Making Movies

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Making Movies
Sleeve of Making Movies.svg
Studio album by
Released17 October 1980
Recorded20 June – 25 August 1980
StudioPower Station, New York
GenreRoots rock
Warner Bros. (USA),
Mercury (Canada)
ProducerJimmy Iovine, Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits chronology
Making Movies
Love over Gold
Singles from Making Movies
  1. "Romeo and Juliet"
    Released: 9 January 1981
  2. "Skateaway"
    Released: 1981
  3. "Tunnel of Love"
    Released: 2 October 1981

Making Movies is the third studio album by British rock band Dire Straits released on 17 October 1980 by Vertigo Records internationally, Warner Bros. Records in the United States and Mercury Records in Canada. The album featured the single "Romeo and Juliet," which reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart. The album reached #1 on album charts in Italy and Norway, #19 in the United States and #4 in the United Kingdom. Making Movies was later certified platinum in the United States and double-platinum in the United Kingdom.


After Dire Straits' Communiqué Tour ended on 21 December 1979 in London, Mark Knopfler spent the first half of 1980 writing the songs for the band's next album. He contacted Jimmy Iovine after hearing Iovine's production on the song "Because the Night" by Patti Smith—a song she'd co-written with Bruce Springsteen. Iovine, who'd also worked on Springsteen's Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town albums, was instrumental in recruiting E-Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan for the Making Movies sessions.[1]

Making Movies was recorded at the Power Station in New York from 20 June to 25 August 1980. Jimmy Iovine and Mark Knopfler produced the album.

David Knopfler left Dire Straits in August 1980 during the recording of the album. His guitar tracks were almost complete for the album, but were re-recorded by his brother. David appears on video playing "Solid Rock" and "Les Boys" live in concert, but these performances preceded the recording.

Four songs were recorded during the sessions but not released on the album: "Making Movies," "Suicide Towers," "Twisting by the Pool" and "Sucker for Punishment." "Twisting by the Pool" was released on the ExtendedancEPlay EP on 10 January 1983. The title of the album is taken from a line in the song "Skateaway" and from the outtake "Making Movies."


Making Movies was released on 17 October 1980 on LP and cassette formats. In 1981, an identically named short film was released on VHS and Beta, as well as screened in some theatrical venues, consisting of three music videos directed by fashion/commercial photographer Lester Bookbinder, for "Romeo and Juliet," "Tunnel of Love" and "Skateaway." The original CD version was released in 1984. The album was remastered and released on CD with the rest of the Dire Straits catalog in 1996 internationally, and on 19 September 2000 in the United States.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauC+[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[6]

In his retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album four and a half out of five stars, noting that Making Movies "ranks among the band's finest work."[3]

In his review for Rolling Stone, David Fricke gave the album four out of five stars, writing:

Making Movies is the record on which Mark Knopfler comes out from behind his influences and Dire Straits come out from behind Mark Knopfler. The combination of the star's lyrical script, his intense vocal performances and the band's cutting-edge rock & roll soundtrack is breathtaking—everything the first two albums should have been but weren't. If Making Movies really were a film, it might win a flock of Academy Awards.[6]

Rolling Stone ranked Making Movies number 52 in their survey of the 100 Best Albums of the Eighties.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler, except where indicated.[7]

Side one
1."Tunnel of Love" (Extract from "The Carousel Waltz" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II)8:11
2."Romeo and Juliet"6:00
Side two
1."Expresso Love"5:12
2."Hand in Hand"4:48
3."Solid Rock"3:19
4."Les Boys"4:07
Total length:37:39


Dire Straits[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


Charts and certifications[edit]


The album spent 252 weeks on the UK Albums Chart.[9]

Chart (1980–81) Peak
Spanish Albums Chart[10] 6


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia 125,000[11]
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[12] Platinum 53,858[12]
France (SNEP)[13] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[14] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[15] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[16] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[17] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "100 Best Albums of the Eighties: 52: Making Movies". Rolling Stone. 5 February 1980. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Making Movies". Discogs. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Making Movies". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Dire Straits". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (23 September 2020). "Dire Straits: Dire Straits Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b Fricke, David (5 February 1980). "Dire Straits: Making Movies". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b Making Movies (booklet). Dire Straits. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1980. p. 2–4, 11. 947771-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Sid McGinnis". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Making Movies". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  10. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  11. ^ "Major fight economics with quirky rock originals". Billboard. 12 June 1982. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Dire Straits" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  13. ^ "French album certifications – Dire Straits – Making Movies" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  14. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dire Straits; 'Making Movies')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  15. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Dire Straits – Making Movies" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Making Movies in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  16. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Dire Straits – Making Movies". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Dire Straits – Making Movies". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Making Movies in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Dire Straits – Making Movies". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]