Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Iron Mask, The
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Butterfly Murders, The
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
  Golden Disc, The Toppermost Of The Poppermost
Year: 1958
Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Lee Patterson, Mary Steele, Terry Dene, Linda Gray, Ronald Adam, Peter Dyneley, David Jacobs, David Williams, Richard Turner, Marianne Stone, Redmond Phillips, Raymond Hodge, Stanely Platts, Peter Godsell, Dennis Lotis, Nancy Whiskey
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Joan Farmer (Mary Steele) is an aspiring singer topping the bill at this London theatre, but she quickly realises nobody is there to listen to her, the audience want to hear the support act, crooner Dennis Lotis, who they swoon over and file out of the auditorium to catch at the stage door while Joan goes on. She is greeted with the sight of hardly anyone in the seats at all, and when she is finished her act she mopes backstage to her dressing room, but there is something to cheer her up, an old showbiz pal, Harry Blair (Lee Patterson), who is back in the country trying to establish himself as a songwriter and producer. Then Joan's Aunt Sarah (Linda Gray) appears to lift her spirits further, inviting them both back to her latest acquisition...

That being a coffee bar, which was the in thing for socialising in 1958, especially when you could get all revved up for the evening on espresso rocket fuel, helpful for listening to the jukebox or if you were lucky, a live performer. This was the milieu The Golden Disc existed in, a blatant cash in on youth culture in a way that the Americans had been exploiting across the Atlantic: the lessons of the cheap and cheerful - and highly profitable - Bill Haley vehicle Rock Around the Clock were very well learned by all sections of the entertainment industry. The studio here was Butcher's, one of the most prolific B movie producers of the era, and knowing a good thing when they saw it they rushed this into cinemas.

They did not have a Bill Haley, nor an Elvis Presley for that matter, to present to the eager audience, but they did have Terry Dene, a name that while moderately successful in his day, found his name kept alive by TV stations broadcasting this film as filler, leading the unwary to not believe their eyes when they realised yes, someone did intend us to take this seriously. Much of that reaction was down to how director Don Sharp struggled to bring the material to life, and while his efforts were admirable they did tend towards the embarrassing end of the pop music spectrum, not that there was much that could be readily identifiable as rock 'n' roll. Not to modern ears, but back then the Brits wrestled with competing with the Americans like this.

By essentially placing their own spin on tunes from the United States, which meant cover versions of what had been hits over there (interesting that Pat Boone is mentioned as a rival to Terry when Boone became notorious for "sanitising" raunchier black numbers for the majority of the square, white public) and lots of skiffle. This in turn would lead to the interest in the blues, but 1958 was not quite ready to mainstream that yet, so Dene's songs were bland confections that somewhat belied his reputation for a stormy temper away from the stage, much of that thanks to the press winding him up to generate a story. Here butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, his aspiring pop star was wholesome enough to make your teeth itch, and he was not the only performer to be caught here as Joan and Harry devise a new record label.

They publicise their product with the use of Aunt Sarah's coffee bar, which does make the plot more captivated by the ins and outs of showbiz management than it is with promoting Dene's career, indeed a large part of the drama, such as it was, involved Joan negotiating contracts and deciding the best method of distribution, only broken up by scenes of the artistes singing. The only one of those who may be known this far ahead was Nancy Whiskey, who had a big success with a wistful skiffle ditty called Freight Train, though it's a mark of how famous she was, never mind the calibre of stars The Golden Disc secured, that probably most people will look blank should you mention her today. With impromptu dancing (which appeared awkwardly contrived) and a tone that veered from serious to romantic to comedic, it was patently obvious that they were trying to beat the American efforts at their own game, a pursuit that many a British endeavour would attempt far into the future. Silly ephemera, then, but very telling as to where the pop culture was at for this point in time.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1692 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: