November 29, 2014

Films

The Golden Disc – 1958 | 78 mins | Musical | B&W

Plot Synopsis

The Golden Disc

Between 1956 and 1958 film producers were confused. They didn’t know whether rock music was just a passing fad (like 3D movies, another 1950′s phenomenon), or whether rock was here to stay.

The Golden Disc includes some skiffle, some rock n’ roll, some cool jazz, ballads and even a trumpet solo – the producers were clearly hedging their bets with this one. The musical numbers (in order of appearance) are: ‘I’m Gonna Wrap You Up’ (by Ray Mack, Philip Green) performed by Dennis Lotis; ‘Before We Say Goodnight’ (by Norman Newell, Philip Green) performed by Mary Steele; ‘Dynamo’ (by Tommy Connor) Terry Kennedy Group (an Afro-Caribbean Skiffle group); ‘C’min and be Loved’ (by Len Paverman) Terry Dene; ‘Charm’ (by Ray Mack, Philip Green) Terry Dene, ‘The In-between Age’ (by Ray Mack, Philip Green) Sheila Buxton (a regular singer with the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra in 1958); ‘Let Me Lie’ (by Sonny Stewart) Sonny Stewart and his Skiffle Kings; ‘Candy Floss’ (by Len Paverman) Terry Dene; ‘Lower Deck’ (by Phil Seamon) Phil Seamon Jazz Group (an all to brief ‘Birth of the Cool’ type piece from a British jazz combo); ‘Balmoral Melody’ (by Philip Green) Murray Campbell (a trumpet piece, clearly modelled on the then popular Eddie Calvert) (presumably Eddie Calvert did not appear because he recorded for EMI, rather than Decca); ‘Johnny O’ (by Len Praverman) by Nancy Whiskey, and ‘The Golden Age’ (by Michael Robbins, Richard Dix) performed by Terry Dene. Something for everyone, in fact.

The story revolves around the ‘Lucky Charm’ coffee bar (the name ‘sounds gay’ says wide eyed Mary Steele who looks and sounds as if she has just stepped out of a 1950′s television commercial for OMO or DAZ, and probably has). The acting is wooden and awkward – and Mary Steele is delightfully bad, in a particularly 1950′s way. The movie also stars Canadian Lee Patterson (who had very period hairstyle, and became a regular star of British second features between 1956 and 1960), and features the disc jockey David Jacobs (as a TV presenter of ‘Tip for the Top’). However, if you recall being a 1958 teenage bobbysoxer who screamed and swooned at the microphone technique of Denis Lotis and mobbed him at the stage door of provincial variety theatres, or are an archaeologist interested in 1958 pop, then you will find much to enjoy here. For this is the real thing – however bad it may seem to us in hindsight, particularly in this very ‘B’ grade movie from Butchers Film Productions, which was filmed at (the soon to close) Walton Studios, Walton on Thames. With movies like this, it is not difficult to see why.

Review ©Roger Mellor.

Production Team

Don Sharp: Director
Elizabeth West: Choreography
Geoffrey Faithfull: Cinematography
Eily Boland: Editing
Philip Green: Original Music
WG Chalmers: Producer
John Jones: Production Designer
Don Sharp: Script
Don Nicholl: Script

Cast

Lee Patterson: Harry Blair
Mary Steele: Joan Farmer
Terry Dene: Himself
Linda Gray: Aunt Sarah
Ronald Adam: Mr Dryden
David Jacobs: Himself
Peter Dyneley: Mr Washington
David Williams: Recording Engineer
Richard Turner: Morose Man
Marianne Stone: Dryden’s Secretary



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