There are few bands as funny as The Smiths. Their lyrics are insightful, biting, and hilarious. They are also backed by incredible compositions and sung in the tones of a man on his way to the gallows. Each song tells a story, and we’ve put together five we would like to see on the big screen:
- “This Charming Man”
The story of a young man whose bike breaks down by the side of the road, leading to him meeting a charming man in a charming car. One of Morrissey’s lyrical masterpieces this song is allegedly about a romantic encounter Morrissey had with an older man. Taking a cue from the lyrics make it a black comedy about two men having a love affair while one drives the other to get his bike fixed, and give it to Ben Wheatley to direct.
- “Girlfriend in a Coma”
This one is a bit of a cheat as this song has, sort of, already been adapted into a book by Douglas Coupland. The book is rife with Smiths references and is a weird tale of growing up, falling in love, ghosts, and the end of the world. And at the centre of the tale is a girl who won’t wake up, no matter how much her boyfriend wants her to. I can see this as a strange suburban movie, funny but with an undercurrent of darkness (we are talking about Smiths songs after all).
- “Frankly Mr Shankly”
The second track on The Queen is Dead, this quick, jaunty song would make a great office comedy. Our hero, played by Tom Hiddlestone, is a down of his luck worker drone who finally decides he needs to stand up his boss, the weaselly Mr Shankly, played by Kenneth Branagh, if he ever want to escape work and fulfil his dreams of lighting up the silver screen. Unlike most of the other Smiths movies this one wouldn’t need to be a black comedy, but it probably would turn into one anyway.
- “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”
Only Morrissey could write a song in which the most romantic sentiment involves being hit by a bus. You can’t make a Smiths movie without it being in the genre of black comedy so how about a black romantic comedy. The pieces are there in the song for a great movie about falling in love as a teenager: unrequited love, the yearning to run away, nervousness at the idea of a first kiss, the idea that being killed by a ten ton truck isn’t all that bad. We’re about due for something to upend the romantic comedy game and perhaps something from old grim as hell Northern England might be just the ticket.
What if the world was suddenly caught in upheaval that affected not just London but also Humberside and *gasp* Dundee? The street awash with panicking people and there’s nowhere to run. Whose to blame for this horror? Who else? The nefarious DJ who must be destroyed. Or maybe it’s a movie about from the DJ’s point of view. What if DJs (the lowest kind of pond scum) were the only ones to stop the marauding panic infesting the nation. Ryan Gosling is DJ Fresh Cutz, Emma Stone is his producer, and tonight everyone’s trying to hang the DJ.
Featured Image: Rhino Records UK