Dir: Ken Russell - 1971
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 29th December, 2001
A tuneful, glittering and downright daft movie! Sandy Wilson’s flapper musical “The Boy Friend” has long been a stalwart of the amateur operatic society circuit. Ken Russell gives it a kick and a shove and proves how very good the old war-horse can be. His version is colourful, lively, touching and hilarious - and owes a good deal to the spectacular ideas of Busby Berkeley. Casting Twiggy in the lead was bound to be a calculated risk but her inexperience in the acting field pays dividends and makes her portrayal of the nervous and naive Polly totally believable. Playing opposite her is Christopher Gable - his only big screen appearance - who went on to found the renowned Northern Ballet Theatre. The rest of the cast is made up of a galaxy of British character actors - Max Adrian, Georgina Hale, and Barbara Windsor among them. Glenda Jackson makes an uncredited appearance as the big star who can’t go on because of a little accident involving a tram. A superb orchestration and gutsy performance of Wilson’s music by Peter Maxwell-Davies makes this one of the few truly memorable British big screen musicals.