Give My Regards to Broad Street (film)
|Give My Regards to Broad Street|
|Directed by||Peter Webb|
|Produced by||Andros Epaminondas|
|Written by||Paul McCartney|
|Music by||Paul McCartney|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Give My Regards to Broad Street is a 1984 British musical drama film directed by Peter Webb and starring Paul McCartney, Bryan Brown and Ringo Starr. The film was not financially successful, but its soundtrack album sold well. It was one of the last film appearances of classical actor Sir Ralph Richardson. The title is a take on George M. Cohan's classic show tune "Give My Regards to Broadway", making reference to London's Broad Street railway station, which closed in 1986.
Filming and recording of Broad Street began in November 1982, after the completion of Pipes of Peace. Production on the album and film continued until July the following year. In the interim, Pipes of Peace and its singles were released, and the film project was thus scheduled for an autumn 1984 release once an appropriate amount of time had passed.
Paul (Paul McCartney) is driving around the countryside when he gets a call from Steve (Bryan Brown) that Harry (Ian Hastings), a reformed criminal, is missing along with the master tapes he was supposed to give to the factory the previous day. Paul races to the studio to find that the police are already there investigating the matter, thinking that Harry is back to his old ways and plans to bootleg the tapes. The news gets worse when Mr. Rath (John Bennett), whom the studio owes loans from, arrives with the news that he will take over the studio if the tapes aren't found by midnight. Following the meeting, the film follows a day in the life of Paul and his work with wife Linda McCartney and friend Ringo Starr, which includes filming two videos, rehearsing in a loft, and playing for the BBC. In between this, Paul wonders what Harry might have done: did he give the master tapes to be bootlegged, did he just run off, or was he murdered? Once the day is done, Paul goes out driving around London while the studio braces for the take over as midnight approaches. While driving towards Broad Street, Paul remembers the last time he saw Harry, proclaiming that he was "off to Broad Street". He gets an idea and goes inside Broad Street, where he sits next to the train tracks, and then sees the blue case containing the tapes in the seat right next to him. In the small maintenance building next to that, he hears cries for help and opens the locked door to see Harry. He reveals that he'd been trapped in the building after the train failed to arrive, and thought the building contained a bathroom. They both laughed, and as they drive off, Paul informs Linda, and Linda later informs the studio, that the tapes have been found and the takeover is averted.
The film is book ended with Paul heading to the studio via limo. At the beginning before the main story begins, Paul is writing during a traffic jam; while at the end, after the events of the film, Paul is asleep only to be waken up by Steve. He asks about Harry, and Steve responds that he is inside; Steve asks why Paul wanted to know, and Paul responds with "no reason". The ending possibility gives us a question of whether the events of the film happened prior to the film's bookends, or was it Paul's dream he had during the traffic jam.
- Paul McCartney as Himself
- Bryan Brown as Steve
- Ringo Starr as Himself
- Barbara Bach as Journalist
- Linda McCartney as Herself
- Tracey Ullman as Sandra
- Ralph Richardson as Jim
The film was the result of a long-held ambition of McCartney, a lifelong film fan, to become involved in acting again after his success with the Beatles' films. While it starred former Beatles McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with their wives Linda and Barbara Bach respectively; George Harrison chose not to participate in the project. "No More Lonely Nights," a song featured in the film and on its soundtrack, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Film Award for Best Original Song-Motion Picture. Simultaneously with the film's premiere in November, McCartney's recording "We All Stand Together" was released and became a hit single in the UK, reaching #3. The animated film from which the song was taken, Rupert and the Frog Song, was shown in cinemas immediately preceding the main Give My Regards To Broad Street feature. While Give My Regards to Broad Street was occasionally described in the press as McCartney's first film in 14 years, this was not in fact the case, as Rockshow had been released 4 years before, though it was mainly made up of Wings' concert footage. McCartney had been planning to do more acting after this film but the negative reception caused him to rethink and his next live-action films, 1991's Get Back, 2001's Wingspan and 2011's The Love We Make were made up of documentary footage.
A video game based on the film (Cat. no. ICD-0082) was released for the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computers in 1985. The game was developed by Argus Press Software and published by Mastertronic, with the licence of MPL Communications and 20th Century Fox.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of four stars, praising its music as "wonderful" but calling it "about as close as you can get to a nonmovie" and saying that "the parts that do try something are the worst."