26 October 2017 | coolantic
Great Characters, Rubbish Songs
Having recently managed to tune in to the Talking Pictures channel, I was delighted to see this film featured. I had seen it before, but a long time ago and could remember little except the title song which was a hit for Joe Brown and The Bruvvers. In reality this is little more than a hastily put together showcase for some of the popular young singing stars of the day. In this instance Joe Brown, Marty Wilde and the GORGEOUS Susan Maughan. Trouble is, the appeal of the film relies more on their popularity, rather than content which follows the old unappreciated-singer-looking-for-a-break scenario.Also by the time this type of film was released, the sixties music scene had moved on rapidly, dating them even at the time. However, like the curate's egg, it is good in parts. Marty Wilde easily out-acts the others as roughneck Herbie Shadbolt. His character looks and sounds convincing. He and his "boys" appear in an early number set in the local Labour Exchange (job centre). And you will rarely see anything more un-PC. The place is crowded with immigrants, many in national costumes and the song bewails the state of the Labour Exchange in having to deal with people who don't speak English. West Indians are depicted dancing to a calypso theme and three characters in coolie hats perform a stereotypical Chinese dance with hands hidden in sleeves and shuffling feet! Apart from the title song most of the others are complete rubbish but we do get to see bits of early sixties London as backdrops and the film has a grittiness not seen in any of Cliff Richard's efforts (apart from Expresso Bongo) The black and white photography makes it more watchable. As does the presence of the many familiar character actors e.g. Michael Robbins, Toni Palmer, Fanny Carby, Harry Locke and, not forgetting the ubiquitous Michael Ripper. In all it is a decent example of the genre and infinitely superior to that contemporary clunker Every Day's a Holiday. Don't watch that one!