Nicky and his friends find that their youth club is in danger of being flattened to make way for a new office block unless they can come up with £1500 to pay the new owner, the ruthless ... See full summary »
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 »
Merchant banker Tim, excited to hear he's to go to New York, is sent to Birmingham instead to pressure a small struggling restaurant. But he turns this into a positive by falling in love ... See full summary »
Howard Phillips, a vicar who's new in the town of Bellington, wants to reach out to youth. The previous vicar's daughter, Hester Peters, who fears being a spinster, wants to be his wife. He... See full summary »
Sam Laker is an American industrialist, working in Britain, who has just been awarded an international award for industrial design. He is planning to travel to East Germany to attend a ... See full summary »
Sidney J. Furie
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 »
When the night watchman of a garage is found murdered, 4 young men are arrested and put on trial. Under cross-examination, suspects and witnesses give differing accounts of the same ... See full summary »
A group of (literally) drifting popsters find themselves involved in a grim sand-and-sandals desert movie. They reckon a few song-and-dance numbers would liven things up. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the end of the "Home" sequence, Johnny, Jerry and Edward sit on the back of the boat and have to pretend their falling backwards off the stern. Moments before they are supposed to fall, the hands of two or three members of the crew can be seen raising into shot ready to catch them. See more »
When the UK game show 'Pointless' asked contestants to name a Cliff Richard film in 2014, "Wonderful Life" would have won them the jackpot, because no one remembered this Cliff's fifth film fifty years on, and yet it was a film that changed things. After the poor reception and disappointing box office results of this one it only eventually clawing its budget back in 1987 Cliff abandoned his trademark quiff and instead went for a Beatle style comb forward. His support team of Melvyn Hayes, Richard O'Sullivan and Una Stubbs were dropped (although Una did later co-star with him in a TV adaptation of 'Aladdin') and there was a two year gap before Cliff and the Shadows (who had never been really used properly in his films) returned to the big screen with "Finders Keepers". And yet in 2015 I find myself strangely drawn towards this film despite or maybe because of its flaws of overproduction, poor acting, dull and unbelievable story and director Sydney J Furie's obsession with a new zoom lens. Susan Hampshire is so attractive. She bats her eyes and smiles and goes along with it all in a nice playful spirit knowing it was rubbish bit determined to at least make people enjoy her performance. Cliff is Cliff. He sings some songs, most of which are terrible but especially good is 'Matter Of Moments' but Cliff never really looks at ease. Walter Slezak roars and shouts and gets it right. He plays a past it director with a sensitivity he hides until the end.
Many years later when I started writing about old films, I asked a friend to watch it for me and give me an opinion but he called back a week later to say that although he tried, he had never gotten beyond the opening fifteen minutes.
Here's what I wrote about it in my book "What We Watched In The 1960s (In The Cinema)" when it arrived in Glasgow during week commencing 9th August 1964.
When the Beatles started dominating the charts, Cliff Richard's image took a bit of a dent and it certainly wasn't helped with the timing of the release of "Wonderful Life" at the ABC Regal and Green's Bedford. "The Young Ones" had been a breakthrough musical and "Summer Holiday" had seen him at his film peak, but "Wonderful Life" tried to repeat the formula once too often and the plot of a load of old looking youngsters working at a movie location making their own film looked just daft. On top of that coming to town a couple of weeks after "Hard Day's Night" accentuated the gap between what young people wanted to see now, compared to the sort of all-round-entertainment on show here with dance routines that went on too long, show songs like 'Home' which would have been booed off at a music hall and a lengthy sequence on the history of cinema which brings the film to a shuddering halt. The film had been troubled with weather problems in the Canaries and original support choice Dennis Price had been fired allegedly for drinking and replaced by Glasgow born Derek Bond, and the only Cliff hit song was 'On The Beach'. Susan Hampshire (who had had a small part in "Expresso Bongo") and Walter Slezak co-starred, but this put Cliff's film career on hold for a couple of years. "A Woman's Privilege" with it was one of the 'Scales Of Justice' series about a bachelor who sues a girl who dupes him.
Jim Doyle is the author of 'What We Watched In The 1960s (In The Cinema)', 'What We Watched In The 1970s (In The Cinema)" and 'What We Watched In The 1980s (In The Cinema And On Video)'
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