Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
Rock promoter Robert Stigwood produced this musical pastiche of Beatles songs, based on their seminal rock album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Peter Frampton (as Billy Shears) and The Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, and Maurice Gibb as Mark, Dave, and Bob Henderson) make up the Fab Four of Sgt. Pepper's Band. Twenty-nine Beatles songs are woven together -- sung by as disparate a collection of personalities as George Burns, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Connie Stevens, David Bowie, and Steve Martin, who perform hallucinatory versions of Beatles hits. The whole mish-mash culminates when a gold-lamť garbed Billy Preston, as a black messiah, sings Hey Jude and raises the dead. … More
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Critic Reviews for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
A totally bubblegum and cotton candy melange of garish fantasy and narcissism.
A motion picture whose awfulness can hardly be imagined on a human scale.
Pathetic acting and a scattershot plot sink this pitiful attempt by producer Robert Stigwood to turn the landmark Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band into an engaging film.
Inert musical set to the bubblegum music of the popular 1967 Beatles album.
Oh yeah, the Bee Gees are much better than that other band.
gleefully nutty chaos!
The only reason to watch this is to laugh at how bad it was. That, and the haircuts.
Sitting through what passes for a story here is like trying to make a meal out of a can of vanilla frosting. ...The comments on the test screening scorecards must have been priceless.
Mermerizingly awful. A bad idea, badly executed
Audience Reviews for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
What a corny, cheesy, stupid movie! How could they make a Beatles movie without the Beatles, where they make a silly story to go along with their famous songs? And to cast the Bee-Gees as the main characters? What? This movie is interesting to see, but it's pretty bad, so don't expect much. The best parts are the songs from Aerosmith and Alice Cooper.More
Wow. Just... wow. This film is the rock n' roll equivalent of burning an American flag. It's the equivalent of farting at a wedding. It is the equivalent of making out during Schindler's List. I'm not going to talk about the plot (there isn't one). I'm not going to list the characters (there aren't any). I'm just going to tear this movie apart. Not that it's going to be difficult.
I have to start by letting you know what the producers thought this film was going to be. They considered this as the Gone with the Wind of the '70's generation. I shit you not. They were obviously on good drugs in 1977-78 because I wouldn't even call this film Break Like The Wind.
We have to begin with the leads. You have Peter Frampton, who put out some live album and then was never really heard from again. He's like Warren Zevon except Zevon had TALENT! So we get Frampton butchering Beatle tunes. But that's not all. That's not the worst of it. Guess who else gets to shit on the moniker of Lennon/McCartney. That's right, the Bee Gees. The Brothers Gibb weren't satisfied with destroying most of late '70's popular music, they had to wreck most of the '60's, too.
But that's not all. It's actually down hill from this point with each musical interlude more cringeworthy than the next. Donald Pleasence singing I Want You (She's So Heavy). No, it gets worse. How about Steve Martin puking up Maxwell's Silver Hammer? No, it gets worse. Alice Cooper doing Because. It keeps getting worse and worse until you just can't take it. You have to exit the room and defecate because it's one piece of shit after another.
Sgt. Pepper also jumps on the Star Wars band wagon. There's an odd little duel with hammers that light up and glow like- yes, you guessed it- lightsabers. And Mr. Mustard has to C3PO's with boobs
massaging him throughout the film. Oh, and apparently Billy Preston can raise the dead (and change your clothes).
Films like this are usually horrible, especially when the songs are taken out of the context that they were meant to be. Across the Universe is another such crapfest that features people who shouldn't be singing Beatle songs. Listen, if I wanted to hear people sing Beatles tunes badly around a gazebo I would take my iPod to the park. Such a horrible, horrible film using the music of the Beatles, particularly the Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums is like eating and egg salad sandwich from a gas station- it looks good in the plastic but it consumes worth shit.
The minute John Lennon died his first act was rolling over because of the stench this film has left on society. You may be wondering why if this film is so bad am I giving it one star. Well, not to be a plot spoiler, but the villains spouting off against love and promoting money is the '70's coked up Aerosmith. They're called some kind of villain band and actually do a good coked up rendition of Come Together that still gets a little airplay. As I sat there I realized that this film is really a choice: you can be bad and go with Aerosmith or be good and hang out with George Burns and the Bee Gees. So it looks like I'm going to hell.
Robert Stigwood created a tribute to the Beatles by plotting a fantasy adventure movie around the various song lyrics of their later albums. Sung and acted by The Bee-Gees and Peter Frampton, plus fun cameos from 70's performers Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Earth Wind and Fire, Steve Martin, George Burns and Donald Pleasance. Many of the musical arrangements and vocals seemed way different from the original tunes. And like a square peg crammed into a round hole, the lyrics were sometimes stretched for what's occurring in the story. It's often incredibly cheesy and overbearing, but I think of it as a curiosity of the late-70's rock-disco culture and a celebration of the Beatles melodies and lyrics.More
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