That'll Be the Day (film)

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That'll Be the Day
That'll be the day.jpg
DVD cover by Arnaldo Putzu
Directed by Claude Whatham
Produced by Sanford Lieberson
David Puttnam
Written by Ray Connolly
Starring David Essex
Rosemary Leach
Ringo Starr
Keith Moon
Billy Fury
Deborah Watling
Distributed by Anglo-EMI Film Distribution
Release date(s) 12 April 1973 (UK)
29 October 1973 (U.S.)
Running time 91 minutes
Language English
Budget £288,000[1]

That'll Be the Day is a 1973 British drama film starring David Essex, Rosemary Leach and Ringo Starr, written by Ray Connolly and directed by Claude Whatham. It is set in the late '50s/early '60s and was partially filmed on the Isle of Wight.

Plot summary[edit]

The mother of Jim MacLaine (David Essex) was abandoned by his father when he was young. Later, as a suburban school dropout, Jim leaves home and drifts through a succession of dead-end jobs until he finds an outlet for his frustration in rock 'n' roll. Tossing away the chance of a university education much to the consternation of his mother, alienated MacLaine becomes a lowly deckchair attendant before streetwise friend Mike (Ringo Starr) gets him a job firstly as a barman and then with the fun fair. The initially shy MacLaine quickly becomes a heartless fairground Romeo leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. Eventually MacLaine returns home to run the family store and marry his girlfriend, but despite the birth of a son, restless Jim feels the lure of rock ’n’ roll again.

Characters[edit]

The Liverpool days of The Quarrymen/The Beatles and Rory Storm & The Hurricanes were said to be the inspiration for the fictional group called "Stray Cats" in the film.

Many of the characters were played by musicians who had lived through the era portrayed in the film including Ringo Starr of The Hurricanes and The Beatles, Billy Fury, Keith Moon of The Who, and John Hawken of The Nashville Teens.

The film was produced by David Puttnam and is loosely based on the Harry Nilsson song "1941".

Cast[edit]

Reception and reputation[edit]

Box Office[edit]

The film was a hit at the box office (by 1985 it had earned an estimated profit of £406,000),[1] leading to a sequel, Stardust, (1974).

Nat Cohen, who invested in the movie, said the film made more than 50% its cost.[2]

Critical Reception[edit]

Critic Anne Billson has called it a "hugely overrated dip into the rock 'n' roll nostalgia bucket, ... " also commenting "Youth culture my eye: they're all at least a decade too old. But good tunes, and worth catching for Billy Fury's gold lamé act."[3]

Soundtrack[edit]


Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[4] 1973 1
Preceded by
Pure Gold by Various artists
UK Albums Chart number-one album
30 June 1973 - 18 August 1973
Succeeded by
We Can Make It
by Peters and Lee

Award Nominations[edit]

BAFTA Best Supporting Actress: Rosemary Leach.

BAFTA Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles: David Essex.

Spin-off[edit]

An independent Radio Drama recording project was completed in 2008 entitled 'That'll be the Stardust!' which continues the story of Jimmy Maclaine jr. (son of Jim Maclaine). The website featuring the complete drama is now online (see external link below).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alexander Walker, National Heroes: British Cinema in the Seventies and Eighties, Harrap, 1985 p 79
  2. ^ Ooh, you are awful, film men tell Tories. David Blundy. The Sunday Times (London, England), Sunday, December 16, 1973; pg. 5; Issue 7853. (939 words)
  3. ^ The TimeOut Film Guide, 3rd edition, 1993, p. 706
  4. ^ "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 

External links[edit]