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That'll be the Day


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Essex, Ringo Starr, Rosemary Leach, James Booth, Billy Fury
  • Directors: Claude Whatham
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: November 28, 2000
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Y6AR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "That'll be the Day" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Named after a Buddy Holly song and set to a score of early American rock hits, Claude Whatham's story of a restless working-class lad in Britain the late 1950s (reportedly inspired by the early life of John Lennon) is a portrait dissatisfaction and disaffection. Real-life rocker David Essex (of the hit single "Rock On") stars as a Jim MacLaine, a schoolboy who chucks it all in a spontaneous rebellion. Not so much an angry young man as simply frustrated and directionless, he drifts through seasonal jobs, scamming girls with his veteran carnival buddy (a cocky Ringo Starr with rocker sideburns) and killing time in dance clubs. The overwhelming emptiness finally sends him wandering back to his dreary hometown for a more respectable life, but it's no better fit. While music is never the focus of the film, the nascent rock & roll scene simmers around the edges through American records and British cover bands (Billy Fury and Keith Moon appear in cameos). The drab small towns and chilly seaside holiday camps evoke a stifling sense of conformity and social stagnation--think of it as a uniquely British take on Rebel Without a Cause--that becomes the crucible for the rebellious British rock & roll explosion around the corner. It's considered to be one of the great rock films, and it spawned a sequel, Stardust. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

I was sent region 2.
mark simpson
The movie has a great authentic atmosphere, but the viewpoint about the main character is not clear.
R. Kahn
Seems everyone who denigrates this movie at all, does so bc Essex's character is such a scumbag.
Robert Barnett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huggins VINE VOICE on April 16, 2002
Format: DVD
"That'll be the Day" is a small, well written and acted film made in 1973 that shares similar themes with the better known "Quadrophenia" made 5 years later. Side note: In "That'll be the Day," the Who's Keith Moon has a cameo as a drummer, and the Pete Townshend composition "Long Live Rock," is heard at a dance hall. Both films tell the story of young men in their late teens/early twenties in England who become disillusioned with their lives and most everything around them. In "Quadrophenia," Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) quits his job and runs Ace Face's (Sting) scooter off the seaside cliffs, symbolically severing his ties with the "Mod" lifestyle. The future for Jimmy is uncertain at the end of "Quadrophenia." The ending of "That'll be the Day," however, is much less ambiguous as Jim MacLaine (David Essex) leaves his job and family (including his infant child) for the life of a rock star (further continued in the 1974 sequel "Stardust").
Like "Quadrophenia," "That'll be the Day" is not a musical, though it has plenty of music in it, including the likes of Richie Valens, the Everly Brothers, Dion, etc. The live bands at the dance halls, for the most part, play cover versions of American artists. The real rock stars in the film -- Essex, Ringo Starr, and Billy Fury and Keith Moon in small cameos -- all do an excellent acting job. Essex, in particular, is terrific as Jim and Ringo, as Jim's carny friend Mike, proves that he really can act in a serious role, given the right material (his work here will make you quickly forget about "Caveman"). Rosemary Leach, as Jim's mother, and Rosalind Ayres, as the wife he leaves, are also impressive. Even the small roles are well cast in this film.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 2000
Format: DVD
"That'll be the Day" is an oustanding examination of a certain period and time: England in the 1950s, when rock and roll began to take hold on the country's youth. Filmed in 1972, the movie uses the gritty kitchen-sink realism that was popular in British films at the time. It doesn't boast much of a story, instead following the life of Jim McLain (David Essex), a restless British teenager who leaves home to work at a funfair. Along the way, he gets hooked on the idea of playing music, with a soundtrack of familiar oldies serving as the soundtrack to his life.
Not a lot happens in the film, but it captures the uneasiness and tension of the period of life when schooltime is over but you haven't settled into adulthood yet. Most intriguing about the film is the shady character of McLain, who is rather shallow and distant, but manages to still be appealing. Much of that is due to the oustanding performance of David Essex in his first starring role. This movie launched his recording career -- the classic "Rock On" was his only U.S. hit, but he's a major performer in his native country -- and he has an easy charisma which makes him likable even when playing an unpleasant fellow. Good work also from Ringo Starr (as Essex's older friend) and Keith Moon as a slightly-crazed drummer (what else?)
.... Also, trivia buffs should notice in chapter eight, Essex can be heard humming the melody of "Rock On," months before he had even recorded the song.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on January 2, 2002
Format: DVD
From Anchor Bay Entertainment comes the long-awaited restored version of a classic rock movie.
The place is Britain. The time: 1958. Said to be based on the early life of John Lennon, this honest and gritty drama is widely considered to be the best depiction of the 1950's British rock scene. Jim McLain (David Essex) leaves home and takes a series of low level jobs at a seaside amusement park. His new friend, played by Ringo Starr, introduces him to a world of tawdry sex and petty crime. Jim's world comes to a shocking and brutal end and he returns home to face his adult future as the local music scene explodes. Will it be responsible adulthood or a new phenomenon called Rock & Roll? The soundtrack features songs by The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dion, Del Shannon and more as well as David Essex's # 1 hit "Rock On." A terrific movie if you like classic rock. Straightforward direction by Claude Whatham. (Widescreen, 91 minutes, Rated PG)
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
While this movie is generally considered a "Ringo Starr" vehicle, it's really the story of David Essex (the 70's hit "Rock On"), as a British youth who leaves home to work at a Holiday Camp (in the UK, the precursor to amusement parks). There he discovers the joy of bedding young ladies who he will probably never see again. Along the way he enounters Ringo as a 'Teddy Boy' who knows the ropes, until he's badly beaten for shucking the wrong customers. A great role for Ringo, who recalls his own youth working at Butlin's, one of the largest Holiday Camps. The end of this movie is very abrupt and somewhat unbelieveable. A pity, since for the most part it's a realistic, gritty look at a moment that probably happened to thousands of young men in Britain during the 50's. Supposedly this was the first of a two-part series based on Essex's character, but because this one has a Beatle in it, it has enjoyed some cult status, much like John Lennon's turn in "How I Won The War". In the end, it's for die-hard Ringo fans, or anyone interested in the life of a roustabout lad (admittedly a narrow focus).
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