Region 1 DVD cover
|Directed by||Mike Figgis|
|Produced by||Nigel Stafford-Clark (producer)
Alan J. Wands (associate producer)
|Written by||Mike Figgis|
Tommy Lee Jones
|Music by||Mike Figgis|
|Editing by||David Martin|
|Distributed by||Atlantic Releasing|
|Release dates||22 April 1988|
|Running time||93 min.|
Stormy Monday is the 1988 feature film debut of director Mike Figgis. Starring Sean Bean, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting and Melanie Griffith, it is an atmospheric, noirish thriller. The notable jazz soundtrack is also by Figgis. Being set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, the film is something of an homage to Get Carter. The film's title is named after blues guitarist/singer T-Bone Walker's signature song "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)"
A young man, Brendan (Sean Bean), seeks work in a jazz club ('The Key Club') owned by Finney (Sting). There is some suggestion that Finney has past connections with organised crime but is attempting to leave these behind. Two gangsters arrive to make Finney an offer 'he cannot refuse' for his club but Brendan overhears them and warns Finney, who then turns the tables on them. At the same time Newcastle is preparing to host a visit from a group of American investors that it hopes to engage in a grandiose regeneration project. Kate (Melanie Griffith), a waitress, has been recruited to service the delegation. Kate and Brendan meet and fall in love. Among the visiting group is Cosmo (Tommy Lee Jones) a corrupt businessman who we learn uses Kate as a prostitute to secure business deals. It is Cosmo who has been putting the pressure on Finney as the club stands in the way of his plans for the city leading to an eventual conflict.
A subplot involves an avant-garde jazz group called the "Kraków Jazz Ensemble" who visit Newcastle to perform and become entangled in the conflict. One of the film's longest scenes is a celebration to which the group is invited; this takes place among members of Newcastle's Polish community.
The production was initially a low budget project funded by Channel 4 and British Screen. When the film attracted American financing it was suggested that the film be recast with American actors. Both Melanie Griffith's and Tommy Lee Jones' careers were in a dip at the time and agreed to take parts at a lower fee. Between the time of the film being shot and its release Working Girl was released and Griffith became an Oscar-nominated star. This secured Stormy Monday greater attention on its US release helping revive interest in Jones and propel Figgis and Bean to Hollywood.