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The Mills Bros and Fats Domino (and a guest appearance from 'The Diamonds') headline this enthusiastic but lackluster Universal film made I would guess because of the existence and box office of The Girl Can't Help It released the year before. Very short running time and rather pedestrian in tone - but in color - THE BIG BEAT is like a remake of Columbia's Rock Around the Clock - but in color - which might have been the production trade off for not having bigger genuine rocknroll stars and more footage: all to keep the budget the same as if it had. THE BIG BEAT is a compromise music drama of its era: lacking the fun and stars of The Girl Can't help It and actual rocknroll performers of any Columbia / Alan Freed movie - but in color. As a result it looks great but is slow and a bit dull. The Mills Bros and Fats Domino are terrific as always, but there is no youth energy present. Even Bill Haley and the Comets who certainly were not 20 when they broke through used their profile to be zany and hi energy on screen; Fats and Millzsz are smooth crooners: this is 1958, and the color cameras are turning! THE BIG BEAT lacks the big bounce. But! It's in color and for a 1958 radio music pic it's still good to see, even if you want to get the film out of first gear.
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