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  Be My Guest Beats And Breakfast
Year: 1965
Director: Lance Comfort
Stars: David Hemmings, Steve Marriott, John Pike, Andrea Monet, Ivor Salter, Diana King, Avril Angers, Joyce Blair, David Healy, Tony Wager, David Lander, Robin Stewart, Monica Evans, Pamela Ann Davy, Douglas Ives, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Nashville Teens
Genre: Musical, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dave Martin (David Hemmings) is waving goodbye to his London home as he and his parents are upping sticks to head for Brighton. He does not know where this will leave his bandmates Ricky (Steve Marriott) and Phil (John Pike) but will keep in touch as he sets off in his car to follow the removal van which his parents are travelling in, but things don't quite work out the way he expected when his car breaks down on the way. By the time he gets to the new house, it is late at night, and he isn't about to start clearing up the place, a bed and breakfast, now...

Whew, rock 'n' roll, eh? This was the follow up to Live It Up, making a two-film series for producer and director Lance Comfort, which turned out to be the second last movie he ever released due to his untimely death the next year. It was largely the same type of story, with Dave and his chums the struggling musicians looking for their big break, and you can probably guess how that turns out, but there was a lot of drama with the guest house and Dave's new job at the local newspaper to get through into the bargain, bulking out the plot to feature length without greatly taxing the audience.

There were other, non-fictional bands here as well, dropped into the action when the excitement was felt to be waning, yet where in the first film the producing hand of the legendary Joe Meek was making its mark, this time round it was more the beat boom that informed the tunes. Around this point the interest in British music across the Atlantic was being reciprocated in the UK, hence the main imported star here was Jerry Lee Lewis, some seven years after the scandal which broke in England which saw him persona non grata for marrying his thirteen-year-old cousin (once removed), but here experiencing a revival of popularity in Europe.

Lewis only performs one song, but he's not bad though relatively restrained compared to the antics which made him famous, or infamous anyway, backed by The Nashville Teens who also show up later on to do a tune of their own. This transatlantic theme to the music was simply responding to what was interesting the youth of the day, but you also get Joyce Blair (sister of British light entertainment favourite Lionel Blair) crooning a ballad written by John Barry, and it's at moments like these when Be My Guest looks less Swinging Sixties and more Fabulous Fifties. This rather old before its time air is only emphasised by what supports the music.

Hemmings was your basic fresh-faced lead, and had a decent enough rapport with both Pike and Marriott, the latter soon to be making inroads into pop stardom as part of The Small Faces and a scene-stealing presence here. The female lead was not Blair - she plays a singer who could help the boys on the ladder to success - but Andrea Monet, taking part in her only film as a dancer who befriends Dave and moves into the guest house along with Ricky and Phil who show up before long. One thing you do notice is that almost everyone is on the verge of losing their temper, or so it appears: certainly Dave's dad (Ivor Salter) is a right grump, and the housekeeper at the B&B (Avril Angers) has nary a good word to say about anyone. This permamently pissed off atmosphere tends to take the edge off the fun, but if you were just interested in the songs you shouldn't find it hampering your enjoyment too much as the actual plot was forgettable stuff.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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