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Wonderful Life

Wonderful Life

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Wonderful Life, A group of (literally) drifting popsters find themselves involved in a grim sand-and-sandals desert movie. They reckon a few song-and-dance numbers would liven things up.


Wonderful Life, Not acknowledged as such, but probably the best of Sir Cliff’s early sixties big screen vehicles. It has a witty script, choreography by Gillian Lynne performed by a young and enthusiastic cast, quirky little touches such as Gerald Harper cropping up in different supporting roles. And of course there’s that wonderful potted history of the movies!

Guest stars Susan Hampshire and Walter Slezak are both well used; with Miss Hampshire cutting a far more provocative figure slouching from the waves in a bikini pastiching Ursula Andress in ‘Dr.No’ than Andress did in the original.

Nonsensical muscial comedy is nevertheless Cliff Richard’s best in the muscial genre
A truly nonsenscial muscial comedy, it’s nevertheless Cliff Richard’s best in the musical genre. ( He did a couple of dramatic films which were his best) A rather bland singer competing with his similar American counterparts Elvis Presley and Frankie Avalon, Richards fared no better than they in comedy and musical scripts. This one at least contains Susan Hampshire and Walter Slezak. What makes this movie so entertaining is the zippy pace and the surprisingly great dancing and choreography. The big dance number on the set by the whole crew is spectacular and rivals “West Side Story”. Incidentally, the long-legged Richards keeps right up with the rest of them and does even better at it than his singing! The cute little send-up of the history of the movies is also very entertaining.

A product of its time

Let’s face it, Cliff’s greatest asset has always been his singing. His stage movement is notoriously naff, and he was never the greatest actor.

But he was always surrounded with a tolerable ensemble and, especially here and in Summer Holiday, some sunny production values.

The trouble is the story here is rather weak and the songs, with a couple of exceptions, are especially weak. Richard O’Sullivan, an actor of some ability, uses that ability to provoke extreme irritation. Melvyn Hayes is his usual comic relief fall guy. Una Stubbs is cute and dances the socks off everyone else (and would have been such a good leading lady if she’d ever been given the opportunity). Walter Slezak fulfills what the plot requires of him. And Susan Hampshire is versatile, fetching, and downright hot.

Summer Holiday

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