17 user 7 critic

That'll Be the Day (1973)

PG | | Drama, Music | 13 May 1973 (UK)
Abandoned by his father at an early age, Jim MacLaine seems to have inherited the old man's restlessness. Despite his apparent intelligence, Jim decides not to take the exams that would ... See full summary »




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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. MacLaine
Brenda Bruce ...
Beth Morris ...
Daphne Oxenford ...
Mrs. Sutcliffe
Kim Braden ...


Abandoned by his father at an early age, Jim MacLaine seems to have inherited the old man's restlessness. Despite his apparent intelligence, Jim decides not to take the exams that would pave his way to university. He lives, for a time, a life consisting of dead-end jobs and meaningless sex, before returning home to work in his mother's shop. But still he can't settle down; he begins to think that the life of a pop musician might be the thing for him. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 May 1973 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az lesz majd a nap  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The beach scenes were filmed around Shanklin Pier on the Isle of Wight. The pier was destroyed by hurricane force winds in 1987. See more »


The film is set in 1958. Songs from beyond that year used . They include Runaround Sue (1961),Runaway (1961) and Poetry in Motion. Pete Townshend's song (Long Live Rock) has already been identified. See more »


Mike: You'll like Bath... better class of fuck in Bath.
See more »


References The Duke Wore Jeans (1958) See more »


A Thousand Stars
Written by Eugene Pearson
Sung by Billy Fury
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User Reviews

That'll Be the Day (1973) ***
11 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

David Essex takes on the lead role of Jimmy McLaine, a young man living in working class Britain during the late 1950s, when American rock 'n' roll was King of England. Growing up with a good deal of angst after his dad walked out on the family when Jimmy was still only a boy, McLaine finds himself fed up with school and the more conventional way of life and decides to abandon his struggling mother, striking out on his own. Settling for odd jobs here and there, Jim finds a sidekick in the humorous and more experienced Mike (played by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr) and the pair of delinquents engage in petty crime in between bedding down as many local ladies as they can get their hands on. When Jimmy begins to have a change of heart he returns home to mom and settles down, only to find that he must make the ultimate decision on whether to confront his responsibilities or indulge his passion for being a rock and roll star.

David Essex is good as Jim, and Ringo Starr gives maybe the finest performance of his occasional acting career as Mike, who becomes Jimmy's mentor and room mate. It's amazing how well the 33-year-old former Beatle pulls off the role of a young kid, and the same may be said for an over-aged Essex. The film perfectly captures the climate of England in the late 1950s and benefits from a huge array of classic American oldies on the music soundtrack, from artists like Ritchie Valens, Del Shannon, The Big Bopper, Bobby Darin and others.

After I saw this I read that it's been said that this story was patterned after a young John Lennon, and while I can agree (with the benefit of hindsight) that there are some similarities between John's life and the Essex character here, even as a die-hard Beatles fan I didn't pick up on this during my actual viewing of the film. It is loosely based on Lennon at best (John's dad also left him, he loved rock music, and he had a wreckless nature as a youth). *** out of ****

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