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Monday, November 6, 2017

Summer Holiday (1963)

A garage mechanic (Cliff Richard) persuades London Transport to loan him an old double decker bus which he and three friends renovate into a hotel on wheels for a road trip across Europe. Directed by Peter Yates (BULLITT), this is the British equivalent of an Elvis movie, only Elvis movies usually had better songs. While the songs may be negligible, the film is heightened by the colorful location lensing of John Wilcox (THE MOUSE THAT ROARED) and the lively and enthusiastic choreography of Herbert Ross (yes, the director). The plot is barely there, a wisp of a narrative to hang on songs and dance numbers but the youthful cast give it their all. The acting honors go to Madge Ryan as a voracious stage mother who lives her life through her singer daughter (Lauri Peters). It's not a subtle performance by any means but the movie needs something a bit over the top to perk it up between the song numbers. With Ron Moody (OLIVER!), Teddy Green, Melvyn Hayes, Una Stubbs and Jeremy Bulloch. 

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