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Lambert & Stamp (2014)

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A documentary that reveals how the unlikely partnership between aspiring filmmakers Christopher Stamp and Kit Lambert produced one of the greatest rock bands in history: The Who.

Director:

James D. Cooper

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Cast

Cast overview:
Christopher Stamp ... Himself (as Chris Stamp)
Kit Lambert ... Himself (archive footage)
Pete Townshend ... Himself
Terence Stamp ... Himself
John Hemming John Hemming ... Himself
Richard Barnes Richard Barnes ... Himself
Keith Moon ... Himself (archive footage)
Heather Daltrey Heather Daltrey ... Herself
Constant Lambert Constant Lambert ... Himself, Christian 'Kit' Lambert's father (archive footage)
Robert Fearnley-Whittingstall Robert Fearnley-Whittingstall ... Himself
Roger Daltrey ... Himself
Irish Jack Irish Jack ... Himself
John Entwistle ... Himself (archive footage)
Jimi Hendrix ... Himself (archive footage)
Arthur Brown Arthur Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert set out to find a subject for their underground movie, one that will reflect the way it feels to be young and dissatisfied in postwar London. This unlikely partnership of two men from vastly different backgrounds was inspired by the burgeoning youth culture of the early 1960s. Lambert and Stamp searched for months and finally found in a band called the High Numbers a rebellious restlessness that was just what they were looking for. Abandoning their plans to make a film, they instead decided to mentor and manage this group, which evolved into the iconic band known as the Who. The result was rock 'n' roll history. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp Hatched an Elaborate Plan. Somewhere Along the Way They Created a Phenomenon Known as THE WHO.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

German | French | English

Release Date:

3 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lambert & Stamp (The Who) See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,500, 5 April 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$182,851, 19 July 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Motocinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Christopher Stamp: It's very difficult to know, you know, the moments you love someone a lot of the time.
See more »

Soundtracks

Shakin' All Over
Written by Johnny Kidd (as Frederick Heath)
Used by permission of EMI Entertainment World, Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by The Who
Courtesy of Polydor Limited / Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who are you/they?
6 May 2015 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Considering myself a big and long-time fan of the rock band The Who, this documentary from first time filmmaker James D Cooper caught me off-guard with the surprising amount of detail and behind-the-scenes insight into how the band broke out from the dingy club circuit to a world of gold records, massive arena shows, mansions, and international acclaim. The answer is in the title: Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.

Unless you are a Rock Music historian, these names are probably new to you. Lambert was the son of renowned British composer Constant Lambert and had a "proper" private school upbringing, including an Oxford education. Stamp, the brother of actor Terrence Stamp and son of a tugboat captain, was the polar opposite – blue collar family with a street-wise education. This odd couple bonded over their love of French New Wave films, and decided to create their own film project to capture the restlessness and rebellion of British teenagers in the early 1960's. Their idea was to film a band that captured the essence of the times, and this led them to put off the film project, and instead manage and mentor a group of "unattractive" mods known as The High Numbers … soon to the The Who.

Much of the film is dedicated to interviews of the survivors. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey from The Who, seem quite complimentary in their recollection of the influence of Lambert and Stamp, as well as the band's late members Keith Moon and John Entwistle. Since Kit passed away in 1981, the bulk of the interview time goes to Chris Stamp, who is unabashed in his respect for Lambert and how their differing styles but single vision helped drive the band's development through some pretty lean early years. Stamp passed away in 2012, so his interviews and recollections helped capture a time that would otherwise be little more than newsclips and home movies. His memories are a treasure trove for an era.

The film opens with a perfectly placed 8th century quote from Hesiod. This band of misfits and outsiders was being managed by two fellows who were equally misfit – the result being musical genius and never before seen stage theatrics. There is a segment with Townshend and Daltrey conversing about drummer Keith Moon that drives home the frustration and sadness that these two felt towards their bandmate, who was an exceedingly troubled man (Moon died in 1978 at age 32). When Townsend says "Keith Moon wasn't a drummer … He was something else". We know exactly what he means.

Director Cooper does a really nice job of keeping the focus on the two men behind the band, rather than the four lads on stage. We all know the music. We all know the tragedies. What we weren't aware of is how Lambert and Stamp managed this band to reach the huge heights of success … and this theme is never lost. One of the most fascinating clips has Townshend playing an early and very rough cut of a song that he is working on for the two managers. He is begging for their input and suggestions – a level of openness we rarely glimpse from artists, and one that clarifies just how much impact the titular characters had on the band … right down to the songs and the stage act.

The film is a bit tough to watch at times what with all the quick cuts of photographs and clips … kind of dizzying and distracting. That reaction is probably a result of this being such a non-traditional … actually quite unconventional documentary. It is by no means a retrospective or tribute to The Who. Instead, and much more impressively, it's a rare look at the fearless approach of two British gents who set out to make a statement on the times, and instead helped create something timeless.


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