Stardust The rise and fall of the rock singer Jim Maclaine, in the mid 60s, with his manager, Mike, and his group, “The Stray Cats.”
A true gem
Stardust starts off beautifully. Jim McLaine (David Essex) is working at a carnival in England where business is slow that night, as it is Nov. 22, 1963. In the background is Neil Sedaka singing “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen”. McLaine meets an old mate (Adam Faith) and tells him the little rock and roll band he’s in needs a road manager. Faith sees opportunity and moulds the band known as the Stray Cats into a vehicle for Jim McLaine. There are so many great and true to life moments in this movie, the early recording sessions, Faith’s behind the scenes manoeuvering, Larry Hagman arriving when the Stray Cats make it big to muscle in on things, and Jim McLaine’s typical 1960’s rock and roll odyssey. Essex and Faith are excellent (who says rockers can’t act?) and it’s a still relevent look at the “star maker machinery behind the popular songs”. This picture is a sequel to That’ll Be the Day, which is more about McLaine’s coming of age in early 60’s England, that is a great movie in it’s own right, but the two can be watched independently of each other. Very highly recommended. Oh yes, the ending is as well directed, dramatic and atmospheric as the beginning. Great job Michael Apted!
Still a superb movie
Now sadly dated, this movie is STILL one of the best “Rock’n’Roll” movies ever made. The added bonus of seeing that the rockers from the 50s and 60s could act as well as sing made it all the sweeter. Although this was David Essex’ starring role, I believe the show was stolen by Adam Faith who gave a completely believable performance as Mike. Lots of excellent music in here, especially the stuff by the Stray Cats (band for the movie). Worth watching 30 or 40 times IF you can find a copy.