Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Photos

Movie Info

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-lamé garbed Billy Preston, as a black messiah, sings Hey Jude and raises the dead.
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Kids & Family , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Universal Pictures

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Cast

Peter Frampton
as Billy Shears
Frankie Howerd
as Mr. Mustard
Paul Nicholas
as Dougie Shears
Barry Gibb
as Mark Henderson
Robin Gibb
as Dave Henderson
Maurice Gibb
as Bob Henderson
Donald Pleasence
as B.D. Brockhurst
Sandy Farina
as Strawberry Fields
Steve Martin
as Dr. Maxwell Edison
Alice Cooper
as Father Sun
Earth Wind & Fire
as Benefit Performer
Billy Preston
as Sgt. Pepper
Stargard
as The Diamonds
George Burns
as Mr. Kite
Carel Struycken
as The Brute
Patti Jerome
as Saralinda Shears
Max Showalter
as Ernest Shears
John Wheeler
as Mr. Fields
Jay W. MacIntosh
as Mrs. Fields
Eleanor Zee
as Mrs. Henderson
Scott Manners
as Young Sgt. Pepper
Stanley Coles
as Young Lonely Hearts Club Band
Stanley Sheldon
as Young Lonely Hearts Club Band
Bob Mayo
as Young Lonely Hearts Club Band
Woodrow Chambliss
as Old Sgt. Pepper
Hank Worden
as Old Lonely Hearts Club Band
Morgan Farley
as Old Lonely Hearts Club Band
Delos V. Smith
as Old Lonely Hearts Club Band
Pat Cranshaw
as Western Union Manager
Anna Rodzianko
as The Computerettes / Dancer
Rose Aragon
as The Computerettes / Dancer
Peter Allen
as Our Guests at Heartland
Stephen Bishop
as Our Guests at Heartland
Keith Carradine
as Our Guests at Heartland
Donovan Leitch
as Our Guests at Heartland
Jose Feliciano
as Our Guests at Heartland
Peter Noone
as Our Guests at Heartland
Helen Reddy
as Our Guests at Heartland
Chita Rivera
as Our Guests at Heartland
Johnny Rivers
as Our Guests at Heartland
Del Shannon
as Our Guests at Heartland
Connie Stevens
as Our Guests at Heartland
Carol Channing
as Our Guests at Heartland
George Benson
as Our Guests at Heartland
Wilson Pickett
as Our Guests at Heartland
Jack Bruce
as Our Guests at Heartland
Jim Dandy
as Our Guests at Heartland
Sarah Dash
as Our Guests at Heartland
Rick Derringer
as Our Guests at Heartland
Barbara Dickson
as Our Guests at Heartland
Randy Edelman
as Our Guests at Heartland
Yvonne Elliman
as Our Guests at Heartland
Leif Garrett
as Our Guests at Heartland
Adrian Gurvitz
as Our Guests at Heartland
Eddie Harris
as Our Guests at Heartland
Nona Hendryx
as Our Guests at Heartland
Etta James
as Our Guests at Heartland
Dr. John
as Our Guests at Heartland
Bruce Johnston
as Our Guests at Heartland
Joe Lala
as Our Guests at Heartland
D.C. LaRue
as Our Guests at Heartland
Marcy Levy
as Our Guests at Heartland
Mark Lindsay Chapman
as Our Guests at Heartland
Nils Lofgren
as Our Guests at Heartland
Jackie Lomax
as Our Guests at Heartland
John Mayall
as Our Guests at Heartland
Curtis Mayfield
as Our Guests at Heartland
Alan O'Day
as Our Guests at Heartland
Lee Oskar
as Our Guests at Heartland
Robert Palmer
as Our Guests at Heartland
Anita Pointer
as Our Guests at Heartland
Bonnie Raitt
as Our Guests at Heartland
Minnie Riperton
as Our Guests at Heartland
Monti Rock III
as Our Guests at Heartland
Joe Simon
as Our Guests at Heartland
Al Stewart
as Our Guests at Heartland
John Stewart
as Our Guests at Heartland
Tina Turner
as Our Guests at Heartland
Frankie Valli
as Our Guests at Heartland
Grover Washington Jr.
as Our Guests at Heartland
Wolfman Jack
as Our Guests at Heartland
Bobby Womack
as Our Guests at Heartland
Alan White
as Our Guests at Heartland
Gary Wright
as Our Guests at Heartland
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News & Interviews for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Critic Reviews for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

A totally bubblegum and cotton candy melange of garish fantasy and narcissism.

Full Review… | September 10, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

This crass moral pantomime is plain embarrassing.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This isn't a movie, it's a business deal set to music.

May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Indescribably awful.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A motion picture whose awfulness can hardly be imagined on a human scale.

Full Review… | September 16, 2007
Antagony & Ecstasy

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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2007
TV Guide

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.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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.

Chris Garman
Chris Garman

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

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