It took ten years for permission to use twenty of The Smiths tracks in a new movie and the result is an Indie film called “Shoplifters of the World” by Stephen Kijak and RLJE Films. It”s set in the summer of 1987 with four friends reeling from the sudden break-up of the iconic British band.
The film tells the story of a young man who, in order to seduce a girl, takes the DJ of his local radio station hostage, and forces him to play records of the English band The Smiths all night long.
Director Stephen Kijak worked hard for ten years to get access to the music from Morrissey the lead singer and Johnny Marr the guitarist.
“We knew we needed to get the access to the tracks,” explained Kijak, “and it was just a combination of a couple of really talented music supervisors and personal relationships, you know, that we continued to nurture over, you know, years.”
“Shoplifters of the World” is an eponymous song from the band that split after four albums and only five years of existence, but they left an indelible mark on music history.
Actor Helena Howard plays the lead and said, “The Smiths and The Cure, you know, and David Bowie and just like…. (it’s) something about music that is talking about everyday experiences that people go through.”
And the producers didn’t do things by halves, with the film featuring an incredible number of The Smiths tracks.
Actor and producer Joe Manganiello who plays the DJ said, “Having 20 Smiths songs, most of which have never appeared in film or TV – I mean, it’s a very special thing and it is, believe me, that is not lost on any of us.”
The film is being released in the US and will be available on platforms from 26 March worldwide.