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Jul 1, 2012
Salem, Oregon
Real Name
Mychal Bowden
Following the success of the 1984 documentary Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads front man David Byrne was given the chance to expand his creative and idiosyncratic mind from the world of music and into the world of film as a director. The result, True Stories, was a surreal comedy – inspired by the extraordinary real life stories published in the tabloids – with elements of drama and musical mixed in for good measure. A longtime cult staple in the home video era, the movie now arrives on Blu-ray for the first time from the Criterion Collection via license by Warner Bros.

True Stories (1986)

Released: 10 Oct 1986
Rated: PG
Runtime: 90 min

Director: David Byrne
Genre: Musical, Comedy

Cast: David Byrne, John Goodman, Annie McEnroe, Jo Harvey Allen
Writer(s): Stephen Tobolowsky, Beth Henley, David Byrne

Plot: A...

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Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 2005
Nice review. While the detail is great in the film, the color timing did nothing for me. I don't think I will be watching this ag.ain, and that is a shame as I really enjoy it

I love the "making of" feature, the soundtrack ,and newspaper as extras though. Criterion sure knows how to impress in that regard.


Senior HTF Member
Nov 7, 2012
Real Name
Kevin Oppegaard
That is a nice review! I've been a big fan of Talking Heads since I saw Stop Making Sense in 1985. I remember my initial crushing disappointment when I saw True Stories the following year. I was expecting a rock 'n roll musical - which it definitely wasn't. And I didn't then enjoy the fact that most of the songs in the film were sung by other singers than the band. However, as I've got older, I've have enjoyed many of David Byrnes solo albums and projects and it was great to revisit True Stories earlier this week. I saw David Byrne in Amsterdam last month on his remarkable American Utopia tour and my respect for him as an artist has only increased. The inclusion of soundtrack CD is in itself reason enough to buy this disc and I now prefer the cover versions done by the other singers! Funny how things change!

The Drifter

Jan 29, 2019
Real Name
Saw True Stories last December on the Criterion Disk, for the very first time. Being a moderate Talking Heads fan since the '80's, I figured I would give it a chance - even without knowing anything about the movie.

Well, I felt this was an interesting, faux-documentary film with a strong indy feel/vibe. Very quirky, like a lot of the TH song/lyrics. I believe the town of Virgil, TX is fictitious, but the movie seemed to be based on fact in many ways. I enjoyed the seeming condemnation?! of US consumerism/excess, as well as the bizarre set pieces/clothing. There was one scene in particular when the John Goodman character was talking to a woman sitting on a couch - and her clothes matched the pattern on the couch, so she kind of blended in - very funny, and obviously intentional

My favorite scene in the film was when various "townspeople" (including kids) came up on the stage and lip-synched to the iconic TH tune "Wild Wild Life" - hilarious!!! This made the absurdity of the lyrics even more bizarre - LOL
This was obviously a revised/slightly different/extended?! version of the music video.

Also very funny was when JG went to some kind of faux "love guru" so he could help his love life. The "love guru's" room was decorated in an extremely colorful, chintzy/cheap & gaudy way - the Elvis picture/towel?! in the background of one scene was especially cringe-worthy - LOL. And, the B.S. "advice" this guy gave JG was laughable & bogus, but that's much of what made this whole sequence extremely funny.

Also very funny was the scene of the two kids laughing their heads off, while reading the tabloid news headlines - LOL.

All in all, this film is worth checking out if you haven't already seen this - especially if you're a fan of the the TH pop/rock group.

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