In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_y7l9rwoqor7inlzqf2xlkv5yx1a

Galia

Originally published on April 7, 1967.Georges Lautner's "Galia" opens and closes with arty shots of the ocean, mother of us all, but in between it's…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Give My Regards to Broad Street

Give My Regards to Broad Street Movie Review
  |  

The usual thing is to see the movie and buy the sound-track. With "Give My Regards to Broad Street," I think you can safely skip the movie and proceed directly to the sound track. In fact, you already may have substantial portions of the sound track in your record library; among The Beatles songs featured in this film are "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby." They've been rerecorded by Paul McCartney for this film, but they haven't been reinterpreted, and there are times when they sound uncannily like the original recordings. There are times, too, when the movie is uncanny. It seems to be a throwback to pre-Beatles days, back when pop musical films were simpleminded and shallow, back before "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" seemed to create a new tradition of fresh irreverence.

"Give My Regards to Broad Street" is about as close as you can get to a nonmovie, and the parts that do try something are the worst. The movie comes billed as "a day in the life of a famous rock star," but instead of actually giving us a day in McCartney's life (a promising idea, that), "Broad Street" supplies us with a fake crisis, paper-thin characters, and long musical interludes that have been photographed with a remarkable lack of style. The story: Tapes of a recording session have been entrusted to an ex-con who is now McCartney's employee. They, and the ex-con, have disappeared. Unless the tapes turn up by midnight, control of the multimillion dollar McCartney musical empire will pass into the hands of slimy investors. So Paul looks desperately for his friend, while the movie treads water with idiotic dream sequences.

The most unnecessary passages in the film are used to illustrate a long instrumental interlude in the middle of "Eleanor Rigby." I'm not sure I understood all the symbolism, but if I followed things all right, Paul and friends are in the midst of a Victorian nightmare that requires them to go on picnics and chat with Sir Ralph Richardson. The whole scene has heavy overtones of someone saying, "Hey, gang! Here's hundreds of thousands of dollars! Let's rent a camera and film an utterly meaningless interlude!"

The music is, of course, wonderful. The only scenes worth seeing in the film are the musical scenes, mostly filmed in a recording studio. Paul, Linda McCartney, and Ringo Starr perform (although Ringo reportedly refused to have anything to do with Paul's actual rerecording sessions of The Beatles classics, limiting his participation to an onscreen performance as himself). The music is wonderful, yes, but the performance photography is pedestrian. And the movie develops an inadvertent running gag in the person of Barbara Bach, Ringo's wife, who is given fourth-highest billing but does nothing except nod her head in time to the music, and play a nonspeaking guest at a dinner party at which McCartney never arrives. McCartney should have skipped the movie, too.

Popular Blog Posts

“The Breakfast Club”, 30 Years Later: A Conversation Across Generations

A film teacher looks back on "The Breakfast Club," partly through the eyes of her students.

The Melodrama Of Woody Allen’s Critical Reputation

The conversation about Woody Allen's personal and professional lives intertwining continues, but to what end?

Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all

As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishme...

Memories of Roger: My Photo Journal from the Last Two Years

A gallery of photos, videos and links illustrating Chaz's journey relating to Roger's legacy in the two years since h...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus