2 April 2018

That'll Be the Day

That’ll Be the Day 1973
  • Director: Claud Whatham
  • Based on novel: No
  • Cast: David Essex, Ringo Starr, Rosemary Leach, Billy Fury, Keith Moon, Rosalind Ayres, Robert Lindsey,
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in
    • Ringo Starr – Caveman, Candy, Magical Mystery Tour, Help! A Hard Day’s Night
    • Rosemary Leach – Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, A Room with a View, All’s Well that Ends Well
    • Rosalind Ayres –Titanic
    • Robert Lindsey  – Extras, Gideon’s Daughter, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well that Ends Well, Twelfth Night
  • Why? Early rock history in England
  • Seen: once before. Now 31 March 2018

Jim is a small boy at the end of the war. His father has survived and come home but can’t take home life and leaves again.
Ten or so years later. Jim (Essex) abandons a promising future as a student and buggers off, like his dad.  He goes to Brighton, gets work renting deck chairs on the beach, hustles girls. All to late 50’s music – ‘Runaway’, Party Doll’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’, ‘Oh Donna’, ‘Tutti Frutti.’
He leads a tawdry life, writes poetic song lyrics and dreams of fame, he gets a job at a holiday resort and his affable work- and flat mate Mike (Starr) sets him up with girls. While Mike is basically decent, Jim becomes a charming but cold womaniser, even a date rapist. He abandons Mike who is being beat up by thugs and takes his job. After a time he returns to his mother and her grocery shop and the years pass.
He really is not at all nice. Charming but basically a selfish little sod.
The music is good, the acting is good, it’s fun to see Ringo as a somewhat sleazier but just as good-hearted version of himself but if we are expected to feel sympathy for Jim’s soul-searching it doesn’t happen. He is simply such an unpleasant character that it sours the film for me.

2 ½ * of 5

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