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|Index||26 reviews in total|
I don't think Peter Chelsom's appreciation will grow much today, with audiences and critics more inclined to pyrotechnics, flamboyant styles and cynic approach to mankind's troubles. Chelsom is a skilled filmmaker, but for today's tastes his cinema seems too close to the audience's soft hearts, and that is probably his less attractive trait. I like a few of his movies: "The Mighty", "Serendipity" as predictable as it is, and my favorites "Funny Bones" and "Hear My Song" which he also wrote. Both deal with a search and possess a frenetic and funny approach to human foibles, and in this case an enthusiastic leading character, as played by Adrian Dunbar who also co-wrote. He is a nightclub administrator who keeps cheating on his patrons, bringing mediocre artists to perform. When he brings a fake tenor who humiliates his future mother-in-law (Shirley-Ann Field, who had an affair with the real tenor), he embarks on the almost impossible: finding the real singer, who cannot step on Irish soil due to tax evasion. Ned Beatty gives the performance of his life (and that's a lot to say) as the singer, leading the story to a moving conclusion.
Hear My Song (1991) is a bit of Irish whimsy about a fast talking London theatrical promoter, (Adrian Dunbar) who books legendary Irish tenor Joseph Locke When the tenor is revealed as an impostor, and Dunbar loses both his theater and his fiancée (Tara Fitzgerald). He then sets forth on an odyssey to Ireland to find the real Joseph Locke, bring him back to London, save the theater, and win back the girl. Of course, the whole point of every epic quest from Homer on down is for the hero to finally realize why he left in the first place (this realization occurs while Dunbar is dangled off the side of a very high cliff). The cast is amazing, especially David McCallum as a police inspector obsessed with capturing Locke, and Ned Beatty gives a very credible and warmhearted performance as Joseph Locke (although the singing is dubbed). The Irish countryside is breathtaking--as is Tara Fitzgerald--and the story is great fun in the tradition of Local Hero and Eat the Peach.
This movie never got the attention or box office it deserved, but it's one of my all-time favorites. Ned Beatty is wonderful as Joe Locke, the exiled Irish singer returned to the stage by impresario Adrian Dunbar. A little movie with heart, wit, and charm, definitely worth repeat viewings.
A shady liverpool concert promoter, Adrian Dunbar, goes to Ireland to find and bring back an elusive tenor, Ned Beatty, who is wanted by the law for tax evasion, in order to restore his reputation and win back his girl. This romantic comedy is so charming I am surprised anyone could dislike it. Director Peter Chelson does an wonderful job. He displays a real feel for the characters, and the small details which give the film its sense of authenticity. The leading actors are excellent, particularly Ned Beatty, who gives the performance of his career, but they have to compete with a host of colorful minor characters. Give it a look. You shant be disappointed.
Gee, good story. Great scenery. Excellent acting. Great music. Tara Fitzgerald unclothed. Well, Tara's nude scene was less than germane to the plot, though I think she's totally yummy. Ned Beatty actually pulled the role of Jo Locke off quite well, not going over the top trying to lay on the old Irish brogue bit too heavy. The Locke vocals were sung by Vernon Midgely, & since I had never heard music like that before, I was knocked out. The trad Irish "diddly-diddly" tunes in the soundtrack are by Patrick Street, one of the best contemp Irish bands you can find. Adrian Dunbar, who co-wrote the screenplay with author Peter Chelsom, was wonderful, as semi-crooked music hall manager Mickey O'Neill. Tara Fitzgerald portrayed Nancy Doyle, O'Neill's "fiancee", & brings the role off very well. James Nesbitt, who may be known from "Ballykissangel", plays O'Neill's best friend back in Ireland. Shirley Anne Field, one of Britain's true beauties of the 60's, plays Fitzgerald's mother, a flame left behind by Beatty's Jo Locke, when he left England as a tax exile in the '50's. I just wish we could get a Director's Cut here in the States, as the US theatrical & video releases list actors(Brian Flanagan as "Young Mickey", Constane Cowley as "Nurse, and Marie Mullen as "Mickey's Mum") in the credits which for some inexplicable reason were cut from the North American release. This scene has to do with why Mickey O'Neill can't tell someone he loves them(i.e. Tara Fitzgerald as Nancy). Rumour has it "Hear My Song" will be re-released on DVD in the UK in July '09....but a US release is still delayed so DVD makers can press more boxed sets of "Dog, The Bounty Hunter", anime, and Hannah Montana(whose "movie" was actually directed by Peter Chelsom, who directed and wrote "Hear My Song") Still, this is a wonderful movie,
The film is full of charm and amusement and I love the plot-line. The
characters are witty and warm and likeable. It's quirky and some times the
plot is hard to follow, but again, the characters are so real and likeable,
they draw you in.
Then there's the music. I never knew I liked Irish tenors until I saw this movie.
The only truly confusing thing is that it is hard to tell when the movie is set. It seems almost timeless and yet there is a definite timeframe referred to in the film.
Adrian Dunbar is a wonderful actor and carries the film along, although Ned Beatty succeeds in stealing it half-way through! Tara Fitzgerald is underutilized as the romantic cause of the hero's journey, but does well with what she's given. The actor who plays the hero's friend is also quite wonderful.
Micky O'Neill, a sleazy Irish entertainment promoter has about run his course offering pseudo-acts like Franc Cinatra. The Ryan family that owns the theater is about ready to throw him out when they ask who his next performer is "Bing Crosby spelled with a K"?, but Micky O'Neill comes up with the name of Josef Locke and the Ryan's gasp as Josef Locke is supposedly out of the country, because of tax fraud or something. So Micky is given a reprieve until it becomes known that the Josef Locke he has booked is a fraud, Since his girlfriend's mother once had a fling with Jo and has been duped by the fake Jo, Micky has been outcast by the Ryan family, his girlfriend and especially his girlfriend's mother. He hops a ride on a boat to Ireland where he meets up with his friend Fintan, a concert promoter, and the two of them ride through the Irish countryside in search of the real Josef Locke in an effort to convince him to return to England to perform. When they find him, the Irish comedy really begins, and also the Irish singing. The tenor voice is spectacular and when Jo sings, women weep.......
Unlike Larcher-2 who also has a comment on this film, l did see Josef
Locke, l can remember my mother took me to see him when l was a young
boy and was drawn to his type of sining.
It is well known that Mr Locke was a ladies man, but that did not detract from his voice, and Ned Beatty does a remarkable job of playing Josef Locke, dubbed in Mr Lockes own voice.
This is a great film, Adrian Dunbar plays his role as a seedy agent well and David McCallum as the policeman always trying to get Mr Locke is a gem...
The "tooth" scene is a great laugh....Please watch this film, if you know nothing of Mr Locke try to find out about him first then you will enjoy it better, and understand the title...
I give this film 8 out of 10...
I saw this film at the Toronto International Film Festival and
thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I screeched with laughter,
and cried real tears. The audience reception was rapturous, one of
the most responsive I've ever witnessed at the festival. Director
Peter Chelsom was reduced to tears, and when Ned Beatty made
a surprise appearance in his Joseph Locke fedora and cloak the
crowd went crazy. Since then, I make a point of watching this
wonderful film in the dark days of February, the dreariest part of a
Toronto winter. It never fails to restore my spirit.
As a final note, I think Chelsom is a very talented director. Who can ever forget the image of those Irish lady owners crammed onto one couch? The film is filled with glorious visuals like this one. I've liked every movie Chelsom has made since, but he seems to get a bum rap from the press. Nonetheless, he will always be remembered for giving us this treasure.
I was charmed by more than the fact that I couldn't take my eyes off Tara
Fitzgerald. A lovely whimsical plot, painting a picture of Irish fantasy,
fairies and all, over the true life background of a great singer. And a
beautiful soundtrack featuring original Locke recordings reminds us of just
how moving a pure tenor voice can be. Who on earth needs techno and
None of the other correspondents has yet picked up on the fact that Josef Locke (born Joseph McLaughlin 1917, died 1999) was alongside John McCormack as one of the two great Irish tenors (one correspondent has even written that he was a baritone -were you actually listening??) of the 20th century, and that he retired to rural life in Co Kildare in 1958 after the British Inland Revenue began to pursue him for large but disputed amounts of tax. That much is established fact, but this story of his comeback performance and the events surrounding it is indeed fantasy, with a happy feelgood ending. But what's so wrong with that? I like to be entertained, and unlike your more dismal correspondents I don't need to be intellectually challenged to thoroughly enjoy a movie. Nine out of ten, and I thought seriously about giving it ten as a gesture of eternal devotion to the stunningly beautiful Tara.
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