Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Be My Guest, 1965

I was a teenager in 1965, seeing all the movies, but never came across this one, Perhaps it played for a week as a supporting feature at the local Odeon or ABC and then vanished for ever. Even its star David Hemmings barely mentions it in his entertaining memoirs.

A family inherits a seaside hotel and has trouble filling it up until their son's rock group begins packing 'em in. This film was one of several British films from the mid-sixties which offered the added inducement of a guest appearance by Jerry Lee Lewis.

This is one of those 'happy-young-people-making-music' movies popular then - though its the mid-60s with Beatlemania at its peak, its like A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, THE KNACK or BILLY LIAR never happened. It harks back to 1962's SOME PEOPLE and TWO LEFT FEET, both also featuring the young Hemmings,   He is the lead here, just a year before being cast by Antonioni as the face of Swinging London in  BLOW-UP in 1966, and he cheerfully goes through the motions. This one is directed by one Lance Comfort. 

Its of interest now only for him and co-star one Stephen Marriott, who went on to become Steve Marriott of The Small Faces group. We liked them a lot, he had started as an actor, and was an Artful Dodger in OLIVER on stage. 
Also interesting for me is that long opening tracking shot along the Brighton coastline showing the whole city front then. I lived there for several years. It was also the time of those old trains where one could sit in the guard's van, along with deliveries, just like they do in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT. What on earth though is Jerry Lee Lewis doing here? - perhaps he was touring the UK at the time.

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