Film: Take It Or Leave It pg rating Year: 1981
Take It Or Leave It DVD Cover
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Country: UK Genre: Comedy / Musical
Director: Dave Robinson
Starring: Suggs, Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman, Mike Barson

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Take It Or Leave It Synopsis -Take It Or Leave It is the true story of how 1980's pop legends Madness got together. The story starts in 1976 with Mike (piano) Chrissy Boy (Guitar) and Lee (Saxophone) in a front room trying to play along (with varying degrees of success) to various old Rock and Roll and RnB numbers being played on an old stereo. As time moves on various members drift in and out of the band, but Chrissy and Mike keep going with the band and improving musically (whilst holding down various menial jobs). In the midst of fights, break ups, wind ups, and temper tantrums a stable six piece line up is decided upon, and the band start to get some gigs lined up and also build a local following.

Review of Take It Or Leave It - What is truly remarkable about Take It Or Leave It is that it was shot in seven days. The performances from the band are very good indeed, and exceptionally naturalistic. The story of their early days is fascinating and it captures the vast amount of line up changes within the band (including three of the final line up who had left at various stages in the early days and then came back to be in the band). What the film does exceptionally well is to evoke the excitement of the band as they start to get gigs and become a proper band. Of course the music is also excellent. This is certainly one of the best pop films ever made.
The reasons I recommend Take It Or Leave It are: 1. Superb retelling of the early years of pop group Madness. 2. A superb soundtrack (as you may expect).