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Movie detailing ABBA's mega-successful tour of Australia during mid-1977. While it mostly contains back-stage footage and as well as ABBA's famous songs such as "Dancing Queen", "Tiger", "Name Of The Game" and "Eagle" among others sung filmed during their concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, it has the sub-plot of young country and western radio disc-jockey, Ashley, whose boss orders him to have a deep interview with ABBA and the problems he has trying to reach them as he forgets his press pass and ABBA's main bodyguard, (Tom Oliver) is determined to stop him... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Shooting for this concert movie was done at every leg of ABBA's 1977 Australian tour and included all their concerts in the five major capital cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. See more »
[as Ashley is about to leave the radio station]
Are you sure you want *me* to do this documentary?
Radio Station Manager:
Don't use that word - this is not a documentary, it's an event. This is going to be world-wide.
[echo on "-wide"]
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Welcome to the movies. Elvis had done it, The Beatles had done it and now the nineteen-seventies super group ABBA have done it. Welcome to ABBA: The Movie. This semi-documentary movie footage of the pop sensation that stormed the world with its simple melodies, gentle harmonies and infectious lyrics is taken while on tour of the Southern Hemisphere during 1977.
It's a basic concept and the formula is unsurprisingly straightforward; ABBA are on tour of Australia and the group are being filmed as they progress to each new city, to each new concert hall and to each new horde of screaming and admiring fans that this access-all-areas pass via this fly-on-the-wall perspective shows us. We have the group interviews, we see them perform their multimillion best sellers such as "Dancing Queen", "The Name Of The Game", "Tiger", "Ring Ring", "Eagle", "Mamma Mia", and many others that include "Money, Money, Money" and "I'm a Marionette". They allow us to see their prepping-up toward the nights shows' and we are more than privileged to have this insight into this bandwagon on the road to fame and fortune amongst the real hustle and bustle of the press and TV crews that beg their attention.
ABBA: The Movie is a gloried extension of the pop video that has them on stage rather than in a studio setting. In-between this hectic life style is the misadventures of a local D.J. Ashley Wallace, played by actor Robert Hughes who having no idea of what lies ahead and whose soul mission is to get that all so important interview. This is a man on a mission, this is a man without a clue and an even smaller chance, will his luck, wit and desperation withhold the barriers of the Rock 'n Roll giant that stand between him and his goal.
While on the hunt for his four-piece dialogue, we see him up and down and across the country talking and interviewing the real fans that have come to see this band proper. On reflection, this is now a tiny snippet of the ABBA mania that took over the world in the same vain as Elvis in the 1950's and The Beatles during the 1960's and Madonna of the last twenty years, has there ever been another to have reached international mega stardom since?
Directed by the Swedish Lasse Hallström, who directed some of ABBA's pop videos while at their peak, he has Johnny Depp and a very young Leonardo DiCaprio in his repertoire in his movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Chocolat (2000) and along with The Shipping News (2001) and An Unfinished Life (2005).
ABBA: The Movie is a gentle reminder of this phenomenon of way back then, and that over the years even today has its admiration and respect of the easy beat and more than charming lyrics. This four-piece band had tapped into the imaginations of lovers of music and its players alike. The movie Muriel's Wedding (1994) and the stage play Mamma Mia can be seen as fitting tributes to this influential group, its cultural significance is beyond comprehension. The writing talents of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are truly on a similar par as Lennon and McCartney, drug free of course, a writing duo who for a short while conquered the world and who set the standard, as did too Lennon and McCartney, for the pop world for decades to come.
ABBA: The Movie is a fan's movie without a doubt, but to an outsiders viewpoint it is an insight into a different avenue of the Rock 'n Roll machine that is so fickle and delicate. ABBA have stood their ground and in the halls of fame and stardom their music have become an integral part of modern pop culture and society, and that is why talent like this has to be tapped, exploited, far reaching and timeless: Welcome to the movies? Welcome to ABBA.
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