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  It's All Over Town See The SightsBuy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Lance Percival, William Rushton, Frankie Vaughan, Acker Bilk, Dusty Springfield, The Springfields, The Bachelors, The Hollies, April Olrich, Jan and Kelly, Caroline Maudling, Cloda Rodgers, Ingrid Anthofer, Ivor Cutler, Paul Raymond, Patricia Hayes
Genre: Comedy, Music
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Frankie Vaughan (as himself) is performing his signature tune "Give Me The Moonlight" on a London stage, but the man in charge of the spotlight (Lance Percival) is not really concentrating, and misses Frankie a couple of times, more intent in hooking a pot of tea from below in the wings. He gets his tea, but it does not keep him awake and soon he has drifted off into a reverie where a Scotsman narrates his tour around the capital accompanied by his fat friend (William Rushton). First stop? The Paul Raymond Revue Bar, where the Bunnies catch their attention.

It's All Over Town was a showcase for a selection of musical talents who where either well established by 1963, or were hovering around on variety bills and guest spots on television. There were plenty of such films made in this era, some not bothering with plot at all, although here the flimsy narrative takes the form of following the two hapless funseekers around various locations and recording what they find there. This was barely an hour long, but they packed in the musical acts so that it strongly resembled a TV special, only with the sort of sauciness not allowed on the box included.

As can be seen where the duo of Percival and Rushton, then best known to British audiences for their appearances on groundbreaking satirical show That Was the Week That Was, are only at the nightclub so they can see the stripper. Oddly, she doesn't take her clothes off, but puts them on instead through the cinematic magic trick of running the film backwards, but there's nothing here to alarm as its all very tastefully done, probably too tastefully for modern standards. Even odder, we see Lance and Willie stripped down to their underwear as well - nobody asked for that vision, surely?

Yet while there is comedy, what this is really about are those musical acts, none of them playing anything remotely like rock 'n' roll as we understand the term today. The closest we get to a proper pop tune as the Beatles would recognise it is when The Hollies make an appearance, but only for one song, then it's back to the likes of Cloda Rodgers trilling her way through an innocuous number. Vaughan, being the true star, gets to sing about five tunes, and his fans would have been satisfied with the way he put a song over, professional as ever although it might have been nice to see him interact with the comedians as he seems to be following them about anyway.

Well, as we're watching the lighting man's dream then it could be only natural that Frankie would show up in it, the star is part of his job after all. In addition, Acker Bilk appeared for a showcase of trad jazz, although he is reduced to begging in the street at one point which doesn't seem believable but is the excuse for another middling gag, and Dusty Springfield has a couple of songs with her old group the Springfields, very different from the material that she would become renowned across the world for; she does look as if she's enjoying herself, however. Fans of more obscure acts will be delighted to see Ivor Cutler as a prohibitionist in a bar, but then let down when he doesn't even speak, never mind give us one of his songs. Percival gets to perform a vegetable-based ditty, "If You Like Beetroot I'll Be True To You", and the atmosphere is one of a light hearted romp designed to fill the lower half of a double bill. Disposable, then, but amusing.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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