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Idol on Parade (1959)

 |  Comedy  |  24 March 1959 (UK)
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A rock'n'roll idol is drafted into the wrong regiment.



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Title: Idol on Parade (1959)

Idol on Parade (1959) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Credited cast:
Sgt. Lush
Jeep Jackson
Anne Aubrey ...
Sidney James ...
David Lodge ...
Dilys Laye ...
William Kendall ...
Commanding Officer
Bernie Winters ...
Joseph Jackson
Harry Fowler ...
Norman Atkyns ...
Stage manager
Sgt. Hebrides
Sean Kelly ...
Gordon Needham ...
Cpl. Nerking
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susan Hampshire ...


A rock'n'roll idol is drafted into the wrong regiment.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

army | based on novel | See All (2) »







Release Date:

24 March 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Idle on Parade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one scene, Anthony Newley and his pals go the cinema where a movie called The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) is playing. This is an inside joke; it was one of Newley's earlier films. See more »


I've Waited So Long
Written by Gerry Laundan and Len Praverman
Arranged by Bill Shepherd
Performed by Anthony Newley
See more »

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User Reviews

The British Bye Bye Birdie
30 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From what I can tell, this film is barely known at all in the USA, where the title is spelled IDOL on Parade. I just caught it on AMC, having been intrigued by the pairing of Anthony Newley with American character actor William Bendix (who uses an Irish accent in his role as a drill sergeant).

IDLE ON PARADE was released a year BEFORE "Bye Bye Birdie" hit Broadway, and starts with the same basic premise: a teenage pop idol gets drafted. "Birdie" focuses on what happens BEFORE the idol's enlistment, while "Idle" is about his experiences in the service. The fairly predictable plot surrounds Newley with stereotyped military characters, and a love interest (a girl who is of course the daughter of the C.O.). Conflicts arise when his agent (James) tries to spring him out of camp to fulfil singing commitments. One such gig ends up in a brawl; probably the funniest scene in the picture.

Newley was too old for this role; he looks and sounds like a lounge singer rather than a teen heartthrob (remember: the Beatles were already together when this film was made). But he has charisma and good chemistry with the rest of the cast. The songs are hokey Brit attempts to mimic rockabilly music, but when the lyrics parody military life, they're funny enough. What makes IDLE really click is the supporting cast, including Bendix, hatchet-faced Lionel Jeffries, and comic stand-bys Sid James and Dilys Laye. There are many funnier military spoofs, and many better musicals, but IDLE ON PARADE is a pleasant enough diversion to keep you from going AWOL.

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