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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released in 1978) - A flop musical movie

If you like utter confusion along with Beatle lyrics sung by the Bee Gees, then this film is entirely for you. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is an American musical film released in 1978. This movie was initially a Broadway show directed by Tim O'Horgan and has twenty sound tracks from the Beatles which act as the dialogue. Only George Burns has actual spoken lines which serves for the narration. The Sound-tracks include the Beatle albums 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and 1969's Abbey Road.
In the land called “heartland” lived Sgt. Pepper who with his music and band singlehandedly wins the World War one and returns home a hero to be immortalized on the top of of a wind vane in the town center. Pepper grows old and inevitably dies and his band is scattered. Cut to the present, Sgt. Pepper's grandson Billy wearing white overalls with his name emblazoned on it reforms the band and declares himself the new Sgt. Pepper. His new band has the Henderson brothers and they take Heartland by storm. They sing the Beatles number's so provocatively that you suspect the towns peoples sanity. The Mayor declares them the new phenomena and opens the town for them.



Anyways the new “it” boys are lured to Los Angeles where they go ga-ga over money, machines and women. In the mean time an unnamed villain gives his henchman Mr. Mustard a carte-blanche to destroy the innocence of Heartland. So Mr. Mustard plans to replace the pristine fields and the quaint town with gambling arcades and fast food restaurants. The villain also directs him to steal the original instruments of Sgt. Pepper and sell it to another bunch of bad guys, played by Steve Martin and Aerosmith. In the view of such debauchery and destruction, Billy's girl friend Strawberry fields set out in search for the saviors to Los Angeles.
As Billy and Co return Mr. Mustard gets nasty. Billy is electrocuted and is in a comatose state and even the sad songs from Strawberry Fields does not zap him to life. Then horror of horrors Strawberry is killed accidentally by Aerosmith. All this sadness brings the Sgt. Pepper weather vane to life (played by Beatles collaborator Billy Preston) and he zaps everything back to normal. Then all the bands sing “we are the world" with Tina Turner.
This movie has been a very odd wacky production which runs haywire. It started as a 1974 Broadway show, whose producer Robert Stigwood, determined to make a movie knocked out a script with all the Beatles songs. The end result was a patchwork story interspersed with songs pushing the audiences in to hysteria. Even critical acclaim was denied mercifully with majority of them pillorying the direction and script.
I for one thing would never recommend watching the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie even on a really good day. Even the most wackiest simpleton would never understand the motives for making this movie.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released in 1978) - A flop musical movie

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