6.1/10
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20 user 4 critic

Summer Holiday (1963)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 18 February 1963 (UK)
A fabulous 60s Musical - 4 London Bus mechanics strike up a deal with London Transport. They do up a double decker London Bus, drive it around Europe as a hotel and if they make it they ... See full summary »

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(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Don
...
Barbara Winters
Melvyn Hayes ...
Cyril
...
Sandy
Teddy Green ...
Steve
Pamela Hart ...
Angie
...
Edwin
Jacqueline Daryl ...
Mimsie
Madge Ryan ...
Stella Winters
Lionel Murton ...
Jerry
Christine Lawson ...
Annie the Maid
...
Orlando
David Kossoff ...
French Magistrate
Wendy Barrie ...
Shepherdess / Dancer (as Wendy Barry)
Nicholas Phipps ...
Wrightmore
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Storyline

A fabulous 60s Musical - 4 London Bus mechanics strike up a deal with London Transport. They do up a double decker London Bus, drive it around Europe as a hotel and if they make it they will own and be in charge of a whole fleet. While on the road in France they pick up 3 ladies whose car breaks down and offer to take them to their next singing job in Athens. They also pick up a stowaway. A young, American boy. Meanwhile, a young American female singer has gone missing. Her mother (who is a VERY ambitious woman) and her aid take the story to the press and it makes the front page. They do all they can to make the story run for as long as possible, including misdirecting the bus up an extremely steep Yugoslavian hill. We find out the young American boy is actually the young American girl who is missing. Mayhem ensues as the lead character, Don (Cliff Richard) falls for Barbara. Eventually, when the 8 bus riders reach Athens, they're arrested for kidnapping. In front of her mother and a ... Written by Joliet and Flavia17

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

american | bus | holiday | hotel | mechanic | See All (51) »

Taglines:

The Young Ones Have Gone Abroad! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Vacaciones de verano  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(opening sequence)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Russell was originally to direct, but he didn't like the script and dropped out. See more »

Goofs

When Bobby/Barbara settles down into the sleeping bag she/he still has his/her woman's shoes on. See more »

Quotes

Angie: Do you call everybody Charlie?
Steve: Only the people I like.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The Shadows and their guitars" are credited in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who Confidential: Desert Storm (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Stranger in Town
By Peter Myers Ronald Cass
See more »

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User Reviews

Silly, dated fun with loads of cheese and no plot – but it is rather infectious and enjoyable for what it is
23 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After doing up a London double-decker as a sort of mobile home, Don and his friends set out to travel across Europe for a fantastic summer holiday. Along the way they pick up a group of English girls and a young boy. However when the young boy turns out to be a missing female celebrity the group find themselves getting into many adventures as her agents try to keep her 'missing' for as long as possible to get her the headlines. Meanwhile, Don has his own problems as the self confessed 'bachelor boy' finds himself falling in love.

Given that the cassette soundtrack to this film was officially 'the first album I ever bought', I took the chance (for the first time since then!) to watch the actual film again. With the thinnest of connections to the Olympics (the group's destination is Athens) this film was screened during the day of the opening ceremony of the 2004 games and I took the opportunity to video it for later viewing. The film was pretty much what I expected it to be in that it was cheesy, silly and not that good – just what you would expect from a pop musical of the period that aimed to be nothing more than inoffensive family fun. The plot is basically a road trip with a very obvious romance acting as the driving force for a series of amusing antics and pop songs. None of it is very good but it is reasonably OK and is worth seeing as a piece of fun.

The antics are not that funny but they have a great sense of 'clean fun' – hard to describe but easy to get into if you are in the mood for it. Of course, modern, more cynical audiences will find it a major turn off but it is quite fun in a very basic sense. Likewise the songs are hardly great and can be best described as 'clean' and 'wholesome' with the odd one being memorable or catchy but mostly them just doing the job and nothing more. The cast also fit with this 'clean fun' family ideal and the plot never dares suggest that a bus load of young men and woman would do anything alone in cramped rooms around Europe! Heck – one of the guys even complains about the number of girls on the bus – sorry? what?! They fall into pure, clean love and that's about it, with the cast never doing more than smiling. Complain all you want though, about his appeal to older fans, but Cliff Richard was a consistent presence in the UK charts and here he shows that he has a real light, natural charisma that suits the film perfectly – he is hardly giving a great performance but he is well suited. Hayes provides some laughs but the rest of the guys are a bit lame while the women are represented with sexless and poor performances from the flat Peters and the 'too smiley by half' Stubbs.

So no, it isn't a good film but it is good, clean family fun that may suit you for an afternoon viewing. The songs, the tone and the cast are all cheap and light – not adding anything to the thin plot or material but they suit a film that tries to be nothing more than family fun and, as such, it is rather enjoyable even if I should really know better.


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