Joe Mulholland, Head of Production at a Hollywood studio, makes a rather fool-hardy promise to a dying friend. He undertakes to make a major movie using the title - if not the content - of ... See full summary »
A small town band makes it big, but loses track of their roots, as they get caught up into the big-time machinations of the music biz. Now, they must thwart a plot to destroy their home town. Built around the music of the beatles, this musical uses some big name groups like Peter Frampton and Aerosmith. Written by
Aaron Sherman <email@example.com>
did the Beatles have a song about guilty pleasures?
I stumbled across an unlicensed videocassette of the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. Being a pop-culture junkie I had to have it. It ranks up there with the worst movies of all time - absolutely everything about it was poorly thought out. The basic premise is that they took all these Beatle's songs and strung them together to make a story, so the characters had to come from names or words from Beatle's songs: for instance, Frampton's character (the lead singer for the Lonely Hearts Club Band) is Billy Shears (if you'll recall Billy Shears is introduced by the Beatles at the beginning of Sgt. Pepper as the singer of 'get by with a little help from my friends... etc.). His girlfriend is named Strawberry Fields (any guesses where that came from?) Later he is tempted by Lucy, from the female rock band Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (I'm really not kidding), and happiness is threatened by Mean Mr. Mustard, who abducts Strawberry, and also Dr. Maxwell Edison (majoring in medicine with silver hammers). Although they sing 'Nowhere Man' and 'Polythene Pam' these names do not appear as characters somehow. There are about 20 Beatles songs in the movie not sung by the Beatles, and the lead characters never speak - all the narration is done by Mr. Kite ('a benefit for Mr. Kite' and yes there is such a benefit) played by George Burns who even dons a guitar to sing 'fixing a hole'. There are almost no words to describe how awful this film is. Everything about it was a complete disaster, although the Beatles' songs are all familiar and delightful, they are delivered in a context that simply doesn't work (for instance there are a couple of melancholy songs sung - 'long and winding road' etc. after Strawberry is killed in a fight with Aerosmith). One of the sublime moments was when Strawberry Fields sings 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. She's singing to herself about herself. Forever. Fantastic.
Production values were high - they spent a lot of money on this fantasy. It lost all of its investment and Peter Frampton, who's performance has to be seen to be believed (the cast of 'Punky Brewster' seems almost Shakespearean in comparison) was so embarrassed that he bought almost all of the prints back to have them destroyed for posterity's sake. But some got away, and I got my cassette. What a treasure.
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