Add a Review

  • A genuinely funny film featuring Aylesbury's Two-hit Twit and First Man of Failure, John Otway, conducting a masterclass for bemused schoolchildren, to show them How Not to Be a Success. A case of "Mothers, tell your children not to do what I have done", to quote the B-side of a certain Top Ten hit. This film quells any doubts that Otway might be in danger of becoming more sensible as he ages and is probably the only movie in history where nobody attending the premiere could predict the ending, which was still in production. This was a brilliant twist and a big gamble; full credit should go to the editors for pulling it off.

    Otway the Movie should win awards. I can't wait for the DVD!
  • This is the story of John Otway's rise and fall and fall and fail and fall and fail. He dreamed a dream and probably should have stayed in bed.

    Is this movie funnier than Spinal Tap? Yes, because it's true. Is this movie more tragic than Macbeth? Yes, because it's true. Is Otway the world's greatest Rock'n'Roll failure? It's harsh but fair. However Otway has a fan base that is dedicated to transforming his failures into success. His fans have moved mountains, trains and chart positions! They have sung, sweated and smiled. This story is as much there's as it is his.

    Watch this movie. It will make you smile but more than that, it will go to Otway's head and inspire him to fail some more :-)
  • spinningonuv13 September 2013
    John Otway is a genuine man and a dreamer and I respect that. A lot of his songs are terrible and yet a lot of them are superb.

    This movie is well worth seeing. It is hilarious, endearing, a little emotional and confirms that John is actually an inspiration.

    I discovered Otway about 13 years ago on a copy of the 'Old Grey Whistle Test' DVD - He was performing 'Really Free'. I'd never actually seen the famous footage until this movie, where it is used like a running gag.

    Anyway, if you're a fan of rock 'n' roll, success, failure or hair brained schemes - you should go see this movie.

    If you have not yet experienced John Otway - you should go see this movie and then buy a ticket to one of his gigs next time he's in your town. I guarantee it will be the first of many you attend.

    PS: David Crabtree as Deadly - The Roadie. The best bit is where he runs over all the glass and cuts his feet, oh wait! That was Die Hard.
  • I won't spoil the movie by alluding to different parts, it is just an autobiographical and pleasant history of the seventies up to the present day, telling the story of one man and showing how he has touched lives all through the build-up of his career as a 'Rock Star'. It shows the lifestyle, warts and all, with several interviews from those closest to the subject.

    I could not fault it, with sensitive direction and careful editing, it has become a chronology of a single life as a microcosm of all of our lives - it has something for everyone.

    The John Otway fan base is huge and this will please both them and everyone wanting to see how being a star is not always what is cracked-up to be!
  • Funny how all the low votes come from the USA where it has never been seen , and at the time of writing is not even available on torrent. This movie is genuinely funny and totally incredulous and also true. Make up your own mind only after you have watched it.

    This movie was made to expand the exploits of John Otway into the public domain. It is the story of a young boy bullied at school who took on all the bullies and rather than try to only gain acceptance set was determined to become their hero.

    There is no backing from TV talent shows here only blind ambition.It's the story of over 40 odd years of constant touring and and fan base that identify with that.

    The movie is totally unique in the way that Otway is unique.

    If you have not seen the movie please don't vote
  • This is a marvellous documentary about a man who desperately wanted to be a star, but (only) just missed out. The fact that the movie was made at all shows the esteem that his fans have for him. John Otway had a dream and in many ways achieved it. He had a hit with Wild Willy Barrett, shot to fame thanks to the Old Grey Whistle Test and has had varying successes and failures over the past 40-odd years. The commentary throughout this film shows the affection of everyone for one of rock and roll's greatest failures. It will have you laughing and crying all at the same time. He is still living the dream and long may he do so. Not to be missed.
  • This is not just a film just for fans of Otway anybody with a sense of humour will like this.

    It's a warm and witty documentary about one of Britain's great eccentrics and his true life story about making a go of it in the world of rock and roll. Comparisons will be made to Spinal Tap but I think this film is funnier and at times more unbelievable even though its fact!

    Who else would think of hiring a private jet and getting his fans to join him in a world tour. Did it work? Well I wont spoil the surprise.

    It's one of the few films recently that's made me laugh out loud you need to see it to believe it.
  • google-509-60774122 October 2012
    This film was so much more than I expected. It not only charts John's career in the music business, but it gives a great insight into the man himself and what drives him. It also gives those who surround him a chance to share their opinions about the UK's favourite Micro-star. By turns this movie is funny, informative, thought provoking and even moving. I laughed out loud at some parts and very nearly cried at others. On top of the emotional roller-coaster, the story of John's exploits was for me, a trip down memory lane as I recognized events I had been to, as well as others I'd only heard about. Apparently, the original rough-cut was seven and a half hours long, and I can well believe it. Somehow, this was edited down into the final product, to create a fast-paced film which leaves you instantly eager to get your hands on the DVD, to see the bits they didn't use. I can't wait! All-in-all this is a fantastic film. Watch it - you won't be disappointed!
  • I've been aware of John Otway since he burst into the public consciousness back in 1977, at the height of punk music. He's had his highs and lows since then but this film is definitely one of the HIGHs.

    Even if you've followed him up and down the country, through his madcap schemes or are just as an occasional fan then this film will have something for you. You will learn something that you didn't know before.

    See if it gets a premier at a cinema near you and go and watch it. You will not be disappointed. It is presented in an informative and humorous way, as you would expect.

    Just waiting for the DVD now! I'll be buying a copy for myself, family members, friends... as you will too!
  • pa-carter15 September 2013
    As someone who has been following John Otway for over 25 years, this movie epitomises all that is great and fun about the great man. The key word is FUN - seeing Otway in concert is pure escapism and a guaranteed evening away from daily life. We laugh at him but are always with him. His self-deprecating humour and sheer modesty underlies his live show but at the heart are some great songs and lots and lots of laughs.

    The movie features all the main characters in the "Otway World" - the Big Band members, Murray, Seymour, Richard et al, past producers and colleagues, including the larger than life Barry Upton, the cynical Wild Willy Barrett. The plot centres around Otway returning to his old school to "educate" the students on how to become a rock star like him.

    Truth be told, Otway is unique, a national treasure and this movie is the most fitting tribute to his life and career to date. Please watch it and if you've never seen him live before, do yourself a favour and check his list of forthcoming gigs. You won't regret it.
  • I've seen John Otway several times throughout the years after being introduced to his presence through viz comic in the 80s.

    I often wondered if the manic, egotistical but musically limited man I saw perform both with his band and with wild willy Barrett was a front to a normal man who found a niche for himself in rock and roll with a unique act. But have no fear, he really is as mad and bonkers as his stage persona.

    I saw this film while channel hopping recently, having no idea of its existence. However it is absolutely fantastic and one of the best music documentaries I have seen. In fact it is almost like watching a real life spinal tap type film, except this isn't him hamming it up, this the genuine article.

    The film covers his career from when he first made a name for himself famously falling of a Marshall amp whilst performing on the BBC's legendary rock show 'The Old Grey whistle test' in the late 1970s through to right up to the films London premiere in the summer of 2013. For a man who saw himself as the next Bowie but fell very short it's amazing he's somehow managed to scrape a living with a very loyal fan base and lots of goodwill from people in the industry.

    Otway is a genuine one-off. The anecdotes from his previous producers and band members are at times hilarious, with Otway both sometimes genuine and sometimes playing to the camera. Yet the film is never disrespectful to him or his fan base. It may acknowledge his shortfalls but his manic style is there for all to see. He has also been clever enough to surround himself with some genuinely talented musicians who are completely at odds with his bumbling amateur style. Plus it features one of the funniest takes on his song 'head butts' I've seen.

    For a man who somehow has defied logic and scraped a living for forty years on the stage and with a couple of hit singles behind him, this film explains why he has appeal despite not being particularly talented (although occasionally he will surprise you like his ability to play the theremin). So just sit back and enjoy the show.
  • c-charlton117 October 2013
    This movie is great fun and gives an insight into the music industry as well as the highs and lows of John Otway's career. It's well worth watching even if you've never heard of him. Perhaps it will inspire you to buy an album.

    The movie tells the story right from his first hit record up to - quite literally - the start of the premiere of his film.

    John Otway's relentless pursuit of stardom is admirable. As is the persistent support of his fans who have supported him through thick and thin and buy great birthday presents! This movie puts Otway in danger of losing his title as'rock and roll's greatest failure'.
  • kevin-tozer17 July 2013
    This true story takes a comic look at the rise to fame, the fall from fame, and the triumphant rise to fame again of a legendary music hero - John Otway. You will laugh out loud at some of the rock antics, feel empathy for a very likable person as the failure count starts to rise, and feel the pain of the 18 seconds of film where he comes tumbling down with a rather unfortunate crash. (Also brought to life in a promotional flick book.) Some great footage from the late 70's which show the popularity of a man who received a much larger advance than The Jam when they were both signed by the same record company at a similar time. A must watch for any person wanting to break into the music business or who likes the emotions of a true life story.
  • anouk-yv16 July 2013
    I had pretty good expectations of this film anyway as I suspected it would certainly be entertaining if it had anything to do with John. But my expectations were far exceeded. I have only recently been introduced to the frenzied craziness that is Otway so I had some idea what I might expect from his movie. I had previously seen various internet clips of John and Wild Willie so was familiar with Headbutt and Really Free, (House of the Rising Sun, complete with heckles is still my personal favourite), but as I am slightly younger than the average Otway fan ;) I wasn't aware of the full history of John's musical career. It was fascinating to see his never ending enthusiasm and energy - I always end up exhausted after watching one of his performances! Whether you're an Otway fan or not, this is a fun film, showing John's many and crazy ideas for getting himself into the charts.
  • John Otway is the most unlikely pop star of all time. Self deprecating and refreshingly honest (he constantly refers to himself as a prat)- this musically inept buffoon leaps around like a cross between Basil Faulty and Bob Dylan on acid.

    After deciding at an early age he wanted to be famous, Otway initially teamed up in the mid 1970s with 'Wild' Willy Barrett an accomplished guitarist of some notoriety to form the ill fated duo 'Otway & Barrett'. Following a painful breakthrough performance on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' (where Otway fell from an amplifier crushing his testicles in front of millions of TV viewers) the pair scored chart success with their debut hit 'Really Free'.

    Otway recorded a solo follow up (which flopped) and Barrett (unsurprisingly) left the act (this set a theme - Barrett re-joined Otway and left again numerous times over the next 35 years). After securing a huge signing on fee to his recording contract - Otway buys a Bentley motor car (he can't drive but as he tells us 'it looks great outside the house when I ride home on my bicycle').

    The film charts Otway's endeavours to find the elusive second hit, and takes the viewer on a journey through one disaster after another as Otway attempts to catapult himself to super-stardom (only to fail again and again and again). Otway explains how he recorded a single with three 'mystery' copies that had no vocal track (whoever bought one was promised a live performance in their living room). How he wrote a book outlining his 'success from failure' model. We hear how he formed his Big Band (comprising Otway and 4 others).

    And finally (to coincide with his fiftieth birthday).... when it seemed the second hit would never come... how he mobilised his loyal fan base to beat the 'stage managed' British chart system that refused to 'allow' him a hit - and saw him finally and triumphantly reach the UK Top 10 with Bunsen Burner. The 'B' side was recorded with 1000 fans heckling Otway through a hilarious version of 'House of the Rising Sun'. Each and every one of them were named on the record credits.(as Otway explains - 'if you're named as a performer on a hit record - you don't just buy a copy for yourself - you buy one for your mum and auntie as well').

    Encouraged by this glimpse of the big time - Otway once again snatches failure from the jaws of success by attempting to organise a World Tour (complete with its own jumbo jet to carry 300 of his lunatic fans around the globe with him) playing venues from Sydney to Singapore, and on through Vegas and Tahiti! Unfortunately - only half that number signed up and Otway lost the huge deposit he had put down for the hire of the plane.

    The film moves to an amazing climax when (coinciding with Otway's sixtieth birthday) the fans once again show their adoration for 'their hero' in producing and funding the movie. The closing sequences of the film were shot minutes before the film's premiere and edited in whilst the audience watched the main body of the film - and then themselves arriving some 2 hours earlier.

    The film is interspersed with a brilliant soundtrack of Otway flops (plus 2 hits) and various celebrities offering comment on the eponymous micro-star. The closing titles lists the hundreds of fans who contributed cash as co-producers.............The DVD seems destined to sell well then!
  • mary-8219 November 2012
    A very funny film featuring Aylesbury's Two-hit Twit and First Man of Failure, John Otway, conducting a masterclass for bemused schoolchildren, to show them How Not to Be a Success. A case of "Mothers, tell your children not to do what I have done", to quote the B-side of a certain Top Ten hit. This film quells any doubts that Otway might be in danger of becoming more sensible as he ages and is probably the only movie in history where nobody attending the premiere could predict the ending, which was still in production. This was a brilliant twist and a big gamble; full credit should go to the editors for pulling it off.

    Otway the Movie should win awards. I can't wait for the DVD!