Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dave Clark Five "Catch Us If You Can" 1965

This was famed director John Boorman's first directorial effort. He also directed "Deliverance" (1972) and "Hope and Glory" (1987) and other major films. If this opening of lads dashing about in a open park and hopping about on a playground reminds anyone of the Beatles and director Richard Lester's "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) from the year before that's probably just what the producers wanted.

The film itself however is more a traditonal romance comedy/drama and should be seen by those who enjoy this era.

From Wikipedia: "Although they perform the off-screen soundtrack music, The Dave Clark Five (unlike The Beatles in their films) do not portray themselves, but appear to be a team of freelance stuntmen/extras led by the saturnine Steve (Dave Clark). Clark had worked as a stuntman on a number of films, which appears to have provided him with a level of cinematic experience and camera-sense rare for a pop-artist of the time.

"Far from being a conventional pop vehicle, the film concerns itself with the frailty of personal relationships, the flimsiness of dreams, and the difficulty of maintaining spontaneity, authenticity and integrity in a stage-managed "society of the spectacle." Boorman's debut offering drew favourable notices from Pauline Kael and Dilys Powell, not least because of the enormous cultural energy of the time (mid-1960s) in which the film was made."

It was released in the USA as "Havin' a Wild Weekend".


  1. You know, for having been such a huge fan of The Dave Clark Five, and The Beatles, and the Monkees and all the rest, I never did see any of the movies they made... only the TV shows (there was an animated Beatles show... how many people remember that?). That we were living in remote Alaska was partly responsible for that, I guess... but I kinda miss not having seen them.

  2. I also remember The Beatles cartoon series which as I recall had the Fab Four doing the music but not the voices. Anyway, I enjoyed that.

    The only consolation is that a lot of the movies area available in DVD. I'm not sure about "Catch Us if You Can" but there are clips of it on You Tube. But it would have been bette to have seen them when they were popular.

  3. I never saw this film either Doug. At the time I had a big down on the Dave Clark 5 after they appeared on TV and seemed to me to be too pleased that they had knocked the Beatles off the the number one spot in the UK charts. This was when 'Glad All Over' eventually displaced 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' after weeks at the top, but I never forgave them for that and this is no doubt why I never saw the film or bought any of their records.

  4. AA, if I had been into music in 1965, I no doubt would have reacted the same way and staged a one person boycott if necessary.

    I gather from reading some of the comments about the Dave Clark Five online andin books and magazines that this group was never liked long-term the way the Beatles and the Stones, The Who and other bands were.

    By the way, the movie "Catch Us if You Can" itself was nearly lost, an odd fate for a film made for general release in the mid-60's. According to a book I read by John Boorman, the director went back to try and locate it for himself, but the only print he could find was in bad shape. It was Boorman's stamp on this that made me seek this film out.

    Someone, at the British Film Institute I suspect, did a good job bringing this movie back to life. When I finally saw this on a cable station, it was clear Boorman did well. The film gives us a sense of time and place. The film does have a plot, although Dave Clark and his pals are a wet blanket on screen mostly.

    In any case, Boorman went on to America to direct a top-notch thriller with Lee Marvin and Angie Dickenson called "Point Blank" in 1967. That film noir is well regarded and rightfully so.

    "Point Blank", incidentally, was remade in 1999 as "The Limey" with Terence Stamp in a quiet and chilling role as an English hit man arriving in L.A., bent on revenge for his daughter's murder by music mogul Peter Fonda. Stephen Soderbergh, the Oscar -winning director, used footage of Mr. Stamp from Ken Loach's "Poor Cow" in his newer film to round out the character's background. It is a worthy enterainment for those drawn to old-school urban crime films.

    Back to the music: not having that direct background, I've always liked this DC5 song since I heard it some time in the early 70's.