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  Every Day's a Holiday Confessions From A Holiday Camp
Year: 1965
Director: James Hill
Stars: John Leyton, Mike Sarne, Freddie and the Dreamers, Ron Moody, Liz Fraser, Grazina Frame, Susan Baker, Jennifer Baker, Nicholas Parsons, Michael Ripper, Hazel Hughes, Richard O'Sullivan, Tony Daines, Peter Gilmore, Charles Lloyd Pack, Patrick Newell
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A British holiday camp is sending out replies to those who have applied for a summer job working there, telling the select few they have secured a position with them. Among those successful applicants is Gerry Pullman (John Leyton), who dreams of being a pop singer-songwriter but cannot get this career off the ground. Today he is wistfully gazing into his bedroom mirror and crooning, imagining himself to be Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole, when his father (Michael Ripper) calls him down for tea and tells him once again how he'll never amount to anything in his chosen field. But he might be wrong about that, what with the camp's talent show coming up...

It should be noted here that when Mr Leyton, of number one hit "Johnny Remember Me" and Great Escape fame, envisages himself as Nat King Cole he sees his own image in the mirror in blackface, which is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds. But this is a comedy after all, and a sprightly one at that, even if most of the spending money appears to have gone on securing the services of Freddie and the Dreamers, big stars of the day and turning up here as comedy chefs as well as one of the bands in the talent show (which incidentally we never find out the winner of, at least it's never explicitly stated).

Aimed squarely at the British youth market, Every Day's a Holiday apparently had the idea that it was somehow more edgy than it actually was, with risque dialogue and mildly saucy set-ups abounding, not quite Carry On, but with a pleasing innocence to its intentions instead. They certainly pack in the tunes as well, with not five minutes going by before Leyton and his co-stars breaking out into song: we are even treated to a duet between Ron Moody and Hammer horror stalwart Michael Ripper, not something any other film can boast. So with every cast member trilling, this can go either way as breezy fun or an endurance test.

Against the odds, the movie falls on the side of breezy fun, surprising you into a few good laughs and some toe-tapping melodies. A lot of this upbeat tone is down to the willing cast, here to entertain you with comic stylings and not bad warbling. Gerry needs love interest of course, and she arrives in the shape of Christina (Grazina Frame) a trainee soprano thanks to her wealthy aunt's machinations who actually wants to be a pop singer. That's right, just like Gerry, and pretty much everyone else in this. Yet the path of true love never did run smooth, and Gerry has a rival in upper class Tim (Mike Sarne), who is far more go-getting in his approach with the opposite sex - plus he wants to be in the music charts too.

As it turns out, Leyton is a curiously doleful personality who has a tendency to daydream (conjuring up a wild west number while he's supposed to be bartending, for example) and Tim, who we're not meant to sympathise with as much as Gerry, ends up outshining him in the charisma stakes so that we like Tim a lot better and his comical frustrations, such as being landed the job of children's entertainer when he's hopeless with kids, are unexpectedly endearing. Elsewhere, Nicholas Parsons appears as a TV producer who is filming the talent show for Anglia television, and is possibly the inspiration for Diana Ross's "Chain Reaction" video, which featured a similarly high-strung producer. Then there's Liz Fraser as Miss Slightly, the camp's secretary who tells an intriguing gag that we unfortunately only hear the punchline of, and the Baker twins who become backing singers; future sitcom star Richard O'Sullivan is in there as well. It's all relentlessly cheerful for the most part, but that's to its credit as it does what it sets out to do.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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