Pathetic acting and a scattershot plot sink this pitiful attempt by producer Robert Stigwood to turn the landmark Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" into an engaging film. Screenwriter Henry Edwards' threadbare tale, ever so loosely based on the Fab Four's famous concept
album, concerns the attempts of a bizarre assemblage of nefarious characters to steal the instruments of the Lonely Heart's Club Band, now headed by Sgt. Pepper's grandson, Billy Shears (then-popular rocker Peter Frampton) and his pals the Hendersons (Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, better known
as the Bee Gees). The film's plot doesn't offer even as much substance as Sgt. Pepper and company's animated conflict with the Blue Meanies in YELLOW SUBMARINE did. Michael Schultz's direction is flashy but uninvolving, and the film's updated versions of nearly 30 Beatles songs, performed
primarily by Frampton and the brothers Gibb, pale in comparison with the originals. However, the film includes spots from famous guest stars (actors and rockers) aplenty, and you could amuse yourself spotting them--or you could just listen to the original album and let your imagination do the
rest. Among the 20-plus compositions by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison are "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (sung by the Bee Gees, Paul Nicholas), "With a Little Help from My Friends" (Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees), "Fixing a Hole" (George Burns), "Getting Better"
(Frampton, Bee Gees), "Here Comes the Sun" (Sandy Farina), "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (Bee Gees, Dianne Steinberg, Nicholas, Donald Pleasance, Stargard), "Good Morning, Good Morning" (Nicholas, Frampton, Bee Gees), "Nowhere Man" (Bee Gees), "Polythene Pam" (Bee Gees), "She Came in through the
Bathroom Window" (Frampton, Bee Gees), "Mean Mr. Mustard" (Frankie Howerd), "She's Leaving Home" (Bee Gees, Jay MacIntosh, John Wheeler), "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Steinberg, Stargard), "Oh Darling" (Robin Gibb), "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" (Steve Martin), "Because" (Alice Cooper, Bee Gees),
"Strawberry Fields Forever" (Farina), "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite (Maurice Gibb, Frampton, Bee Gees, Burns), "You Never Give Me Your Money" (Nicholas, Steinberg), "Got To Get You into My Life (Earth, Wind and Fire), "When I'm 64" (Farina), "Come Together" (Aerosmith), "Golden Slumbers"
(Frampton), "Carry That Weight" (Bee Gees), "The Long and Winding Road" (Frampton), "A Day in the Life" (Barry Gibb, Bee Gees), "Get Back" (Preston).
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- Released: 1978
- Rating: PG
- Review: Pathetic acting and a scattershot plot sink this pitiful attempt by producer Robert Stigwood to turn the landmark Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" into an engaging film. Screenwriter Henry Edwards' threadbare tale, ever so loosely base… (more)