“BANG! is a documentary that simply needed to be made.” – Variety
BANG! The Bert Berns Story, the much-celebrated music documentary tells the story of one of the most impactful and great songwriters of modern times, Bert Berns. Because of his early death, at only 38, the full measure of his work is often overlooked. Yet Berns, a true renaissance man, dominated the charts and met the mob. For the first time in three years, BANG! will be widely available to on-demand viewers starting this month.
View BANG! Trailer:
The film premiered in 2016 at SXSW and was universally acclaimed thereafter on the film festival circuit. A brief U.S. theatrical release, through Abramorama in 2017, earned it a one hundred percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film includes on-screen commentary from Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, and others. It chronicles the life of one of the most important songwriters, producers, and label chiefs of the 1960s, whose hits include “Twist and Shout,” “Hang On Sloopy,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Here Comes The Night” and “Piece Of My Heart.” He died at the age of 38, before the decade was out. In the film, his life is explored by such music industry fixtures as Ronald Isley, Cissy Houston, Andrew Loog Oldham, Betty Harris, Mike Stoller, Doug Morris, Joel Dorn, and Carmine “Wassel” DeNoia.
“There’s some juicy stuff here… If you love the music Berns made, you’ll love this movie.”– NY Times
BANG! The Bert Berns Story will again be available on-demand starting March 2, through Giant Pictures and Abramorama Selects. Viewers may find on the platforms in the territories noted below.
Apple TV (iTunes) – USA, UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Eastern Europe, Portugal, Greece, Africa, Caribbean, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland
Amazon – USA and UK Google Play and YouTube Rentals – US, UK, Major US Cable Providers
Until just this past decade, Bert Berns had been relegated to obscurity, his very existence known only among the cognoscenti of hardcore record collectors and old school music industry veterans. Awareness of Berns dramatically increased in recent years in what The New York Times called “the Berns boomlet.” It began in 2014 with publication of the acclaimed Joel Selvin-authored biography Here Comes The Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm & Blues (Counterpoint Press). Selvin, in fact, wrote the narrative thread for Bang!. The Broadway bound musical Piece of My Heart – The Bert Berns Story originally premiered Off-Broadway in that same year in an extended run called “stunning” by The Village Voice and “gorgeously tuneful” by The New York Times. Berns was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 by Stevie Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, The Sopranos, Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM) who is, not coincidentally, the film’s narrator.
“The film unfolds like a Hollywood noir…BANG! is sure to stir your emotions and stick in your head for some time.” – NY Observer
Over the course of his tragically brief career, Berns managed to write and produce numerous groundbreaking hits on both sides of the Atlantic and founded Bang, one of the most successful independent record labels of all time, the home of hits by Neil Diamond, The McCoys, The Strangeloves and Van Morrison. Shout Records, Bang’s sister label, yielded hits for Freddie Scott, Erma Franklin, and other R&B greats. Bert Berns is the only songwriter in history whose work has been recorded by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Them, and Led Zeppelin.
“The new high-water mark for music documentaries.” – Glide Magazine
BANG! The Bert Berns Story was executive produced by Sid Ganis and produced by Michael B. Borofsky and Brooks Arthur. Brett Berns, Bert’s son, co-directed with Bob Sarles, who also edited the film. Sarles is an Emmy-nominated film and television editor and documentary filmmaker. He co-edited the Peabody Award-winning documentary series Moon Shot, and directed and edited Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield; Fly Jefferson Airplane; John Lee Hooker: Come And See About Me; Feed Your Head: The Psychedelic Era and Soulsville.
“The film recounts the way Berns charged and hustled his way into the music business, shaping the sound and business of pop along the way… BANG! also serves as an unintentional eulogy for an era of pop that recedes into the history books.” – Rolling Stone