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Expresso Bongo (1959)

 -  Drama | Music  -  18 May 1960 (Sweden)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 208 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 »

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Title: Expresso Bongo (1959)

Expresso Bongo (1959) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast

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

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 <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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!

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Singing Idol  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credit titles for writer, producer and director are written on sandwich boards carried by writer Wolf Mankowitz as he walks around Soho. See more »

Connections

Version of Expresso Bongo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Never Had It So Good
Music by David Heneker (as David Henneker) and Monty Norman
Lyrics by Julian More and Wolf Mankowitz
From original stage show
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mostly for Cliff Richard fans
4 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

It's really about a hustler-turned-agent (Laurence Harvey) and how opportunity comes (and passes him by) via his finding (and losing) the kid-with-talent (Cliff Richard). A scene I liked was where the agent and the label exec (Meier Tzelniker) shamelessly discuss their plans for Bongo Herbert's future - i.e., what can he do for them, never mind what he can do for himself.

This might have been a much more memorable movie with a bit more backing and some rewrites. It starts (and ends) by taking us to the cruddier side of London ca. 1960 - strippers, noisy streets, the grime, the neon-lights - all of it filled with the never-was's and the never-will-be's hoping against hope for That One Break. No U.S. movie at the time would ever have thought of this, whereas this U.K. movie did so without any Hollywood-esque qualms about "how will it play in Peoria?"

Strange to think: when this movie, about a young rocker getting started, was released there was a band of Liverpool kids who got a gig in a dive on the Hamburg Reeperbahn ...

One last bit: check out an uncredited kid named Susan Hampshire. She has four lines but she ante-dates Monty Python's "Upper-Class-Twit-of-the-Year" sketch by 10 years - she does it to a t.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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