Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Stardust (Michael Apted, 1974)
no relation whatsoever to the 2007 film of the same name!

"Show me a boy who never wanted to be a rock star,
and I'll show you a liar."

In this sequel to That'll Be The Day (Claude Whatham, 1973), we continue on our journey with Jim Maclaine, again played by 70's British pop idol David Essex. Jim is no longer the bored and directionless British youth of the first film. He's learned the bass and joined a band called The Stray Cats. Along with his friend (and new band manager) Mike, played by 60's British pop idol Adam Faith, he quickly takes over, forcing the L.V. out. (Note to those readers in bands: always watch out for the bass player.. always standing off to the side, all quiet-like. they're likely plotting against you).
Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll ensue. We watch as Jim rises to the status of Rock-God and then spirals out of control (as one often does when one becomes a deity, Rock or otherwise). Talent is wasted. Record execs meddle. Friendships are betrayed. Marriages crumble. And not everyone is gonna make it out alive. It has a fantastic soundtrack as well, 60's classics along with The Stray Cats/Maclaine tunes from the film, performed by Essex (and can usually be found at Amoeba on double LP for under $4.00). All in all, one of the great rock flicks. Very possibly the best one you've never seen. Lots of 60's music references, more in-jokes than you can count. Fan or musician yourself, you're bound to recognize something in this film.
fun things to note:
- "Mike" was originally played by Ringo Starr in That'll Be the Day. He refused to return for the sequel- rumor has it he was uncomfortable with references to Pete Best.
- Keith Moon plays the band's drummer with all the energy and madness of his drumming. That guy is just fun to watch. might have had a brilliant film career had he not, you know...
- It also features Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing, Jr. himself, of Dallas fame), and numerous 60's and 70's Brit pop stars including Dave Edmunds and Marty Wilde.
- Stardust has never had a legitimate DVD release, but is available to rent on VHS at Rocket.


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