona | 09/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although several of the performances were obviously staged, in general, the product is well worth the purchase for fans of the band. Lets face it, this is now a dead group who hasn't played a song together in almost 20 years, and anything that you can "get your hands on" at this stage is worth paying money for. It is a piece of history. Aside from this DVD, the only other Smiths video and performance products I have been able to purchase have included several very old performances on tape, which were not of good quality. I would recommend this to anybody who is a fan of the Smiths. Its a "must have" if you like the music, and want to go back in time to reminisce an era that once was, and will never be again. But it was certainly a lot of fun when we all lived through it. The Smiths looked every bit "themselves" on the DVD, as they did when they performed here in the states during the 1980s."
If you like the Smiths, you'll love this video.
K Hall | 08/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm shocked by the number of negative reviews. The videos are great, and since the Smiths never had much american media coverage in the first place beyond "how soon is now", this video is a great way to see Morrissey in action. Well, if you admire Morrissey and love the music of the smiths, get this video. Same goes with any video set, if you dont like the music much in the first place, you're probably not going to like the video any better."
Magnificent early to mid-eighties footage sure to delight
K Hall | 11/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Altogether, a terrific summary of who the Smiths were and a very valid representation of what they presented to the stage. Such classics as "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" playfully take off the 60's hit of the similar title, "Heaven Knows I'm Missing Him Now" and "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side" is charming for the Moz sports the word "Bad" on his neck, written in black. Ultimately, Derek Jarman's video consisting of songs from the classic album "The Queen is Dead" drags on, and to me is rather boring, but the aforementioned appearance from "The Top of the Pops" makes up for it 10x over. My only complaint, where are all of the other hits? And that is why, I guess, it is ironically titled "The Complete Picture""
More of a Postcard
General Breadbasket | 08/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Complete Picture" is a collection of 12 music videos by the Smiths. Well, you could say 14 videos, if you split the "Queen is Dead" film into three parts. Some are mimed performances from British music show "Top of the Pops", others are "trendy" promos. All of them are very 1980s. As a fan of the Smiths, I decided to check "The Complete Picture" out. I quite enjoyed it, actually.
Even when the band is miming on Top of the Pops, it still seems like they're having fun, like they're still in control. They have a presence, even there. It's odd, but interesting. The music holds it all together, I think. As for the proper promos, I do think they reflect what the Smiths were all about, (Britain, outsiders, etc) even if it is sometimes in an exaggerated way. "Ask" features a very shy young man and the girl he loves. "This Charming Man" is full of flowers. "Girlfriend in a Coma" features footage from old films, the way the album covers featured old images. "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before" has lots of bicycles, shots of Strangeways and Whalley Range (both locations mentioned in Smiths songs) plus a couple of other places.
I can't say I'm an expert on Smiths/Morrissey music videos, but I do know enough to tell you that this is a little short from the complete picture. There's another version of "The Boy With The Thorn in His Side About" where Morrissey sings in a room full of candles that isn't here, for instance. I'm sure there's a few others.
Still, I think it's at least worth a look for Smiths fans. I hope the record companies paint a more complete picture on DVD soon. Just don't paint a vulgar picture!"