The Rolling Stones historic and triumphant return to Hyde Park was without doubt the event of the summer.
Over 100,000 delirious fans of all ages packed into the park for two spectacular outdoor concerts to watch Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood do what they do best. The Stones delivered a five star performance that had both fans and critics singing their praises.
The set packed in hit after hit and saw the band joined by former guitarist Mick Taylor for a special guest appearance on two songs.
This stunning concert film is the perfect way to celebrate the return of The Rolling Stones back where they truly belong: live on stage in their hometown.
The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live is an unmissable cinema event for fans worldwide.
The Rolling Stones And Their Films
They were never filmed being chased by screaming female fans.
Their drummer was never the subject of a madcap movie involving a fictional eastern cult.
They were never animated and made to travel in a brightly colored underwater vehicle.
Still, that doesn’t mean the Rolling Stones weren’t in their share of films. In fact, the Rolling Stones are one of the most filmed bands of all-time.
The Stones on IMDB
If you peruse the Rolling Stones’ IMDB page you’ll find that they have more than 400 film and television credits. That’s more than other notable rock bands and artists such as Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young and Jethro Tull, to name a few.)
According to the aforementioned site, the Rolling Stones have contributed to nearly 300 soundtracks, appeared as themselves in 62 projects, and have been seen in archival footage more than 50 times.
A Brief History Of The Stones
It’s not a surprise that the camera loves the Rolling Stones.
Not only have they’ve been around for more than half a century, but they’re “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” they’ve sold more than 200 million albums, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the 1980s!
They’re not only responsible for some of the greatest rock songs and albums of all-time but they’re also responsible for a slew of classic rock and roll films.
According to the band’s website, the Rolling Stones filmography contains 16 entries. Those 16 entries can be broken down into documentaries, concert films, and collections…
25×5: The Continuing Adventures of the Rolling Stones (1989)
Shine a Light (2008)
Stones in Exile (2010)
Crossfire Hurricane (2013)
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (1974)
Let’s Spend the Night Together (1983)
Stones at the Max (1991)
The Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Live (1994)
Bridges To Babylon Tour ’97-98 (1998)
Four Flicks (2003)
The Biggest Bang (2007)
Some Girls Live in Texas ’78 (2011)
Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones Live At The Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 (2012)
Sweet Summer Sun: Live in Hyde Park (2013)
The Stones’ Video Collection
Video Rewind (1984)
The above selections tell the band’s story, demonstrate their prowess on the concert stage, and reveal their contributions to the “music video” format.
Yet, there are many more entries one could add to the band’s filmography.
Additions include the concert films L.A. Friday (2014) and Hampton Coliseum (2014) as well as two selections that are part of the “From The Vault” series: The Marquee Club Live in 1971 (2015) and Hyde Park 1969 (2015).
Even More Rolling Stones Films
Interestingly, there are even more films we can add to the band’s resume. These other films, however, don’t exactly cast the band in the best of lights.
That’s not to say they’re anti-Stones, or that you should ignore them if you’re a fan. It’s just that the band would rather distance themselves from the following films.
Charlie Is My Darling
Charlie Is My Darling is the first documentary about The Rolling Stones. It was filmed in September of 1965 while the band toured Ireland.
Just 64 minutes long, the film was shown in 1966 then shelved. It was never officially released due to legal battles and theft—the original print was stolen.
It didn’t help that between the time the film was made and the time it was ready to be exhibited, color film arrived and made Charlie Is My Darling look outdated.
The flick, which was supposed to be a precursor to a full-length Rolling Stones feature, was abandoned until 2012. That’s good news since CIMD is quite entertaining and a must-see for Stones fans.
Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
Please allow me to introduce this movie, Sympathy for the Devil. It’s directed by Jean-Luc Godard and released in 1968. In Europe, it was called One Plus One.
The movie cuts between The Stones rehearsing and recording their classic “Sympathy for the Devil” with scenes featuring the Black Panthers, Nazis buying comic books, and a woman in a dress named “Eve Democracy.”
The art film, with its pro-Marxist themes and its anti-western slant, is no Hard Day’s Night. In fact, the movie would have been a lot better had they cut out the politics and included more “Sympathy.”
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968)
Mick Jagger came up with the idea of combining rock music and the circus. The result was The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.
The concert, held in a faux circus tent, was recorded on Dec. 11, 1968. It was meant to be aired on television and featured performances from The Who, Jethro Tull (with Tommy Iommi), Taj Mahal, and Marianne Faithful.
John Lennon also performed. Not as a member of The Beatles but as a member of Dirty Mac—a supergroup that featured Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell (they never performed again).
Although it was shot in ’68 it wasn’t released until 1996.
Why was it shelved for nearly 30 years?
According to the Stones, they didn’t like their performance. They starting shooting around 2pm but didn’t take the stage until 5am the following day. Meaning, when they finally got around to perform they were exhausted.
Others believe the Stones shelved the project because The Who upstaged them.
If you know, going into the film, that the Stones were exhausted then they do look tired. As for The Who, their performance was really good, but it was no better or worse than the Stones.
Lennon and Dirty Mac would have upstaged everybody had it not been for Yoko.
This was the last time Brian Jones appeared with the Rolling Stones.
Gimme Shelter (1970)
Gimme Shelter wasn’t shelved, stolen, or caught up in legal wrangling. The only thing Gimme Shelter has going against it is a murder.
Gimme Shelter started out as a concert film, grew into a piece about the Stones’ 1969 U.S. Tour, and is famous for its coverage of the Altamont Free Concert.
During the Stones’ performance at Altamont, 18-year-old Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death. His murder was caught on film.
Partly organized by the Stones, the Altamont Free Concert is widely regarded as one of the most disastrous concerts of all-time. It earns this honorific in large part because the Hells Angels were hired as security.
A member of the Hells Angels, Alan Passaro, stabbed Hunter. Despite the visual evidence, Passaro was acquitted of all charges as the stabbing was deemed self-defense.
Woodstock, which occurred four months earlier, experienced no major incidents of violence and drew 400,000. Altamont, which was plagued by violence, only drew 300,000.
One of the cameramen for the Altamont Free Concert was a guy by the name of George Lucas. None of his footage was used in the movie.
Cocksucker Blues (1972)
As much as Altamont was a regrettable incidence, the 1972 documentary Cocksucker Blues is an embarrassing one.
The film documents The Rolling Stones on their 1972 tour of America supporting their classic album, Exile on Main St.
The film showed the Stones at their most exposed and explored parts of a rock and roll tour that few had ever seen.
Only one problem, most of what the film captured was highly embarrassing to the band. For example, there’s footage of Jagger snorting cocaine and Richards passed out on heroin.
The documentary was so decadent and hedonistic, and the Rolling Stones came across so poorly, that the band had to get their lawyers involved.
A court order was then issued stating that the film could only be shown four times a year, in an “archival setting,” and with its director, Robert Frank, in attendance.
Keep in mind, it was the Stones who originally commissioned the film.
The movie is named after the band’s final single for Decca Records. The single was written and recorded specifically to upset the label. And this memorable title had the intended effect.
This isn’t really a Rolling Stones film, but it’s included because the dramatic work is quite influential.
Performance is a crime drama starring Mick Jagger (his acting debut). It was a cult hit from the start but in recent years it’s been reevaluated to be one of the better examples of British cinema.
The film is famous for its graphic depiction of sex, violence, and drug use.
Music wise, the flick contains the song “Memo from Turner.”
The only member of the Stones that we know for sure played on the track was Jagger (lead vocals). Composing credits went to both Jagger and Richards.
Jagger lip-synchs the song in the movie.
The iconic Rolling Stones have not only left their mark on the world of rock ‘n roll, but they have also created a corpus of fascinating movies and documentaries that only seem to add to their legend.