It's Trad, Dad!

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It's Trad, Dad!
Its Trad Dad.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Max Rosenberg
Milton Subotsky
Written by Milton Subotsky
Starring Helen Shapiro
Craig Douglas
Felix Felton
Deryck Guyler
Music by Ken Thorne (incidental music)
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Edited by Bill Lenny
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
30 March 1962
Running time
78 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £50,000[2]
Box office £300,000 (UK)[2]

It's Trad, Dad! (1962), known in the U.S. as Ring-A-Ding Rhythm, is a musical comedy featuring a variety of jazz performers and some rock and roll acts. The film was one of the first films put out by Amicus Productions, a company known predominantly for horror films, and it was director Richard Lester's first feature film.[3]


Craig (Craig Douglas) and Helen (Helen Shapiro) are teenagers who enjoy the latest trend of traditional jazz along with their friends. The mayor and a group of adults dislike the trend, and move to have the jukebox in the local coffee shop taken away.

With the help of a character who also functions as an omniscient narrator, Craig and Helen journey to a TV studio to find a disc jockey and organize a show to gain popularity for the music. They meet David Jacobs, who agrees to help, and several artists who are willing to perform. Upon hearing the news of the upcoming performance, the mayor decides to stop the bands' van by any means necessary.

When the show is scheduled to start, Craig and Helen find that their disc-jockey and musicians have not yet arrived, so they decide to find local talent within the crowd of guests. The interim acts stall the crowd long enough for the true performers' bus to evade a series of traps set by the city council. Just in time, the performers reach the stage and put on their act for the citizens. The film ends with the town's kids and teens enjoying the music and the adults grudgingly accepting it.



The film predominantly comprises musical numbers, including performances by the principal actors Helen Shapiro and Craig Douglas themselves. However, unlike traditional "musicals" the songs have little to do with the movie but rather serve more to show off the artists' talents and give a taste for the style, as the plot stops whenever a number starts. U.S. acts were added to the film including Chubby Checker, Del Shannon, Gary US Bonds, Gene Vincent, The Paris Sisters and Gene McDaniels. Other performers who appear include John Leyton, The Brook Brothers, The Temperance Seven and Acker Bilk.


  1. ^ Ed. Allan Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing, 2000 p 15
  2. ^ a b Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p227
  3. ^ IMDB entry

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