THAT’LL BE THE DAY (1973) + STARDUST (1974) w/
David Essex, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Dave Edmunds

THAT’LL BE THE DAY (1973) Part one of the well done, two-film story of Jim McClain (David Essex) and his quest for music fame and fortune (and more birds) in 50s working class Britain. Also features Ringo Starr (reprising his early years as a teddy boy), Keith Moon and Billy Fury. More of a character study than a music film (though, it has some cool music), That’ll Be The Day covers McClain’s early years as a shit, routinely cheating on, then leaving his wife with a new-born baby. Producer David Puttnam told MOJO Magazine that his original idea for this film was based on Harry Nilsson’s semi-autobiographical song, “1941,” about a child abandoned by his father, only to grow up and abandon his own. Thanks to JB for sharing this film with us. Part two, the excellent, Stardust, is below. Click the pages for readable pop ups of the latest MOJO magazine about the making of the movie. Find the DVD at Amazon, HERE.

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STARDUST (1974) This flick was a personal fave in the mid-70s, but I was suspicious of my fond and fading memories. What a surprise to see that it really is a solid film, with outstanding performances by David Essex and Adam Faith in a cautionary tale of a Beatle-esque band of British pals making it to the top. Fans of the era will spot all the cheeky references (“At least he didn’t say ‘turn left at Greenland'”) and familiar scenarios, but these now jaded eyes were relieved to find the film’s subtlety and nuance fully intact. Especially the way Faith, as the road manager, cuts quiet deals behind the band’s back to help make Essex a star (“fancy a drink?”). Dave Edmunds co-stars and supplies most of the original music and Keith Moon appears as the drummer of the fictitious Stray Cats. Nick Lowe even makes a cameo (see comments). The print is excellent. Find the DVD at Amazon, HERE. Dave Edmunds 2013 re-release of Subtle As A Flying Mallet now includes, as bonus tracks, his musical contributions to Stardust, HERE.


  • Duncan Walls
    September 28, 2012 - 20:18 | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to sitting down on my days off and digging in. Thankfully it satisfies yous ( and my) expectations. Don’t you hate when your memories exceed their realities?

  • Willard
    September 28, 2012 - 20:29 | Permalink

    It had been a long time for me and I was expecting the worse. Larry Hagman was a cartoon, but the rest was pretty good. Especially Adam Faith. I especially liked that I wasn’t hit over the head with obvious Beatles references. They were there, in abundance, but weren’t as as obnoxious as I feared. I stuck my favorite in the text, when Essex is giving an interview about America, one of the band members whispers to another, “At least he didn’t say ‘Turn left at Greenland” (for any youngsters, that’s a reference from A Hard Day’s Night.) I was also stuck by the accidental prescience… Essex retires from the biz and holes up in his house for years, then after he comes out of retirement… well, you know the rest if you’ve seen the movie. It immediately made me think of Lennon, who had just retired and holed up in his own house in 1975, a year after this movie came out… and his eventual return.

  • Sniffity
    September 29, 2012 - 20:48 | Permalink

    Nick Lowe occupies the screen for about three seconds, playing bass behind the girls singing “Da Doo Run Run” (it’s on a short YouTube clip if you can’t be bothered scrolling through the entire film)

    • Willard
      September 29, 2012 - 20:52 | Permalink

      Cool, many thanks…

  • Jim
    April 11, 2013 - 11:39 | Permalink

    That’s actually Brinsley Schwarz onstage behind the dancers. I couldn’t actually spot Bob Andrews (keyboards) in the clip, but it’s Brinsley Schwarz himself on sax, Lowe on bass, a bearded Ian Gomm on guitar and Billy Rankin on drums.

  • Jim
    April 11, 2013 - 11:46 | Permalink

    It’s also maybe worth pointing out, continuity anoraks, that Lowe’s playing either a Gibson EB4L, which didn’t see active service until 1972, or an EB3 (I reckon it’s a ‘4’) which was introduced in 1961, just about imaginable in the context of the film, but still requiring a leap of faith.

  • Newman
    April 11, 2013 - 12:32 | Permalink

    Still dig this movie, I bought it a few years ago on some site that sells Rock N Roll movies and concerts etc… Still love the soundtrack portion from side four that features The Stray Cats especially Come On Little Dixie and Some Other Guy. Good stuff.

  • Jim
    April 12, 2013 - 08:28 | Permalink

    Ah…the ‘prescience’. Yeah, McClain ends up doing his rock opera in a white suit, as I recall (I haven’t looked at the movie to check), which I thought was another little ‘bigger than Jesus’ trope by the film’s producers.

    White suits, around the time ‘Stardust’ was made, were in my opinion playing a big part in a kind of rock and roll ‘God complex’. Dylan had, just a couple of years prior, done Isle of Wight in one, appearing as some sort of demi-God before his congregation, Lennon had crossed Abbey Road in one, and was given to declaring he was Jesus in Apple boardroom meetings, Harrison had done the concert for Bangla-Desh in one, although the orange shirt manages to row back from any sort of ‘God’ accusations, and Michael Jackson would eventually appear in one, descending on children (!!!) from on high while performing what is pretty much a hymn to world peace in such an irritating manner that you wanted to hold a whip-round for North Korean nuclear development.

    Have to agree with Newman about the Stray cats songs, essentially Dave Edmunds creations. ‘Need a shot of Rhythm and Blues’ is quite possibly the finest version ever recorded, and features in the film, possibly as background music. On the basis of hearing it in the film I rushed out and bought ‘Subtle as a Flying Mallet’, another album that demonstrates the Edmunds/Lowe /Brinsley Schwarz connections.

    • Willard
      April 13, 2013 - 10:58 | Permalink

      Never thought about the “white suit,” but you’re right. It does seem to have a point. Does David Byrne’s BIG white suit fit in somehow? Probably not.

  • Java John
    September 24, 2014 - 22:16 | Permalink

    I’ve not seen this since it was in the theaters.
    For some reason, it says I’m not allowed to view. Private.

    Other than that, love all the great stuff here!

    • Willard
      September 24, 2014 - 22:39 | Permalink

      Yeah, the guy shut it down for some reason and I can’t find a replacement.

  • Anonymous
    February 4, 2015 - 09:05 | Permalink

    Any ideas where I could purchase both of these movies in Australia? If I buy from Amszon, I run the risk of the zone being not compatible. I love both of these movies!!

    • Willard
      February 4, 2015 - 09:44 | Permalink

      Unless you get them in Australia, I would think you run that risk buying them anywhere.

  • Sgt Pepper
    April 24, 2015 - 16:21 | Permalink

    New link for Stardust on Youtube

    • Willard
      April 24, 2015 - 16:23 | Permalink

      Many thanks. Hopefully, this one will stay up.

      • Java John
        April 24, 2015 - 16:46 | Permalink

        Nice, thanks guys! Stumbled across Stardust last week, now for TBTD!
        Soundtracks anywhere?? :)

      • Java John
        April 27, 2015 - 15:16 | Permalink

        perfect! thank you

  • GarthJeff
    April 25, 2015 - 06:25 | Permalink

    “Stardust” – Ronco Presents 44 Original Hits From The Soundtrack Of The Film, Stardust (1974)
    With album art and bonus tracks (128 K/bs).

    • Nick
      April 25, 2015 - 10:28 | Permalink

      Thanks GarthJef….Asked for these 2 ages ago and got TBTD but not Stardust….Cheers!!!

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