Born to Boogie (1972)
Glam rock superstars T. Rex and their flamboyant frontman, Marc Bolan, were at the height of their fame in the spring of 1972, thanks to a string of hit singles and the smash album Electric Warrior, when former Beatles drummer and budding filmmaker Ringo Starr approached Bolan with the idea of making a movie about the band. Starr filmed a pair of T. Rex concerts at the Wembley Empire Pool, shot a jam session featuring T. Rex, Ringo, and Elton John tearing through a handful of rock oldies in the studio, and included some eccentric comedy bits for texture (including a sequence in which a Mad Hatter-styled Bolan plays a medley of T. Rex hits backed by a string quartet while a group of nuns feast on hamburgers). The result was Born to Boogie, a suitably frantic document of Great Britain's collective bout with "T. Rex-stacy," and the definitive record of Bolan's strutting charisma. Songs include "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," "Jeepster," "Hot Love," "Telegram Sam," "Baby Strange," "Children of the Revolution," and more. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Born to Boogie
Audience Reviews for Born to Boogie
Directed by Ringo Starr (who knows a few things about performing for shrieking teenage girls), "Born to Boogie" captures Marc Bolan at the height of his pop-idol fame.
Concert footage dominates the film, spanning best-known T. Rex tunes such as "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," "Jeepster," "Cosmic Dancer" and "Telegram Sam." Staged sequences include a studio jam on "Children of the Revolution" (with Starr and Elton John in the backing band!) and an unlikely lawn party where Bolan and a string quartet perform for friends dressed as nuns. There's also some giggling nonsense with a car on an empty airstrip where Bolan, Starr and a midget gnawing on a side mirror (you heard me right) preen and cavort. The latter offers the only glimpses of Bolan as a person because, unfortunately, he speaks little and is never interviewed.
The songs are retooled in various ways but, unfortunately, extending them or stripping them to acoustic versions just serves to expose the crudity of T. Rex's rather simplistic, guitar-boogie sound. It remains a mystery why Bolan settled upon this limited style after exploring such an intriguing range of elfish folk songs in the early days of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Short at just 67 minutes, "Born to Boogie" is definitely an item for T. Rex fans only. The late Bolan's glittering charisma is more than evident in his shaggy curls, strutting stage moves and still-unique voice, but it's unlikely that any viewers will be freshly impressed with his music.
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