Idol on Parade View large image

Film Details

Directed by: John Gilling

Produced: 1959

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Length: 81 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 7 October 2013

Cat No: CDR27186

Languages(s): English
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:2.35

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Idol on Parade

Cast: Sid James , Lionel Jeffries , David Lodge , Dilys Laye , William Bendix , Anthony Newley , Harry Fowler , William Kendall , Bernie Winters , Anne Aubrey

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1950s British comedy about a pop star who is conscripted into the army. Singing sensation Jeep Jackson (Anthony Newley) is drafted into... Read More

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1950s British comedy about a pop star who is conscripted into the army. Singing sensation Jeep Jackson (Anthony Newley) is drafted into the National Service but finds it difficult to fit in with his comrades with his many female fans, including his commanding officer’s daughter Caroline (Anne Aubrey), eager to get close to him. Meanwhile, on his manager Herbie (Sid James)’s insistence, Jeep sneaks out of the barracks to do live performances and record new songs but his sergeant soon grows suspicious of his activities.

A musical comedy fronted by Anthony Newley, Idol on Parade sees a pop star pressed into National Service (possibly inspired by Elvis Presley’s joining the US Army the previous year) and by various ruses manages to continue his recording career.

It’s a breezy confection with a certain pedigree: director John Gilling is better known for his horror work with Hammer Films; and screenwriter John Antrobus wrote for TV and radio shows including The Goon Show and That Was The Week That Was.

The cast is a virtual roll-call of postwar film comedy, from David Lodge, Harry Fowler and Sid James to Lionel Jeffries, Bernie Winters, Percy Herbert and a very young Susan Hampshire. A notable US import is William Bendix, who made his name in 1940 films noirs (The Glass Key, The Blue Dahlia) and here plays the gruff-but-softhearted Sergeant Major.  

Newley wasn’t famed for his rock’n’roll credentials (the script chooses, rather quaintly, to call it ‘rock-a-boogie’), but the film ironically launched his own chart career, when one of the featured songs, ‘I’ve Waited So Long’, reached number 3 on the singles chart.

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