Rock and Roll Movies
* Recommended Titles
Includes musicals, concert films, documentaries, biographies and fictional subject matter (where singers and groups appear as musical interludes.)
G.I. Blues (1960)… Elvis Presley, Juliet Prowse, Robert Ivers, Leticia Roman, James Douglas, Sigrid Maier. Serviceman Tulsa McLean romances German dancer overseas. Prowse adds a lot of class and Elvis sings a bunch of songs. Not one of his best but worth a look. [Elvis was dating both Prowse and Roman at the time and the Prowse romance was pretty serious for a while.]
Note: The only Presley movies listed after this will be the ones strictly pertaining to the characters he portrays in the music business. All of the Elvis films on this list are worth checking out.
Because They're Young (1960)… Dick Clark, Michael Callan, Tuesday
Weld, Victoria Shaw, Doug McLure, Warren Berlinger, Roberta Shore. American
Expresso Bongo (1960)…
Beat Girl (1960)… David Farrar, Noelle Adam,
Teenage Millionaire (1961)… Jimmy Clanton, ZaSu Pitts, Rocky Graziano, Diane Jergens, Sid Gould, Maurice Gosfield. Pop star Bobby Chalmers inherits a million dollars and makes a record incognito. Performances by Chubby Checker, Jackie Wilson, Dion, Marv Johnson, Jack Larson, the Bill Black Combo, Vicki Spencer. [Graziano was the famous boxer; Gosfield was Doberman on TV's Sgt. Bilko.]
Twist Around the Clock (1961)… Chubby Checker, Dion, the Marcels, Vicki Spencer, Clay Cole, John Cronin, Mary Mitchell. Fictional account of how the Twist became popular. Highlights include Dion (“The Wanderer” and “Runaround Sue”) and the Marcells (“Blue Moon”) and of course Chubby Checker. The plot and dialog (same writer) are almost identical to "Rock Around the Clock" which is a bit on the corny side. Checker was riding high on his hit record “The Twist” which was sweeping the country as the newest dance craze.
Twist All Night (1961)… Louis Prima, June Wilkinson, Sam Butera and
the Witnesses, Gertrude Michael, David Whorf. Stupid comedy about Prima's
nightclub and his ditzy girlfriend. Directed by William Hole who also
did the legendary “Ghost of Dragstrip
Hollow.” [Prima was a '50s jazz singer and
Hey, Let's Twist! (1961)… Joey Dee and the Starlighters, the Peppermint Loungers, Jo Ann Campbell, Zohra Lampert, Teddy Randazzo, Allan Arbus. Disappointing story of the famous peppermint Lounge where the Twist started. JD&S perform most of the music and are the only act worth catching here.
Girls! Girls! Girls! (1961)… Elvis Presley, Stella Stevens, Laurel Goodwin, Benson Fong, Beulah Quo, Jeremy Slate. Elvis (Ross Carpenter) is chased by several girls through the whole movie but finds time to sing “Return To Sender” and lots of other lively numbers. One of the King's most energetic films.
The Young Ones (1961)… Cliff Richard, Robert Morley, Carole Gray.
Nicky records a song and his friends broadcast it via a pirate radio station,
touting him as "The Mystery Singer" to raise enough cash to save
their youth club from being destroyed. The Shadows perform “The Savage” among
others. [Cliff Richard was
Don't Knock the Twist (1962)… Chubby Checker, Gene Chandler, Vic
Dana, Linda Scott, Mari Blanchard, Lang Jeffries, the Dovells, Dee Dee Sharp,
the Carroll Brothers, Georgine Darcy. So-so twist movie noted only for the
performances of Checker (“Slow Twistin”), the Dovells (“Bristol Stomp”) and
Lonely Boy (1962)… A documentary of teen idol Paul Anka. Pretty well done considering the subject matter and year. The title is taken from one of his hit songs.
Wild Guitar (1962)… Arch Hall Jr., Nancy Czar, William Waters, Cash Flagg. Guitars + motorcycles + bad acting + bad script + bad direction = junk. Legendarily bad director Ray Dennis Steckler put this one together and it shows. Tag line - "Smashes the fun barrier!" said Allied Artists, the poor man's AIP. Robert Crumb, the underground cartoonist, also appears. [That's really Steckler as Cash Flagg and Arch Hall Sr. as William Waters. Steckler went on to make the cult classic, “Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies” and also “Rat Fink and Boo Boo,” both of which featured rock and roll soundtracks. Czar was a teenage Olympic ice skating champion.]
Some People (1962)… Kenneth More, David Hemmings, Ray Brooks, Angela Douglas. British teen movie about some bikers who form a band isn't too bad. The music is below average though, and is performed by the Eagles (not the famous ones).
Two Tickets to
Ring-a-Ding Rhythm (1962)… Helen Shapiro, Craig Douglas, Felix Felton, Arthur Mullard. Performers include Chubby Checker, Del Shannon, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Gene Vincent and Sounds Incorporated, the Paris Sisters, Gene McDaniels, Acker Bilk, The Temperance Seven. Basically forgettable British movie with many stars but no standout performances. Vincent's performance of "Spaceship to Mars" is probably the highlight. The Temperance Seven is interesting in a light-hearted, New Vaudeville Band way. Richard Lester's ("A Hard Day's Night") first directorial job. Originally titled “It's Trad, Dad!” [Dixieland Jazz was popular in England at this time which is why it is featured so much in the film. … Shapiro had a few hits and toured with the Beatles but never made it big in the U.S. Sounds Inc, Del Shannon and the Brook Brothers also toured with them.]
Swingin' Along (1962)… Tommy Noonan, Peter Marshall, Barbara Eden, Connie Gilchrist, Ray Charles, Roger Williams, Bobby Vee. Story of aspiring songwriter is not even saved by the music (except Charles rendition of “What'd I Say”). Several familiar faces throughout.
Play It Cool (1962)… Billy Fury, Michael Anderson Jr., Dennis Price,
Richard Wattis, Anna Palk, Keith Hamshere, Ray Brooks. British quickie involving
a rock group and a rich girl. Performers include Fury, Jimmy Crawford, Shane
Fenton and the Fentones, Helen Shapiro and Bobby Vee. Also, the Lionel Blair
Dancers. [In the 1960s, Billy Fury had
more top 20 hits in the
Beach Party (1963)… Bob Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Frankie Avalon,
Annette Funicello, Harvey Lembeck, Jody McCrea, Morey Amsterdam, John Ashley.
The first and most famous of the Beach movies from AIP is certainly not for
everybody but is a curiosity for the inclusion of Dick Dale and the Deltones
who sang the title tune for A Swingin' Affair earlier in the year. [Dale
was the beach bum who played guitar and surfed on his own but finally rose to
fame 32 years later with the hit soundtrack for Pulp Fiction. Also
appearing in cameos are Brian Wilson, Meredith MacCrea, Peter Falk and Vincent
Price.] Followed by four sequels – the second,
Just For Fun (1963)… Bobby Vee, the Crickets, Mark Wynter, Cherry Roland, Richard Vernon, Reginald Beckwith, John Wood, Freddie Cannon, Johnny Tillotson, Jet Harris, Ketty Lester, the Tremeloes, the Springfields, the Tornadoes, the Spotniks, Joe Brown and the Brothers, Louise Cordet. British teens run for office on the pop ticket. Silly plot but decent period piece of the British pre-Beatles music scene. Many rare appearances as well. [A rare post-Buddy Holly film appearance by the Crickets and the only artist to be featured twice in the movie.]
Live It Up (1963)… David Hemmings, Jennifer Moss, John Pike, Heinz Burt, Steven Marriott. Four British boys want to form a rock group. Performers include Gene Vincent, Sounds Incorporated, The Outlaws, Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen, Andy Cavell and the Saints, Kim Roberts, Trisha Noble. Dave Clark and Mitch Mitchell also appear. Burt was the bass player with The Tornados.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)… Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margaret, Maureen Stapleton, Paul Lynde, Jesse Pearson, Bobby Rydell, Ed Sullivan. Based on the Broadway Musical about rock star Conrad Birdie returning to his hometown. A clunker with forgettable songs that belongs on the worst list, if we had one. Ed Sullivan and John Daly have cameos. Remade in 1995 as a TV-movie. [The song, “We Love You Beatles” was adapted from a song in this movie.]
Hootenanny Hoot (1963)… Ruta Lee, Joby Baker, Pam Austin, Peter Breck. Sam Katzman quickie designed to cash in on the folk music boom of the early ‘60s. Performers include The Brothers Four, Sheb Wooley, Johnny Cash, The Gateway Trio, Judy Henske, George Hamilton IV, Joe & Eddie, Cathie Taylor and Chris Crosby.
I Hear the Blues (1963)… Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Johnson, Matt Murphy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Victoria Spivey, Bill Stepney. Deissingen by Alan Price. Directed by Philip Casson. Producer John Hamp. Granada Production. A 35-minute TV concert.
The Young Swingers (1963)… Rod Lauren, Molly Bee, The Sherwood Singers. The kids congregate at the Greenback Dollar and the grownups don’t like it. Gene McDaniels of 'A Hundred Pounds of Clay' fame is the musical talent. [Bee had a huge recording hit at age 13, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."]
It’s All Happening (1963)… Tommy
Steele, Michael Medwin, Angela Douglas, Jean Harvey, Bernard Bresslaw,
Dick Kallman, Johnny de Little, Carole Deene, George Mitchell Minstrels, Marion
Ryan, Geoff Love, John Barry, Russ Conway, Shane Fenton (aka Alvin Stardust).
Steele persuades some acts to appear in a concert to raise money to save an
orphanage. … "The Dream Maker" – USA title.
Summer Holiday (1963)… Cliff Richard, Lauri Peters, Melvyn Hayes, Una Stubbs.
Sing and Swing (1963)… David Hemmings, Veronica Hurst, Heinz Burt, Stephen Marriott, Jennifer Moss, John Pike. Below average British film about the rise of a pop group features performances by the Outlaws and Gene Vincent among others. Also known as Live It Up. [Marriott later formed the Small Faces and then Humble Pie.]
What a Crazy World (1963)… Joe Brown, Marty Wilde, Susan Maughm, Harry Corbett, Avis Bunnage, Freddie and the Dreamers. British movie about a young man who writes a hit song. Ehhh.
* Hard Day's Night (1964)… The Beatles first full-length feature film
is a classic featuring great songs and hilarious comic relief. The plot loosely
revolves around a typical hectic day in the group's life allowing each of their
personalities to shine through. Excellent supporting cast as well. [The group
began filming in
* The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)… Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry,
Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Jan and Dean, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Smoky
Robinson & the Miracles, Leslie Gore, Billy J. Kramer & The
Get Yourself a College Girl (1964)… Mary Ann Mobley,
Surf Party (1964)… Bobby Vinton, Patricia Morrow, Jackie DeShannon, Kenny Miller, Lory Patrick, Richard Crane, Jerry Summers, Martha Stewart, the Astronauts, the Routers. Pretty dull, and even the music is bad. [DeShannon was a recording artist who had hits with “What the World Needs Now is Love” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” … The Routers were a one-hit wonder with "Let's Go!" but they don’t sing it here.]
* Help! (1965)… The Beatles travel the world avoiding religious
fanatics chasing Ringo for one of his rings. A minor classic with a great
soundtrack and several funny scenes. Filmed on location in
* The Beatles at Shea Stadium (1965)… Most of the group’s 30-minute performance on Sunday Aug. 15, including some backstage footage, was the first by a rock band in such a large venue. They had trouble hearing themselves over the screams of the girls but somehow kept it together and pretty much in tune. The concert kicked off their second American tour. Ticket price = $5.65. Ed Sullivan, Brian Epstein, Murray the K, King Curtis Band, Brenda Holloway and Sounds Incorporated also appear. The Young Rascals and Cannibal & the Headhunters were two of the opening acts but are not shown here.
Charlie Is My Darling (1965)… The Rolling Stones first documentary film shot during a two-day tour of Ireland in September 1965. The 50 minute film contains a few concert clips with the video and audio portions out of sync, interviews with the band and fans, the band traveling and rehearsing in the studio. Finally released in 2012 although first shown on a very limited basis in 1966. Read Bill Wyman's autobiography "Stone Alone" for a more detailed account of this and all their concerts.
Ferry Cross the
Having a Wild Weekend (1965)… Dave Clark, Barbara Ferris, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley, Mike Smith, Denis West Payton. Trying to cash in on the Beatles' big screen success, the Dave Clark Five made this one about a group of stuntmen and their girlfriends looking for the perfect island. A curiosity, but mostly for DC5 fans. Good songs though. Originally titled, “Catch Us If You Can.”
Pop Gear (1965)… The Beatles, the Animals, Spencer Davis Group, Herman's Hermits, Peter and Gordon, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Sounds Incorporated, the Nashville Teens, the Honneycombs, the Four Pennies, the Fourmost, Tommy Quickly, the Rockin' Berries. AIP quickie about the British invasion is an interesting time capsule but all the performers, save for the Beatles, lip-sync their songs. DJ Jimmy Saville is the host. Also known as Go Go Mania.
Ballad in Blue (1965)… Ray Charles, Tom Bell, Mary Peach, Dawn
Addams. Charles plays himself rocking in
Village of the Giants (1965)… Tommy Kirk, Johnny Crawford, Beau
Bridges, Ronny Howard, Joy Harmon, Bob Random, Tisha Sterling, Tim Rooney,
Charla Doherty. One-of-a-kind script (and cast) about a group of giant
teenagers taking over a small town. Pretty bad but is good campy fun and
features the Beau Brummels, Freddy Cannon and Mike Clifford. Phil Spector and
Jack Nitzsche arranged the music. [Bridges, Rooney and
When the Boys Meet the Girls (1965)… Connie Francis, Harve Presnell, Sue Ann Langdon, Fred Clark, Frankie Faylen. Performers include Louis Armstrong, Herman's Hermits, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs and… Liberace? Remake of the Gershwin classic, “Girl Crazy.” [Faylen was Dobie Gillis' dad on TV.]
Wild on the Beach (1965)… Frankie Randall, Sherry Jackson, Russ
Bender, Booth Coleman, Justin Smith, Jerry Grayson, Marc Seaton, Robert Golden.
Stupid beach comedy noted only for the appearance of Sonny & Cher at the
height of their fame. Also features Jackie & Gayle, the Astronauts and
popular drummer Sandy Nelson. [
A Swingin' Summer (1965)… James Stacy, William Wellman Jr., Quinn O'Hara, Martin West, Allan Jones, Raquel Welch. Story of three guys who open a dance hall features performances by the Righteous Brothers, the Rip Chords and Gary Lewis and the Playboys and others. Gypsy Boots appears as himself. And Raquel sings, “I'm Ready to Groove.” Now that's entertainment.
Be My Guest (1965)… David Hemmings, Stephen Marriot, Andrea Monet, Avril Angers, Joyce Blair. British beach movie featuring performances by Jerry Lee Lewis, the Nashville Teens, Kenny and the Wranglers, the Nightshades and the Zephyrs.
Dateline Diamond (1965)… William Lucas, Kenneth Cope, George Mikell, Conrad Phillips, Patsy Rowlands, Kenny Everett. British film about a pirate-radio ship features performances by the Chantelles, Kiki Dee and the Small Faces.
Beach Ball (1965)… Edd Bynes, Chris Noel, Robert Logan, Gale Gilmore, Aron Kincaid, Mikki Jamison, Don Edmonds, Brenda Benet. Forget the story but watch the Supremes, the Four Seasons, the Righteous Brothers and the Walker Brothers along with the Hondells and the Nashville Teens. Tagline: Those surf ridin', skin divin', sky jumpin', drag racin', beach bashin' boys and their bikini beauties . . . in a blast of a beach brawl!
Gonks Go Beat (1965)… Kenneth Connor, Jerry Desmonds, Terry Scott, Frank Thornton, Barbara Brown. Forgettable British film fantasy noted only for the rare appearance of the Graham Bond Organization (with pre-Cream members Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce and pre-Mahavishnu John McGlaughlin), and Lulu's first singing group, Lulu and the Luvver.
The Girls on the Beach (1965)… Noreen Corcoran, Martin West, Linda Marshall, Steve Rogers, Anna Capri, Aron Kincaid, Lana Wood, Peter Brooks, Arnold Lessing. Three teenage girls fail to make good on a promise to get the Beatles for their dance. Pretty bad. The Beach Boys (“Little Honda,” “The Lonely Sea” and the title tune), the Crickets (“La Bamba”) and Leslie Gore perform.
Winter A-Go-Go (1965)… James Stacy, William Wellman Jr., Beverly Adams. Tagline: Ski Buffs and Ski Babes on the Go-Go in the Snow-Snow! Not much here. The Hondells sing the opening and closing credits. The Nooney Rickett Four, Joni Lyman and The Reflections also perform.
Rat Fink (1965)… Schuyler Hayden, Hal Bokar. A cold-hearted rock singer will do anything to get to the top including stealing, cheating and adultery.
Every Day's a
Cukoo Patrol (1965)… Freddie and the Dreamers, Kenneth Connor, John Le Mesurier, Victor Maddern, Arthur Mullard. Title says it all -- 76 minutes of pure drivel.
* The Big T.N.T. Show (1966)… David McCallum, Ray Charles, Petula
Clark, The Lovin' Spoonful, Bo Diddley, Joan Baez, the Ronettes (with Ronnie
Spector), Roger Miller, the Byrds, Donovan, the Seeds, the Modern Folk Quartet,
Ike and Tina Turner. The grand Phil Spector production is similar to the first
TAMI show with a lot of energy and it’s live at
Jean-Louis Barrault, Conrad Rooks, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg,
Disk-O-Tek Holiday (1966)… Freddy and the Dreamers, Freddy Cannon, the Chiffons, Peter and Gordon, Johnny B. Great, Louise Corday, the Bachelors, A Band of Angels, the Applejacks, Jackie & the Raindrops, the Vagrants, the Merseybeats, the Warriors, Jackie and the Raindrops, the Orchids, Millie Small. UK title: “Just For You.” The Vagrant featured Leslie West of guitar, later a founding member of Mountain.
Blues For Lovers (1966)… Ray Charles, Tom Bell, Mary Peach, Dawn Addams, Piers Bishop, Betty McDowall. British movie about Charles and a young blind boy is just too sentimental but the songs are good. Charles sings most of his hit tunes throughout. Also known as Ballad in Blue.
The Velvet Underground and Nico (1966)… Lou Reed, Nico, John Cale,
Hold On! (1966)… Peter Noone, Herman's Hermits, Shelly Fabares, Sue
Ann Langdon, Bernard Fox, Herbert Anderson. Follows the group on a
Ghost Goes Gear (1966)… Nicholas Parsons, Jack Haig, Arthur Howard, Joan Ingram, Tony Sympson, Sheila White. Also features The Spencer Davis Group – Spencer Davis, Stevie Winwood, Acker Bilk, Dave Berry, Muff Winwood, Pete York. The Spencer Davis Group starts playing in their manager’s haunted manor to raise money and save the house.
Out of Sight (1966)… Jonathon Daly, Karen Jensen, Carole Shelyne, Robert Pine, Forrest Lewis, Wende Wagner, Maggie Threat, Deanna Lund. Ignore the dumb beach-spy story and watch Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Turtles, the Knickerbockers, the Astronauts and Dobie Gray. Look fast for Richard Dawson and Jamie Farr.
Wild, Wild Winter (1966)… Gary Clarke, Chris Noel, Steve Franken, Don Edmonds, Suzie Kaye, Les Brown Jr., Vicky Albright, James Wellman. Stupid skiing movie with performances by Jay and the Americans, the Beau Brummels, the Astronauts, Jackie & Gayle and Dick & Dee Dee.
* Don't Look Back (1967)… Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Donovan, Alan Price,
Albert Grossman, Allen Ginsberg. Stark documentary of Dylan's 1965 concert tour
* Festival (1967)… Joan Baez, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Judy Collins, Donovan, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Howlin’ Wolf, Dick and Mimi Farina, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Spider John Koerner, Fred McDowall, Peter, Paul and Mary, Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Staple Singers, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Peter Yarrow. Highlights of the Newport Folk Festivals of 1963-1966 features several rare performances. This underrated gem serves as an important document in our musical history, partially for the 1965 performance by Bob Dylan when he finally went electric for his second set with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band behind him.
* Riot on Sunset Strip (1967)… Aldo Ray, Mimsy Farmer, Michael Evans,
Laurie Mock, Tim Rooney, Bill Baldwin. Cop’s daughter gets involved with
hippies and drugs. Features The Standells and The Chocolate Watchband
performing at Pandora's Box on the Sunset Strip. The Watchband was the West
Coast’s version of the Rolling Stones but never made it big. Their
super-charged performance and Farmer’s sensuous drug-induced dancing is the
reason to see this movie. The Enemies (later renamed as Three Dog Night) also
perform. [Filmed and released within six weeks of the actual Sunset Strip riots
in the fall of 1966, partially caused by police brutality and contributed to by
the druggies and the closing of Pandora’s Box (Preston Epps was the house band
there). The riots inspired Stephen
Stills to write "For What It's Worth." The Strip (a stretch of Sunset Boulevard) was the
center of the LA rock scene with clubs like
the Whisky, the Galaxy, London Fog, the Unicorn and Sneaky Pete's. The
Byrds started it all when they debuted at Ciro's on March 26th 1965 with Bob
Dylan joining them on stage. The local clubs also introduced Love, Buffalo
Springfield, the Mothers of Invention, the Doors, and many more. The
Standells were the house band right down the hill on
Tonight Let's All Make Love in
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)… The Beatles. The idea was to load up a
bus with several characters and travel around the countryside to see what would
happen. Nothing much did. Easily the worst Beatles film but still has some good
songs. BBC1-TV film first seen December 26 but critics attacked the show the
very next day keeping the film from
Blast-Off Girls (1967)… Dan Conway, Ray Sager. Better than you think
Hershel Gordon Lewis effort about sleazy promoter Boojie Baker who manipulates
all those around him, including his rock band, The Big Blast. When the band
becomes disenchanted, Boojie sets them up for a drug bust. [Lewis is commonly
revered as "the Godfather of Gore" because of his below average blood
and gore movies in the early 60s. … The featured band is The Faded Blue, a
Mondo Hollywood (1967)… Frank Zappa, Jayne Mansfield, Jimmy Carl Black, Bobby Beausoleil, Jay Sebring, Gypsy Boots. Low-budget hippie exploitation junk noted for the once-in-a-lifetime cast. Black was Zappa’s drummer. Beausoleil went to prison for a Manson Family related murder, and Sebring was a Manson Family victim in the Sharon Tate murders. The soundtrack was composed by the future Attorney General of California, Mike Curb.
Good Times (1967)… Sonny and
Privilege (1967)… Paul Jones, Jean Shrimpton, Marc London, Max Bacon, Jeremy Child, the George Bean Group. Decent British film about the government using popular rock star Jones to manipulate the public (in futuristic 1970!). Big-budget production values and decent acting makes this worth a look but the music is terrible. [Jones was the lead singer from Manfred Mann.]
The Cool Ones (1967)… Roddy McDowall, Debbie Watson, Gil Peterson, Phil Harris, Nita Talbot, Mrs. Miller. (Now campy spoof) of the music business (shades of Phil Spector as the manager character) has some interesting moments but inevitably falls flat. Glen Campbell, the Bantams, the Leaves, The Forte' Four and T.J. and the Fourmations provide musical interludes. Original songs by Lee Hazelwood. Think Laugh-In and Austin Powers and you’ll enjoy it. [The Leaves were the first group to score a hit with their version of “Hey Joe”… Look for the ubiquitous Mrs. (Elvira) Miller, an old lady who spent most of her time in the audiences of popular TV shows of the day and also had two best-selling albums. … Terry Garr was one of the go-go dancers. … Christina Ferra-Gilmore, who plays the little girl singing to Dave, penned an acting book and also ran the Actors Edge and the Rising Stars Acting School For Kids in Beverly Hills … This movie basically sealed the doom of Watson, who had talent and looks … and also Peterson.]
Double Trouble (1967)… Elvis Presley, Annette Day, John Williams,
Yvonne Romain, the Weire Brothers, Chips Rafferty, Michael Murphy. Teenage
heiress falls for Guy Lambert, a pop singer touring
The Love-Ins (1967)… Richard Todd, James MacArthur, Susan Oliver, Mark Goddard, Carol Booth, Marc Cavell, Janee Michelle, Ronnie Eckstine. Hollywood’s version of hippies, the underground, pregnancy, murder and drugs with Todd playing a Timothy Leary character. Features performances by the Chocolate Watchband, the UFOs, New Age and Donnie Brooks with a cameo by talk show host Joe Pyne.
C'mon Let's Live a Little (1967)… Bobby Vee, Jackie DeShannon, Eddie
Hodges, John Ireland Jr., Suzie Kaye, Bo Belinsky, Patsy Kelly, Kim Carnes, Ken
Osmond. Boy and girl meet in college, fall in love and sing some songs. Pass.
[Belinsky is the ex-baseball pitcher and
Catalina Caper (1967)… Tommy Kirk, Del Moore, Peter Duryea, Robert Donner, Ulla Stromstedt, Brian Cutler, Lyle Wagoner, Little Richard, the Cascades, Mary Wells, Carol Connors. One of the last attempts to cash in on the dying beach movie formula. Wells sings the title tune, Little Richard sings “Scuba Party.” Need we say more? [Connors eventually became a porn star.]
* Yellow Submarine (1968)… Animated film set to Beatles music (several songs from “Sgt. Pepper”) loaded with surreal visuals and typical Beatles humor. Story revolves around the boy's attempts to save Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. The L.A. Times called it "the most stupendous animation feat in decades" and "gloriously conceived" while the New York Times proclaimed it "of no great importance" and "informed by marijuana."
* Rock and Roll Circus (1968)… The Rolling Stones (with Brian Jones), The Who, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithful, Taj Mahal. Originally, a made-for-British TV special filmed December 11, 1968; this multimedia event went unreleased for years. The Stones were unsatisfied with their performance (six songs) and reportedly felt that The Who (“A Quick One While He's Away”) outdid them. They were right. Brian Jones, who was in no shape to perform by the time they went on at 2 am, died soon after. Filmed in front of an invited audience of 300 at InterTel, the former Ready Steady Go! studio in London, it was supposed to be a TV spectacular as the return of the greatest little rock band in the world. They had just returned from a period of inactivity with the album, Beggars Banquet.
* Psych-Out (1968)… Susan Strasberg, Dean Stockwell, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Adam Roarke, Max Julien, Henry Jaglom, Linda Gaye Scott. Campy AIP Haight-Ashbury hippie movie with a good cast about deaf girl looking for brother and falling for pony-tailed Nicholson. Produced by Dick Clark and features performances by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Seeds, the Storybook and Boenzee Cryque. Definitely worth a look especially to catch the SAC (“Incense and Peppermints”) and the Seeds (“Pushin' Too Hard”). Tagline: Taste a Moment of Madness...Listen to the Sound of Purple.
Sympathy for the Devil (1968)… Filming over several days in the studio, Jean-Luc Godard captures the evolution of the Rolling Stones hit song – from the acoustic-guitar-heavy number to the finished rock anthem. Interspersed are several 1960s scenes, some disturbing, featuring western counter-culture images like the Black Panthers, the Kennedys, Women’s Liberation, the revolt in France, etc.
Revolution (1968)… Poor attempt at a documentary of the early hippie
seen in and around
Wild in the Streets (1968)… Christopher Jones, Shelly Winters, Diane Varsi, Hal Holbrook, Millie Perkins, Ed Begley, Richard Pryor, Bert Freed. Singing star Max Frost is elected President and chaos reigns. Film made quite a splash back in '68 but plays a little tamer now. Features several no-name acts singing forgettable songs. Melvin Belli, Pamela Mason, Louis Lomax, Army Archerd and Walter Winchell appear as themselves. [The song "Shape of Things To Come" was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and performed by The 13th Power. It charted as sung by Max Frost and the Troopers. … Perkins has the unique distinction of playing Elvis Presley's girlfriend in the movies and his mother on TV.]
You Are What You Eat (1968)… Tiny Tim, Peter Yarrow, Paul Butterfield, Barry McGuire, Electric Flag, Harper's Bizarre, David Crosby, John Simon, Eleanor Barooshian. Documentary of the mid-60s hippie movement is uneven but features many interesting and rare performances.
Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush (1968)… Barry Evans, Judy Geeson,
Angela Scoular, Sheila White. British movie about a young mod seeking to lose
his virginity. From the Hunter Davies' (The Beatles) novel of the same
name, the film captures the mood of swinging
Head (1968)… The Monkees, Terri Garr, Vito Scotti, Timothy Carey, Logan Ramsey, Frank Zappa, Jack Nicholson, Annette Funicello, Bob Rafelson. Unusual movie (the Monkees first and last) has no coherent plot but rather several unrelated vignettes strung together. Has some funny moments and is worth a look but is not for all tastes. The Monkees sing six forgettable songs. Several cameos including Sonny Liston and Victor Mature. Co-written by Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson (“Five Easy Pieces”, “Easy Rider”).
Uncle Meat (1968)… Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. A combination of fiction, home movies and concert footage, this movie tells the story of Uncle Meat who is trying to write a hit song but sometimes changes into a monster. Sound weird? It’s even weirder when you see it. Zappa could not find a backer so it sat unreleased until 1987. Don Preston (aka Dom DeWilde/Biff Debris/Uncle Meat) was Zappa’s keyboard player. The concert footage was taken at the Mothers ‘68 Royal Albert Hall show. Linda Ronstadt has a cameo.
Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1968)… Herman's Hermits, Lance Percival, Stanley Holloway, Mona Washbourne, Marjorie Rhodes, Sheila White, Sarah Caldwell. Mostly a showcase for Peter Noone and his group singing songs including “There’s A Kind of Hush”. The plot concern’s the group's attempt to raise money to enter their dog (Mrs. Brown) in a race. Nice location shots in and around London, Manchester and Surrey.
Petulia (1968)… Julie Christie, George C. Scott, Richard Chamberlain,
Shirley Knight, Arthur Hill, Joseph Cotton, The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and
the Holding Company. The story of a divorced doctor's relationship with a
younger woman in
West Pole (1968)… Rare TV documentary on the San Francisco sound. Co-produced and hosted by syndicated columnist Ralph J. Gleason. Performances by Ace of Cups, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sons of Champlain and the Steve Miller Band.
The Fastest Guitar Alive (1968)… Roy Orbison, Sammy Jackson, Maggie Pierce, Joan Freeman, Sam Scaduto. Orbison plays a confederate soldier with a rifle concealed inside his guitar. Elvis turned this one down – you should too. Orbison sings six forgettable songs.
* Easy Rider (1969)… Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson,
Karen Black, Robert Walker, Phil Spector, Toni Basil, Karen Black. Dated but
now classic film about two bikers looking for
The Stones in the Park (1969)… TV documentary of the Rolling Stones free concert in London's Hyde Park. The July 5 event, just two days after Brian Jones's death, begins with Jagger reading Shelley's "Adonaïs" following the release of white butterflies as the band launches into "Jumpin' Jack Flash." So-so performance although notable as Mick Taylor’s debut with the band.
Revolution (1969)… Today Malone, Herb Caen, Ronnie Davis, Louis
Gottlieb, Jurt Hirschhorn. Documentary about the Haight-Ashbury,
Popcorn (1969)… Documentary of the late sixties featuring Mick Jagger, Arthur Lee, Alan Ginsberg, John Lennon, Twiggy, sitar music in India, the Vietnam war and Beach Boys music. Also appearing are the Vanilla Fudge, Joe Cocker, the Bee Gees, Otis Redding.
More (1969)… Mimsy Farmer, Klaus Grunberg. A young man gets introduced into the world of drugs by his girlfriend. Pink Floyd composed the original music in an impressive soundtrack but does not appear.
The Guru (1969)… Michael York, Rita Tushingham, Utpal Dutt. A British
rock star studies meditation and the sitar in
Johnny Cash – The Man, His World, His Music (1969)… Johnny Cash, Bob
Dylan, Carl Perkins filmed in Cash's hometown of