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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978).

September 8, 2009

The Scoop:
With Beatles Rockband coming out tomorrow, we’re in the midst of another one of those periodic waves that flood our culture celebrating the Beatles’ legacy. It is most definitely a legacy that deserves celebrating, but sometimes it’s worth remembering that not every appropriation of the Beatles is a work of genius.

Take, for instance, this… thing. How was this ever a good idea? Pop stars of the ’70s (including the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton and Earth, Wind & Fire) gather to cover Beatles songs and participate in some sort of plot cobbled together from references to Beatles lyrics. And the resulting film is even worse than the description sounds.

It was directed by Michael Schultz (who was also responsible for “Car Wash” and “Carbon Copy”), written by Henry Edwards (who had no other film credits after this) and the non-musical cast includes George Burns, Donald Pleasance, Sandy Farina and Steve Martin.

Despite an interesting touch or two (such as the inspired casting of Aerosmith as the evil enemy band), this is only good for unintentional laughs and not much else. Provided you can stomach the desecration of such great music.

Best Line:
“Could Billy survive 10,000 volts? It was a lot more than normally came through his guitar. Frankly, he was shocked. Stunned and unconscious, only the power of true love could revive the injured Billy.”

Side Note:
The “Guests of Heartland” read like a who’s who of the mid-1970s pop charts, including Leif Garrett, Jose Feliciano, Donovan, Yvonne Elliman, Rick Derringer, Seals and Crofts, Dr. John and dozens of others. Hidden in the crowd – and carefully omitted from the end credits – are George Harrison and Paul and Linda McCartney.

Companion Viewing:
“Xanadu” (1980) and “Across the Universe” (2007).

Links:
IMDb.
Fan site.
Trading cards!.
The history of the trumpet.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

Sandy Farina plays Strawberry Fields, singing “Strawberry Fields Forever”:

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