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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Daltrey in the background

10/10
Author: Arthur Crown from United Kingdom
19 November 2006

Claude Whatham's (1990) film, based on Nigel Hinton's novel, charts the rapid success of a young pop singer, Buddy Clark (Chesney Hawkes), a generation before the film's actual release.

Between his feckless Dad (Roger Daltrey) and struggling Mum (Sharon Duce) we follow Buddy's early success and sudden leap to fame, from his modest working-class roots.

Replete with authentic classic cars and quirky costume of the times, this moving period piece captures the sudden, incandescent radiance of fame while balancing it with the sometimes grimy and shady underside of a business which puts people under the spotlight one day, only to drop them in the gutter the next.

This is good film to watch, because it's made by people who - unlike young Buddy - have been through the mill and come out the other end in more or less one piece.

Roger Daltrey (lead vocalist with 'The Who') and Bill Curbishley (Manager of 'The Who' and co-producer of the film) give the film an authentic bite that Hollywood might have missed.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chesney, the epitome of a one hit wonder.....

6/10
Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
23 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Buddy is an aspiring musician and has pressure to go further thanks to his Dad, and his teddy boy rocker days.

When his father is sent away for a year for covering up for criminal Des it puts further strain on the family relationship.

When Terry is released things get steadily harder while Buddy's career gets rosier...

1991 was a wonderful year for Hawkes, his face was everywhere, and this film was released twice in the same year. First time it was released, it was a 12 here in the UK, and it bombed.

Then the single was an amazing success, and Hawkes was the apple of every young teen girl in England. Hence it got trimmed for nudity and re-released within two months.

It flopped again. Why? Hawkes is a good singer, but he cannot act, and the film want made for the appeal of young girls, this is a story about a man who has seen his life go before his eyes, and didn't aspire to anything, hence him pushing his son to do what he should have done.

Daltrey is brilliant and the soundtrack is brilliant and clever, describing the narrative of that precise point.

But the film was advertised incorrect, and that is why it's really difficult to find.

Just like Chesney Hawkes.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Daltrey is the whole show!

Author: TC Raymond from England
12 January 2002

I remember going to the cinema to see this film. Picture the scene. Me and something like three hundred screaming Chesney Hawkes fans, packed into a not exactly oversized auditorium. They must've come away sadder and wiser, because by the time the final credits rolled, they were all talking about how great "that old guy who used to be in The Who" was in the pivotal role of Hawkes's wayward dad! Chezza had been swept into the dustbin of history, and with good reason - his singing is fine, but he comes across as an effeminate pretty-boy with all the charisma and acting ability of a damp dishcloth. But Daltrey, he's a different story. I remember a review of this movie that praised his performance as "fearless and compelling", and that pretty much says it all!

The film is likeable enough, albeit hampered by a seriously lame, formula-bound script and flat production values, and there are interesting supporting turns from Michael Elphick and Sharon Duce, as Daltrey's dodgy best friend and estranged wife respectively, but Roger steals the show as the superannuated Teddy boy who can't - or won't - move beyong 'the day the music died', even naming his son after his rock 'n' roll hero Buddy Holly!

My favourite scene is a great bit of wish-fulfilment. A newly wealthy Daltrey takes Hawkes to a music shop where he bashes the hell out of an expensive Stratocaster, then waves a fat wad of notes in the clearly unsettled proprietor's face. Come on, who HASN'T wanted to do that, given that most music shops are run by meticulous, uptight geeks who have a coronary if you so much as breathe on the instruments?!

Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, all told, but if you're not a Daltrey / Who fan, I wouldn't really go there!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A very good movie.

7/10
Author: pkeets from USA
27 March 2000

This movie never quite develops quite enough drama or humor to make it really striking, but it did hold my interest. Parts of it are quite entertaining, and it does touch on some very important issues. Roger Daltrey did an excellent job in his starring role.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A slightly sleepy but otherwise endearing film

Author: the-emperor (the-emperor@coruscant.net) from Manchester, England
2 December 1999

I think the reason why there are no comments for this film other than this , is probably because no-one has actually seen it. I think it may have only been on TV once, in perhaps 1992 - and since then it has drifted into the dusty recesses of the BBC archives.

Is this a shame? Well, while there are certainly better films to be watched than this- this does have some charms of its own. Chesney Hawkes, the two-hit wonder of the early nineties is OK in his only feature role to date, and Roger Daltrey is predictably cast to type.

My recollections of this film are that it is a pleasant enough way to spend two hours, although I suspect if I were to see it again I may judge it as a contrived and suspect piece of trite. Who knows?

Trust my memory. If it's on, and you're bored - give it a shot. Nothing to lose except two hours of your life, right?

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A truly underrated movie

8/10
Author: jamiehill_uk from London
27 March 2005

I have always liked this movie, i feel it is a great debut performance by Chesney Hawkes, who plays Buddy perfectly. The movie captures every young persons dreams of becoming a rock star perfectly, Nigel Hinton in my view did a great job of converting his movie to the screen. The cast throughout is solid especially Rodger Daltry who was amazing in this. He really was believable as a 50's throwback who liked his dodgy dealings on the side. The soundtrack to this is brilliant, the one and only is a pop classic and it also includes some other great songs such as Nothing serious; you have to love the video for it in the car wreckers.

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a great reminder of the good old days.

Author: michael-394
14 July 2003

I was a young boy when this film came out, but the famous theme song always stuck with me. considering all the rubbish coming out on the teen music and film market, this film was a delightful surprise.

The simple story of success in the music industry for five young boys is nicely written intertwining with the martial problems of Hawkes parents played by Daltry and Duce.

And the songs are great, obviously Daltry had some hand in the writing of them, listening to them reminded me of Led Zepplen.

Some surprises though, if my memory is correct this film was a PG when it came out, interesting it was then when I was treated to the sight of a lovely girl revealing her bare chest to the audience.

The classic Grange hill style friendship between the band members is shown as pure and trusting. it reminded me of the crap channel 4 series Boyz Unlimited. I don't understand how Hawkes didn't do more songs.

The acting from Daltry is good and the chemistry between him and Hawkes is heartwarming. Plus the final twist in the ending was both perfect and beliveable.

This film should be released on dvd, or at the least would be a great study guide for film and music students.

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Fond childhood memory

Author: Dave Hobson (hobson@zfree.co.nz) from Auckland, New Zealand
26 July 2001

I first saw this film when I was 12 years old. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and my younger sister and I were told to go down to the video store to pick a video to watch with mum. I can't remember what I chose, but my sister chose "Buddy's song". I thought it was the most non-tolerable movie ever.

However, 11 years later, I find it to be another rainy Sunday afternoon. My flatmate sent me down to the video shop to get some videos. I find myself browsing through the comedy section and low and behold, what catches my eye? "Buddy's song". I was feeling a little nostalgic so I gave it a go again and boy, I'm glad I did!

Now that I have more appreciation for music, I was able to judge the music properly and in a more professional manner. The storyline was easier for me to understand due to my more detailed understanding of social behaviour.

Watching it again, I thought it was a reasonable film, with a few good points. I think that Roger Daltrey particulary makes the film, but is definately not his best acting role.

If you ever find yourself on a rainy afternoon with nothing to do, I thoroughly recommend you sit down and watch it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pointless film with average music and really wooden performances from the teenage cast

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
20 July 2003

Buddy is an aspiring teenager who is a very good musician and has pressure to go further than his Dad's teddy boy rocker days. However when his father is sent away for a year for covering up for criminal Des it puts further strain on the family relationship. When Terry is released things get steadily harder while Buddy's career gets rosier.

I can't imagine that many people will revisit this film unless they saw it when it came out on the back of Hawkes' short lived pop career. I only watched it on TV the other night out of interest as I had never seen it. As the film went on I started to wonder what had happened to the plot – there was some stuff about Terry being a criminal but this is dropped in favour of touring and recording. While this could be a musical drama, it isn't as nothing of any real consequence comes about. The film goes just where you expect it to in terms of ending, but does so without really doing much.

I know that it is meant to be some sort of kitchen sink, rags to riches drama but it doesn't work at all. In place of drama there is mind numbing monotony as minor arguments occur between the various characters and are then resolved. It is difficult to see characters in the film and thus hard to be involved in any drama in their lives. The music is OK if you like soft, 1990's pop-rock stuff. There is no song in the main film that is as catchy as Hawkes debut hit, but even that is showing it's age now.

Terry is the only watchable character and that is also due in a big way to Daltrey. He is the centre of the film and he manages to give a good performance despite never really having anything but dialogue that had been rejected from Minder episodes. The weak spot (and it's a big weak spot) is Hawkes. He, and most of the young cast, cannot act at this stage in their careers. Hawkes stands out as the worst, he has the same look on his face for the majority of the film and uses the same snotty tone of voice – he makes Steven Segal look like he's in touch with his inner self! Even when confronted with a pair of breasts, Buddy stares as if he's watching a boring TV show. I'm not sure if it's his performance or bad ADR, but the dialogue sounds fake for the most part, like it has no connection to the actors on screen (hence the thought that it might be bad dubbing), but sound or not he is simply a really poor actor and it is impossible to care about him or his story. Duce is good and Elphick has a brief role.

Overall this film is pointless and very dull. The acting and production values gives it a feel of an episode of Grange Hill. Daltrey (as others have said) is quite good and tries hard but his natural performance only serves to make Hawkes look even more wooden and forced. I watched this film out of curiosity as I was a teenager when Hawkes hit big with his single – after a pretty dull 105 minutes I wished I hadn't bothered. It's not a totally bad film – it is just inconsequential and littered with flaws and bad points.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst...

Author: chas_devlin
3 November 2000

A friend and I snuck into a preview of this at a small theater off the Tottenham Court Road in London some time before it was released. I don't remember too much, except that it was a fairly routine story with deplorable acting (Chesney Hawkes being among one of the absolute worst actors I've ever seen) and a laughable script. God knows why this was made.

Would make a nice companion piece with 1987's Hearts of Fire.

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