Down 9,789 this week

Expresso Bongo (1959)

 -  Drama | Music  -  18 May 1960 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 207 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

Johnny Jackson, a sleazy talent agent, discovers teenager Bert Rudge singing in a coffee house. Despite Bert's protestation that he really is only interested in playing bongos, Johnny ... See full summary »



(play), (play), 1 more credit »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 26 Apr 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
a list of 1166 titles
created 13 Aug 2011
a list of 6 titles
created 02 Mar 2012
a list of 1691 titles
created 02 Apr 2013

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Expresso Bongo (1959)

Expresso Bongo (1959) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Expresso Bongo.
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »


Complete credited cast:
Yolande Donlan ...
Meier Tzelniker ...
Ambrosine Phillpotts ...
Gilbert Harding ...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Reverend Tobias Craven


Johnny Jackson, a sleazy talent agent, discovers teenager Bert Rudge singing in a coffee house. Despite Bert's protestation that he really is only interested in playing bongos, Johnny starts him on the road to stardom. The deal they cut, however, is highly exploitative of the young singer, and their relationship soon begins to go bad. Written by George S. Davis <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Laurence Harvey in an outstanding and different motion picture that takes you into a world of burlesque houses .. jazz dens ... and flesh-and-blood people!


Drama | Music


See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 May 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Expresso Bongo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite Cliff Richard being at the time Britain's hottest male singer, the EP record of his songs from the film barely scraped into the singles charts, failing to make the top ten. See more »


Version of Bongo Boy (1965) See more »


You Can't Fool You
Music by Robert Farnon
Lyrics by Paddy Roberts
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Laurence Harvey does Phil Silvers
10 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Laurence Harvey gives an agonizing performance in the agonizing "Expresso Bongo," a British film from 1959.

A fast-talking low-life agent, Johnny Jackson (Harvey) discovers a young bongo player/singer (Cliff Richard) from a poor family, renames him Bongo Herbert, and brings him to stardom by wheeling and dealing. Shades of Colonel Parker, especially when he takes half of Bongo's earnings. When the singer meets an American star, Dixie Collins (Yolande Donlan) who is making a triumphant return to London, Jackson starts to lose control of his talent.

I have no idea what Laurence Harvey, normally a very fine actor, thought he was doing in his portrayal of Johnny Jackson. He comes off like an imitation of Phil Silvers, except when Phil Silvers did this kind of shtick he was hilarious. He's way, way over the top.

I watched this film because I wanted to see the young Cliff Richard. Richard was not in this film enough, nor did he sing enough. The speaking voices of some of the other actors, such as Avis Bonnage as Bongo's mother, and Sylvia Syms as Jackson's girlfriend Maisie) were so annoying and incessantly high pitched and screamy, at one point I nearly stopped watching. Richard himself is very natural, not really acting, and he did well in the musical numbers.

Sir Cliff Richard was the U.K.'s answer to Elvis and has more top 10 hits than any other artist, spanning a remarkable 50 years. He has the third-highest number of #1 hits in the UK, behind Elvis and The Beatles. He's an institution. And I hated this movie. Like some of Elvis', it's pretty unwatchable. It's a shame we couldn't do better by our national treasures.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Laurence Harvey sings? rockolaray-1
Espresso Bongo hsiegel-1
tits and arse (ass) jwb-4
Is new DVD complete? rayshaw44
and 'Bye Bye, Birdie' jbart39-1
Discuss Expresso Bongo (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: