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4.0 out of 5 stars A musical memory that comes to life
As expected in reading the reviews, I find that people either loved or hated this movie. I'd like to look at this movie from two perspectives, first details on the disc itself.
The audio is presented in both DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 surround. The video is presented in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 on the dual layer disc. Overall they did a decent job of encoding...
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by Savant

3.0 out of 5 stars I saw a film today, oh boy
If there was ever a movie that deserved a golden turkey, it was this one. Horribly conceived, garish, acting with the consistency of several small trees and musical numbers so literal that it could have been dreamt up by a high school drama club, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is so cheesy that it effectively derailed the RSO Movie organization, who were looking...
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by Tim Brough

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2.0 out of 5 stars The Downfall of RSO and the Bee Gees, Aug. 12 2003
Robert J. Santaniello (Flushing, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (DVD)
Unfortunately for the Bee Gees and RSO Records, "Sgt. Pepper" proved the turning point in the incredible success story both achieved in the late 70's. RSO was high on the Bee Gees' sucess with "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease" proved to be the mega artistic and commercial success it deserved to be. Then came the ill-advised desire to "adapt" a story to the Beatles' remarkable "Pepper" album and fill it with an all-star cast. Maurice, Robin and Barry have publicly stated that things didn't look good during the filming of the movie, but they were contractually bound to finish this mess that is EXCRUCIATING to watch and an insult to their talents as well as the monumental album by the Beatles used as its inspiration. Just about universally panned, only teenage girls in full-infant pop arousal raved at the time of its release (and apparently still do but now in the guise of 40 year olds with children they cruelly inflict this on) about their faves on screen. The Bee Gees would go on to produce the mega-smash "Spirits Having Flown" (a deservedly artistic triumph for them), but the damage had been done and the follow-up long player "Living Eyes" was doomed to failure despite being the equal of "Spirits". The public had had enough and disco didn't kill them--this movie did, as it did the movie careers of just about everyone involved. RSO slumped on with "Moment To Moment" and finally sold their interests to Polygram when the 80's ushered in more ill-advised fare such as the "Staying Alive" movie and attendant Bee Gees dominated soundtrack. All involved could have learned a lesson from the multi-LP set/movie called "All This And World War II" that had preiviousaly tried to adapt images from the War with cover versions of Beatles songs by famous artists. And while the "Pepper" soundtrack features some nice interpretations of Beatle classics (Robin's "Oh Darling," Barry's "A Day In The Life" and EWF's "Got To Get You Into My Life"), this is countered by dreadful drek such as George Burn's "Fixing A Hole" and Steve Martin's "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". If you can't sing, you don't take on some of the greatest songs ever written so flippantly. The contrived set pieces and plot scenarios as well as el cheapo special effects make the visual aspect of the movie even more of a fiasco than "Can't Stop The Music" (if that were possible).
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ummmm. yes, a curiosity, May 3 2003
MoE "MoE" (Winslow, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
I did see this film in the theater when it came out. I loved the Beatles and couldn't believe that the (then) disco BeeGees would mess with their songs. Seeing it in an auditorium with a gaggle of screaming teenage girls was hardly seeing it at its best. Watching the film many years afterwards on VHS is not a much better experience.
The oddity of the film is amazing. No, there isn't any acting, but seeing Donald Pleasance with a toupee or "Cousin Kevin" smirk his way through an hour and a half is interesting, not pleasant. The best part of the movie is at the very end when the "cast" do the Sgt Pepper reprise. Who knew that the "cast" included Johnny Winter, John Mayall, Tina Turner or Wolfman Jack? No one from watching the film.
The songs are doing in a way completely different than the Beatles did--think a slight disco inflection and then, of course, whatever Frampton was doing at the time (this must have been during the "I'm in You" period). It is truly bad.
It is a curiosity, so if you're inclined, by all means see it. If you harbor admiration and respect for the Beatles, pass it by.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This title needs to be on DVD!!!!, Oct. 27 2002
David R. Lorenz (Auburn, WA United States) - See all my reviews
I remember, back when the film first premiered, in 1978, seeing this movie for this first time on the big screen! I was in awe of the music, the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and the whole film.
I credit this movie for my love and appreciation of The Beatles (being 9- going on 10 at that time, I did not make the connection that these artists were in fact performing the Beatles music.)
I own it on VHS, and it brings back alot of warm memories for me; for example, I remember, as soon as we left the theater, we immediatle went to the music store and bought the 2 record music soundtrack!!
I want this title on DVD; It would be nice to, in addition to the film itself, to have bonus features, such as intervies with the cast; a behind-the-scenes making of the movie; cast and crew bios.
Maybe a feature that shows where certain stars are today (like Paul Nicholas (the nasty Dougie Shears), Sandy Farina (Strawberry Fields) kind of a "where are they now").
For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing this film, here's a brief discription:
Sgt. Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band are hailed as being a band that brings joy with their music. Their instruments have the power to bring joy, as make dreams come true.
Sgt. Pepper dies, and leaves the legacy to Billy Shears (Frampton) and his friends Mark, Dave, and Bob Henderson (The Bee Gees) to make a new Lonely Hearts Club Band, and bring joy to the world with their music.
They make it big, almost larger than life. And go to L.A. and become superstars.
Steve Martin, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, are a few of the celebrity villians who want the musical instruments of the original Lonely Hearts Club Band, so they can take over the world. Their mantra being "We hate love. We hate Joy. We love money." And Mean Mr. Mustard(Frankie Howard) loves Strawberry (Sandy Farina), Billy Shears' girlfriend.
Will the instruments be saved? Can the world be saved from the clutches of FVB (Future Villian Band)? Can Billy get to Strawberry in time? You will have to watch to find out ;>
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strawberry Fields Forever...with Peter Frampton, April 28 2002
The first time I had seen this film was the summer of 1978. I was 7 years old, really into the music of The Beatles and had to see this movie. This film was not a tribute to The Beatles, nor did the actual members of the group have anything to do with the movie. It was a fantasy film about the fictitious characters that The Beatles used in their songs off the "Sgt. Pepper" and "Abbey Road" albums.
The story takes place in the make-believe town of Heartland where we are introduced to the original Sgt. Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band. Twenty years after Sgt. Pepper dies, his grandson Billy Shears (Peter Frampton) decides to form a new Lonely Hearts Club Band with his friends, the Henderson Brothers (The Bee Gees). The film continues with the success of the Lonely Hearts Club Band, the problems the citizens are having in Heartland with Mean Mr. Mustard (Frankie Howard) taking over the town and the Lonely Hearts Club Band helping Strawberry Fields (Sandy Farina) recover Sgt. Pepper's instruments that Mean Mr. Mustard stole. They encounter many obstacles and hardships, but in the end, evil is overcome and everyone is happy.
This film was not well received when it was released in 1978. Actually, everyone, including the critics and the public, hated the movie. The film was produced by Robert Stigwood (of 'Grease' and 'Saturday Night Fever' fame) and executive produced by Dee Anthony. Stigwood wanted to make his name associated with modern day musicals and had sunk 12 million dollars into "Sgt. Pepper." He approached the project with a lot of enthusiasm and publicity. When it was released, it was a big let down in the eyes of the critics and adults (who were teenagers when the original "Sgt. Pepper" was released) who went to see the movie. According to Paul Nelson of 'Rolling Stone' magazine (October 5, 1978) "...Stigwood and Anthony not only produced one of the worst movies ever made, but also managed to trash whatever rock and roll reputations such seventies artists as Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees..." Two reasons for the dislike of the film is the fact that no one spoke during the duration of the film (except for the narration done by the late George Burns who played Mr. Kite) and old Beatle songs were redone by popular seventies artists. The run of the film in some cities was " short...that those who were lucky enough to blink may have missed it," according to 'Rolling Stone' magazine (October 5, 1978). I have never read a review on this movie from a critic who actually liked it. Only myself, my friends and my parents seemed to like this movie.
While watching this movie and reading so many bad reviews about it, I still liked it and thought it was done creatively. Musicals usually have dialogue with the songs to help move the plot along. In this musical, the only spoken words are the late George Burns' narration of the storyline. The Beatles' songs and the plot are intertwined and that's what tells and moves the story along. The songs communicate to the audience whether a character was good ("Strawberry Fields Forever") or bad ("Mean Mr. Mustard"), it emphasizes what is happening in the scene ("She's Leaving Home"), how a person feels for another one ("I Want You, She's So Heavy"). The songs also show feelings of cheerfulness ("Good Morning, Good Morning") and sadness ("Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight"). What a way of putting a movie together by telling a story through musical dialogue! I don't agree with the statement made by 'Rolling Stone' magazine that "...Sgt. Pepper is better on vinyl than it was on film." I thought that for remaking some of the Beatles' classic songs, these artists did a good job. Some that I find particularly good are Aerosmith's "Come Together" and Earth, Wind and Fire's "Got To Get You Into My Life." The finale tops off the film with the entire cast and many other superstars such as Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, and Robert Palmer singing the reprise of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Campy!, Dec 17 2000
faith (Louisiana, USA) - See all my reviews
I saw this movie for the first time on television when i was very young - maybe 10? I've always remembered the movie - and I am the only person I know who did. Even my mother, who bought the album for me way back when, didn't remember it. That is, until my obsession with proving its existence brought me to buying both the VHS and CD. This movie is pure camp. I view it as a spoof on other musicals, melodrama, and the overabundance of "good versus evil" provided by the contemporary Star Wars (the battle between Billy Shears and Maxwell Edison is simply lovely). As a bonus, the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, Sandy Farina, and Frankie Howerd all do renditions of classic Beatles' tunes which are to be judged separately from the originals. No one will ever sing "Lucy" like the Beatles - but in the context of the movie, Diane Sternberg does an exceptional job that is independent of the classic. Aerosmith's "Come Together" actually can hold its own with the original. Personally, I think the movie is worth watching simply for George Burns' softshoe version of "Fixin' a Hole" - well, that and seeing Peter Frampton in that oh-so-sexy silver disco suit. It's time to "Get Back" to movies that are just plain fun, and Sgt. Pepper is a great starting point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Movie of all time, Sept. 23 2000
Steven Ducsay (Fairfield, CT USA) - See all my reviews
In 1978, I was 14. I remember standing in line at the UA Trumbull (CT) theater on "Opening Saturday"....waiting in a long line for a ticket...all to see the current "love of my lives" The Bee Gees (well, actually Barry Gibb) on the silver screen. I bought my first copy on Beta in 1986....and just got another copy on VHS a few years back. I can't get enough of this movie. And when life gets a little hectic and tough....just pop Sgt. Pepper in the VCR. It's 1978 all over again... (and Barry Gibb still has his hair!!!) Anyway, the movie itself is really fun...and light...and its so funny how I was never into the Beatles...but this movie along with how well the Bee Gees did the soundtrack (especially Barry Gibb's version of "A Day in the Life".)"introduced" me to the Beatles and gave me a strong appreciation for their song writing talents. You can't really rate the movie for it's "acting"...for no one really did...they just all sang (with exception for George Burns narrating). Sad that it flopped. If people were expecting acting, they were disappointed....but if they were looking for a good soundtrack sung on the big screen and accepted it for what it might have done better. Or maybe now is a good time for a re-release (with MTV and VH1 such a big part of society opposed to their non-existence in 1978.) Bet it would do will with the teens...expose them to the late 70's and the 60's as well. Oh, and Alice Cooper, Earth Wind and Fire, and Aeorsmith did well too...not too happy with STeve Martin ...and what ever happened to Sandy Fariana (Strawberry Fields)????? Anyway, buy'll enjoy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sgt. Pepper a seventies fairytale/cartoon., July 8 2000
Jaye (the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
1. Don't go watching this movie expecting a serious plot and storyline, approach it as a modern day fairytale/cartoon combo. 2. Don't expect any dialogue: it's mostly "acting" to existing songlyrics, so to "words that are set, line by line" even when somewhere between 3 lines the situation has ceased to have anything to do with the songlyric. The only spoken words are the voice over by narrator George Burns, trying to tie all the songs into somewhat of a story or plot.
If you take the above into consideration then you'll have a fun time watching this fairytale of the good, innocent people of Heartland against the evil characters of showbizzland. Frampton, skinny and scrawny, doesn't stand out enough as the main character against his backup bandleader: tall and stunningly handsome Barry Gibb. The BeeGees vocals are much, much better than the originals by the Beatles, they're just vocally superior. Beatles producer (sir) George Martin was ecstatic about the BeeGees vocals. I could've done without Frankie Howerd and Steve Martin's part seems a bit unnecessary too, oh well. So: a good movie to spend watching with the brain on zero and some popcorn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 70's Classic movie that is loved by three generations!, Oct. 7 1999
By A Customer
I thought Sgt. Pepper was wonderful. I'm also just a bit tired of hearing old 60's burnouts talking it down. Yes the guys played sweet guys and and not psycho killers. Drug related? I think it made a point that if you do drugs, you will not always know what you are doing and could let yourself be taken advantage of as Billy {Peter Frampton}was. I don't think the Brothers Gibb set out to copy the Beatles in any way. I have heard both groups doing the same songs and I like what the Bee Gees did best. I liked what all the movie artists did. I think people should watch this movie for what it is and that is a light-hearted romp about good versus evil. I like it when good wins out! The best things about it is that it's a movie that three generations in our family can watch and enjoy. I love it, and I can't wait for it to come out on DVD! My teenage daughters who are into Korn and the like, can't wait either!!! Someday people will realise that the Beatles were only gods to the 60's generation and that is only the opinion of one generation. This is a great movie for those who can see past their own mental hangups and see it for what it was ment to be. Fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Once in a lifetime film & great fun too!, Sept. 18 1999
By A Customer
This is one of the most fun films ever made and as a wine improves with age, so does this film. When this film was first released, it was scoffed at and rebuked by "true" Beatles fans throughout. What? the Bee Gee's doing the Beatles - Heaven forfend! - this is an outrage! Hogwash! It died a sudden death in the theatres because it was released into a critical sarcastic period of time where we, during the party crazed 70's weren't ready for it. The film is a perfect reminder to us now in the 90's to have fun and not be so critical. Enjoy life - enjoy this movie. Listen to the music, don't make comparisons, enjoy it for what it is - a fun journey, making fun of itself and us too with wonderful music delivered in a unique format. The critics are always critical - that's their job. Trying to analyze this film critically is a mistake as it doesn't fit within the standard confines of a typical film. Don't be surprised if this film takes on a cult personna, ala Rocky Horror - it's unique, it's great fun, and you've missed the point if you take it too seriously - have fun, sit back, and go on a journey unlike any other...
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5.0 out of 5 stars It was meant to be fun!, June 12 1999
By A Customer
I first saw this movie when I was 14 years old, in the summer of '78, and as many times again that summer as my young teenage finances could handle. I think it's a lot of great fun, and that's the whole point, it wasn't meant to be a copy of the Beatles and it was certainly not meant to be a serious film about a town called Heartland, USA. Lighten up! It was a fantasy film set to music. Sure there's no plot, but the music is wonderfully done (particularly "The Long and Winding Road") and there's a very clear good vs. evil story going on. I think it belongs in those midnight theaters along with "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"... it's a definite cult classic and great representation of the "satin 70's" for kids of today. I now have three young daughters who ask to watch it all the time and now know who the Beatles are and that this is their music, done by other musicians, etc. I think Peter Frampton took a bum wrap for doing this movie, and it's been a thorn in his side for the past 21 years. People just need to see it for what it was always intended to be, some light-hearted satin-clad fun set to Beatles' musc. Watch it with your kids, you'll all enjoy it!
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