Take It or Leave It (film)

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Take It or Leave It
Take It Or Leave It - theatrical film poster.jpg
original poster
Directed by Dave Robinson
Produced by Dave Robinson
Written by Philip McDonald
David Robinson
Starring Suggs
Mike Barson
Lee Thompson
Chris Foreman
Mark Bedford
Daniel Woodgate
Chas Smash
Music by Madness
The Four Tops
Distributed by Nutty Stiff Productions
Release date
October 1981
Running time
82 mins.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £400,000

Take It or Leave It is a 1981 film about the British ska/pop band Madness.


It was directed by the owner of Madness label Stiff Records, Dave Robinson, who also directed the band's music videos. The film's budget was paid by the members of Madness, with £20,000 each (£140,000) and £250,000 by Stiff.


The genre of the film is between documentary, drama and comedy. The film begins in Camden Town, London, on a grey day in January 1976. Three friends, Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman and Mike Barson, start to play music together. A large segment of the film is set in Pathway Studios in North London. Along the way their band suffers numerous arguments and changes in their line-up before finding success in the final scene, with a full piece Madness going out to a packed, screaming arena.


The soundtrack contains live and studio recorded Madness songs from the band's first two albums, One Step Beyond... and Absolutely, various b-sides, covers, an early song never issued on record (Sunshine Voice), and several songs from their then new album entitled 7.

The film is available on DVD, with commentary by Dave Robinson and Madness guitarist Chrissy Boy.


  • Mojo Special Limited Edition, The Ska Explosion!, "Padded Cells" by Johnny Black.
  • Total Madness by George Marshall.

External links[edit]