Born to Boogie

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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

Ringo Starr had approached Marc Bolan in 1971 with an idea to include him in a series of documentary films about superstars of the era. These plans never came to fruition, but when Ringo discovered that Bolan was intent on filming the Wembley shows, the idea was revived, and so a deal was struck to make a movie (50/50 between Apple and Bolan's Wizard Artists company) with a working title of 'T.Rex In Concert'... The shows were kept simple: the stage effects ran to little more that two enormous blow-up photos of the show's protagonist, with popular DJ Emperor Rosko playing MC for the night. Cameraman Ringo crouched in the pit at the front of the stage. A session at the Beatles' Apple Studios in May 1972 also brought together Marc's chums Elton John (piano) and Ringo Starr (additional drum kit) who joined T.Rex for a unique collaboration. In addition, a separate four-song acoustic set was filmed in the grounds of John Lennon's mansion at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot.


Critic Reviews for Born to Boogie

All Critics (1)

  • Marc Bolan definitely had it - whatever 'it' is - and even without a definition, 'it' is prevalent all throughout Born to Boogie.

    Jul 31, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Marc Bolan, true legend. Loved the concert footage and the tea party sequence.

Emily B.
Emily B.

Super Reviewer

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