The Young Ones 1961

director: Sidney J. Furie  



Great Britain

Alternative Titles

  • Wonderful To Be Young!



It used to be said that the British could make almost any kind of film - except musicals. This was a taunt that was effectively exploded with 1961's The Young Ones. The movie's budget may have been low by Hollywood standards but the film proved to be high on quality, inventiveness and sheer exuberance, easily matching in entertainment similarly youth-orientated American musicals. The plot - not that it matters in a musical - is slim, but sufficient. Cliff Richard, here acquitting himself extremely well in only his third screen appearance (his previous films having been Serious Charge and Expresso Bongo) plays Nicky, the pop singer son of property tycoon Hamilton Black (Robert Morley). Nicky starts a club for young Londoners who enjoy 'his kind of music' and, just to give the movie an edge, Hamilton Black decides to buy the property to knock it down and convert it. So, what do Cliff and his friends do? Naturally, in the tradition of the great Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney musicals, they decide to raise the money by putting on a show... which provides the movie with its zingiest musical number, the lively What D'You Know, We've Got a Show, written by Peter Myers and Ronnie Cass. Sidney J. Furie, a Canadian director then working in Britain, gives the movie its pace and gloss and handles his young cast with immense flair. The musical numbers are put over with a pace and professionalism that matches the Hollywood product in sheer entertainment value. The orchestrations and choreography are slick, The Shadows provide strong support and Myers and Cass's script is both witty and convincing. Cliff Richard shows himself to be a performer of considerable natural charm while the supporting cast is filled with familiar face - Richard O'Sullivan, Melvyn Hayes and Gerald Harper among them, while Morley gives his usual well-rounded gruff characterisation, hiding, of course, a heart of gold which happily emerges in the final reel. The Young Ones is sharp and enjoyable musical fun at its best. ALAN FRANK

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Distributor EMI
Catalogue Number EVH 20242
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Notes First release
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