Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

“Is there anybody out there?”

An alienated rock star (Bob Geldof) descends into madness and toxic grandiosity while reflecting on his fatherless childhood and faithless marriage.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Alan Parker Films
  • Mental Breakdown
  • Musicals
  • Rock ‘n Roll

Peary argues that this “midnight cult hit” — “director Alan Parker’s visual interpretation of the rock opera by Pink Floyd” — is “unrelentingly downbeat and at times repulsive”, but he doesn’t “find it unwatchable — which is more than [he] could say if Ken Russell had directed this”. He notes that the film “cuts back and forth between present, past… and future”, allowing us to “witness the development of a fascist”, and adds that the “cinematography by Peter Bizou is extremely impressive and a few of the individual scenes have undeniable power” — though he simply points out (rather than praising) the “animation sequences” by “political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.” Peary’s review is a fair one, though I’ll add that the narrative — while seemingly disjointed and surrealistic — is surprisingly coherent, and maps well onto the album. This one is definitely worth a one-time look.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Powerful imagery, cinematography, and animation

  • The still-classic soundtrack/album

Must See?
Yes, as a cult favorite.


  • Cult Movie


One thought on “Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

  1. A once-must (at least), as a unique film experience. A definite cult flick.

    Dark, unsettling, challenging. An arresting portrait of a creative mind battling mental illness, ultimately opting for fascist fantasy as a means to cope… while he can.

    A rather brilliant musical score – best song: ‘Comfortably Numb’. The animation sequences are remarkable.

    Very possibly ties with ‘Mississippi Burning’ as Parker’s best work.

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