Let's Spend the Night Together


1h 31m 1983

Brief Synopsis

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform 24 songs during two 1980 concerts.

Film Details

Also Known As
Time Is on Our Side
MPAA Rating
Genre
Documentary
Music
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones perform 24 songs during two 1980 concerts.

Crew

John L Black

Key Grip

Alvenia Bridges

Assistant

Greg Brown

Steadicam Operator

Greg Brunton

Lighting

Patrick Burns

Assistant Director

Tom Burns

Production Assistant

Mary Ellen Canniff

Assistant Director

Ted Churchill

Camera Operator

Bob Clearmountain

Music

Eddie Cochran

Song

Dick Colean

Camera Operator

Justin Cooke

Production Assistant

Gerald Cotts

Camera Operator

Lisa Day

Editor

Ray De La Motte

Camera Operator

Craig Denault

Camera Operator

Caleb Deschanel

Cinematographer

Don Digirolamo

Sound

Duke Ellington

Song Performer

Noel Fairchild

Song

Gerald Feil

Cinematographer

Pablo Ferro

Other

Ron Furmanek

Researcher

Gil Geller

Camera Operator

Michael Gershman

Camera Operator

James Glennon

Camera Operator

Jimi Hendrix

Song

Jimi Hendrix

Song Performer

Lorinda Hollingshead

Editing

Mick Jagger

Song

James Karnbach

Film Research

Francis Scott Key

Song

Gary B Kibbe

Camera Operator

David Knott

Production Assistant

Robert Knudson

Sound

Robert Leacock

Camera Operator

Vic Losick

Camera Operator

Louis Mahler

Video Playback

Nick Mclean

Camera Operator

Michael Wayne Miller

Key Grip

Gerald R Molen

Unit Production Manager

Gerald R Molen

Assistant

Warren Moore

Song

Charles Myers

Assistant Director

Catherine Peacock

Assistant Editor

Peck Prior

Assistant Editor

Jerry Ragovoy

Song

Keith Richard

Song

William Robinson Jr.

Song

Robert Rogers

Song

Kenneth J Ryan

Associate Producer

Ronald L Schwary

Producer

Sonya Sones

Editing

Michael L Stone

Camera Operator

Billy Strayhorn

Song

Barrett Strong

Song

Marvin Tarplin

Song

Robert C. Thomas

Camera Operator

Michael Tronick

Music Editor

Gary Vermillion

Production Assistant

Jeffrey S Wexler

Sound

Norman Whitfield

Song

Lance Williams

Camera Operator

Ron Wood

Song

Film Details

Also Known As
Time Is on Our Side
MPAA Rating
Genre
Documentary
Music
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

Let's Spend the Night Together


While the definitive film about The Rolling Stones is still waiting to be made, there have been many worthwhile attempts along the way to capture the band's mystique by various filmmakers such as the 1966 documentary Charlie Is My Darling by Peter Whitehead, Robert Frank's banned 1972 exposé C*cksucker Blues, and Gimme Shelter (1970), Albert and David Maysles' dark, compelling chronicle of the disastrous 1969 Altamont concert as the Stones looked on while their Hell's Angels security force beat up festival attendees, knifing one of them to death. Let's Spend the Night Together (1983), on the other hand, was a planned collaboration between Mick Jagger and director Hal Ashby, whose intent was to capture the live experience of the Stones in concert on an audio and visual level not previously attempted in a feature film about the band.

The idea for the film emerged during a meeting between Jagger and Ashby at a Rolling Stones concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Jagger had some very specific ideas about capturing the excitement of their upcoming tour in support of the album "Tattoo You" and he wanted Ashby's recommendations for possible directors to helm it. Ashby volunteered his own services, which Jagger happily agreed to, and for the director it was a chance to do something different and fun. It was also a welcome distraction from the frustrations of studio interference he was currently experiencing on his production of Lookin' to Get Out (1982), that indirectly resulted in Ashby being denied the opportunity to direct Tootsie (1982) on which he had already spent considerable pre-production time.

Less than a month after Jagger proposed the as-yet-untitled concert film (Time Is on Our Side was an early title suggestion), Ashby began filming the Rolling Stones in concert, first at the Brendan Byrne Arena in Meadowlands, New Jersey. The best footage, however, was captured at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona where Ashby ended up directing from a gurney while hooked up to an IV (there are conflicting reports of whether Ashby had almost overdosed from partying too hard or if he had suffered a minor heart attack). For this particular concert Ashby had a twenty camera set-up, one of them placed in a helicopter to capture aerial shots, and his cinematographer team was headed by Caleb Deschanel, Gerald Feil and Garrett Brown, who produced a visually stunning look for the film. Jagger remarked during the editing process that, "There was this really beautiful backdrop of desert and mountains and we had 70,000 people...We filmed it so that you see me singing in front of lots of bright colors, like a painting really, but a helicopter pulls the camera back and you see I'm actually performing in front of a gigantic guitar. I just saw a rough cut of the scene, and to tell you the truth I hadn't thought it would film as spectacular as it does."

As Jagger was the main initiator of the project, it's no surprise that he also emerges as the real star of Let's Spend the Night Together; the other members of the band were less enthusiastic about the presence of the filmmakers - Keith Richards got so annoyed at one point that he almost started a fistfight with one of the cinematographers - but all of the musicians are captured in both intimate and live concert moments which effectively convey why this band is one of the most enduring and popular of all rock bands. Among the musical highlights are Jagger dancing on stage with a female chorus that includes his girlfriend Jerry Hall during "Honky Tonk Women," a raucous "Jumpin' Jack Flash" with Mick being lifted in the air by a hydraulic cherry picker and a high energy version of "Under My Thumb" which effectively uses some of the aforementioned helicopter aerial shots.

Marketing expert Mike Kaplan, a trusted colleague of Ashby, compared Let's Spend the Night Together to Woodstock (1970) and added that, "If The Last Waltz [1978] grossed $5 million, and it wasn't a very good movie, we could gross at least that." Yet, despite finding a European distributor for the film when a rough cut of it was screened at the Cannes film festival, Ashby's concert film was a harder sell in America. The director also wanted to reedit the film for its domestic release - it was released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria under the title Rocks Off! - and distribute as a big screen audio/visual event in the style of an IMAX presentation. "I want to do a road show kind of thing," Ashby explained, "because the film has got a lot of energy in it. Every time I screen it people come up to me afterwards and say, 'My God!' so I want to take a 70mm, six-channel stereo print and put it up where people can have some fun. I want to screen it where people can get up and dance"(from Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel by Nick Dawson).

Eventually a distribution deal was worked out with Embassy Pictures and a few selected theatres actually exhibited a 70mm print with six-track sound of Let's Spend the Night Together but the film was mostly seen in a 35mm version during its brief release. Critical response was mostly positive with Janet Maslin of The New York Times calling it "probably the handsomest rock-and-roll movie ever made," and Variety labeling it "a solid, technically sophisticated concert pic." Some critics were disappointed such as Roger Ebert who wrote that Let's Spend the Night Together is "essentially a concert film - a film recording an "ideal" Rolling Stones concert, put together out of footage shot at several outdoor and indoor Stones concerts. If that's what you want, enjoy this movie. I wanted more." Some also cited the concert movie's less effective moments such as the Rolling Stones' live performance of "Time Is on Our Side" as archival footage of the Rolling Stones in younger days and turbulent sixties newsreel clips play over the music in a self-conscious stylistic device that detracts from the concert experience on screen. Still, as a lavish cinematic record of the Stones' "Tattoo You" tour, the movie succeeds beyond expectation and should please fans of the band. Jagger, in particular, was quite happy with the results, calling it, "a much bigger, more accurate, interesting view of the concert than we'd had before in any film." Unfortunately, Let's Spend the Night Together was not a box office success and concert films have consistently proven to be unlikely box office hits with the occasional rare exception like Woodstock. Nevertheless, Ashby's rare venture into the concert film genre remains an intriguing detour during his beleaguered career in the early eighties.

Producer: Ronald L. Schwary
Director: Hal Ashby
Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel, Gerald Feil
Film Editing: Lisa Day
Cast: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart, Ian McLagan, Ernie Watts, Bobby Keys.
C-95m.

by Jeff Stafford

SOURCES:
Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel by Nick Dawson (University Press of Kentucky)
IMDB
Let's Spend The Night Together

Let's Spend the Night Together

While the definitive film about The Rolling Stones is still waiting to be made, there have been many worthwhile attempts along the way to capture the band's mystique by various filmmakers such as the 1966 documentary Charlie Is My Darling by Peter Whitehead, Robert Frank's banned 1972 exposé C*cksucker Blues, and Gimme Shelter (1970), Albert and David Maysles' dark, compelling chronicle of the disastrous 1969 Altamont concert as the Stones looked on while their Hell's Angels security force beat up festival attendees, knifing one of them to death. Let's Spend the Night Together (1983), on the other hand, was a planned collaboration between Mick Jagger and director Hal Ashby, whose intent was to capture the live experience of the Stones in concert on an audio and visual level not previously attempted in a feature film about the band. The idea for the film emerged during a meeting between Jagger and Ashby at a Rolling Stones concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Jagger had some very specific ideas about capturing the excitement of their upcoming tour in support of the album "Tattoo You" and he wanted Ashby's recommendations for possible directors to helm it. Ashby volunteered his own services, which Jagger happily agreed to, and for the director it was a chance to do something different and fun. It was also a welcome distraction from the frustrations of studio interference he was currently experiencing on his production of Lookin' to Get Out (1982), that indirectly resulted in Ashby being denied the opportunity to direct Tootsie (1982) on which he had already spent considerable pre-production time. Less than a month after Jagger proposed the as-yet-untitled concert film (Time Is on Our Side was an early title suggestion), Ashby began filming the Rolling Stones in concert, first at the Brendan Byrne Arena in Meadowlands, New Jersey. The best footage, however, was captured at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona where Ashby ended up directing from a gurney while hooked up to an IV (there are conflicting reports of whether Ashby had almost overdosed from partying too hard or if he had suffered a minor heart attack). For this particular concert Ashby had a twenty camera set-up, one of them placed in a helicopter to capture aerial shots, and his cinematographer team was headed by Caleb Deschanel, Gerald Feil and Garrett Brown, who produced a visually stunning look for the film. Jagger remarked during the editing process that, "There was this really beautiful backdrop of desert and mountains and we had 70,000 people...We filmed it so that you see me singing in front of lots of bright colors, like a painting really, but a helicopter pulls the camera back and you see I'm actually performing in front of a gigantic guitar. I just saw a rough cut of the scene, and to tell you the truth I hadn't thought it would film as spectacular as it does." As Jagger was the main initiator of the project, it's no surprise that he also emerges as the real star of Let's Spend the Night Together; the other members of the band were less enthusiastic about the presence of the filmmakers - Keith Richards got so annoyed at one point that he almost started a fistfight with one of the cinematographers - but all of the musicians are captured in both intimate and live concert moments which effectively convey why this band is one of the most enduring and popular of all rock bands. Among the musical highlights are Jagger dancing on stage with a female chorus that includes his girlfriend Jerry Hall during "Honky Tonk Women," a raucous "Jumpin' Jack Flash" with Mick being lifted in the air by a hydraulic cherry picker and a high energy version of "Under My Thumb" which effectively uses some of the aforementioned helicopter aerial shots. Marketing expert Mike Kaplan, a trusted colleague of Ashby, compared Let's Spend the Night Together to Woodstock (1970) and added that, "If The Last Waltz [1978] grossed $5 million, and it wasn't a very good movie, we could gross at least that." Yet, despite finding a European distributor for the film when a rough cut of it was screened at the Cannes film festival, Ashby's concert film was a harder sell in America. The director also wanted to reedit the film for its domestic release - it was released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria under the title Rocks Off! - and distribute as a big screen audio/visual event in the style of an IMAX presentation. "I want to do a road show kind of thing," Ashby explained, "because the film has got a lot of energy in it. Every time I screen it people come up to me afterwards and say, 'My God!' so I want to take a 70mm, six-channel stereo print and put it up where people can have some fun. I want to screen it where people can get up and dance"(from Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel by Nick Dawson). Eventually a distribution deal was worked out with Embassy Pictures and a few selected theatres actually exhibited a 70mm print with six-track sound of Let's Spend the Night Together but the film was mostly seen in a 35mm version during its brief release. Critical response was mostly positive with Janet Maslin of The New York Times calling it "probably the handsomest rock-and-roll movie ever made," and Variety labeling it "a solid, technically sophisticated concert pic." Some critics were disappointed such as Roger Ebert who wrote that Let's Spend the Night Together is "essentially a concert film - a film recording an "ideal" Rolling Stones concert, put together out of footage shot at several outdoor and indoor Stones concerts. If that's what you want, enjoy this movie. I wanted more." Some also cited the concert movie's less effective moments such as the Rolling Stones' live performance of "Time Is on Our Side" as archival footage of the Rolling Stones in younger days and turbulent sixties newsreel clips play over the music in a self-conscious stylistic device that detracts from the concert experience on screen. Still, as a lavish cinematic record of the Stones' "Tattoo You" tour, the movie succeeds beyond expectation and should please fans of the band. Jagger, in particular, was quite happy with the results, calling it, "a much bigger, more accurate, interesting view of the concert than we'd had before in any film." Unfortunately, Let's Spend the Night Together was not a box office success and concert films have consistently proven to be unlikely box office hits with the occasional rare exception like Woodstock. Nevertheless, Ashby's rare venture into the concert film genre remains an intriguing detour during his beleaguered career in the early eighties. Producer: Ronald L. Schwary Director: Hal Ashby Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel, Gerald Feil Film Editing: Lisa Day Cast: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Ron Wood, Ian Stewart, Ian McLagan, Ernie Watts, Bobby Keys. C-95m. by Jeff Stafford SOURCES: Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel by Nick Dawson (University Press of Kentucky) IMDB

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter February 11, 1983

Released in United States Winter February 11, 1983