Newest Reviews
You Don't Nomi
Man from the Alamo, The
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  Charlie is My Darling Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Year: 1966
Director: Peter Whitehead
Stars: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Andrew Loog Oldham
Genre: Documentary, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 1965, still basking in their first flush of success, rock band The Rolling Stones headed off to Ireland for a brief, two day tour, and documentarian Peter Whitehead, hand-picked by manager Andrew Loog Oldham, followed them to record their trip. He mixed candid footage of the group, both in interview and in casual conversation, with interviews from the fans and passersby the venue as the followers gathered outside the theatres, inquiring which Stone it was they liked best and why. He certainly got a response as to their preferred member, but when it came to the whys and wherefores the answers were not so forthcoming, they just liked them apparently, with no further thought than that. But along with the vox pops and backstage clips, there was the band playing live...

That was the idea, anyway, but for decades if you managed to track down a copy of Charlie is My Darling you would be disappointed to hear those concert extracts basically playing the records over the recording of the screams from the audience as the band went through their act, and this was a sticking point for many in what was a valuable document otherwise of some of the most famous rock stars of all time: what was the point in Whitehead not allowing us to hear them playing live? Sure, there were all those bon mots and observations from the Stones, but their raison d'ĂȘtre was after all that concert business, which may have been why future films about them were careful to preserve the live sound, enabling us to appreciate the run of hits.

There were more concert movies about the Stones than the Beatles, possibly more than any other band of their longevity, from the cultural low point of Gimme Shelter to the slick, Martin Scorsese-directed Shine a Light, but this modest effort caught them just as their superstardom was breaking - we see the screaming fans and remember that this was very much the natural reaction to pop music idols, and continues to be to this day. That doesn't mean the adherents to the Stones' music were solely teenage girls, as we see just as many boys at the concerts, including one section where a concert descends into chaos as a stage invasion erupts, young Irishmen seizing the opportunity to knock Mick and Keef and the rest about a bit, which watching now has unfortunate echoes in the far more serious tragedy at Altamont a few short years later. Whitehead even spots a priest in the crowd of one gig, and manages to interview him afterwards in the foyer; he likes the band and blames the fans for any immorality.

The Stones, presumably stung by the complaints about the live sound on the original version (though there are at least four versions of this in various lengths and combinations), reissued the film in 2012 with a more authentic mix to better recreate what they would hear at a Stones concert in 1965, though admittedly that would most likely be drowned out by the screams. It is more satisfying, especially mixed in with the bits and pieces of the group chatting, with Bill Wyman claiming he's planning to be a musician, and an inscrutably arch Brian Jones rather poignantly telling us his future is uncertain (he also says here he'd like to make a move into films, behind the camera one supposes). Charlie Watts, for whom this is named, is the most wry and witty and makes the most of opening up for the camera though in brief snippets as the director doesn't linger long on anybody: Keith says next to nothing. There is one exception, a squiffy Jagger and Richards playing around with a piano, doing impressions, talking poetry and generally having a laugh. Knowing the ups and downs to come, this is very valuable.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1376 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: