Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984) Poster

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San Franciscan7 April 2002
Sure, I love the Beatles.

And sure, I respect Paul McCartney--especially when he has the courage to make mistakes. And he does admit himself that he messed this particular film up in the book "Paul McCartney: 20 Years On His Own".

I expected the film to be lousy and all, and hoped for at least a few nice musical performances. And, of course, I've heard all the critics' comments about its general lousiness as well as the users' remarks on here.

So what was my take on it?

Well, after seeing it and thinking about all who have said, "Yeech! It's a BOMB!" and everything...

I disagree--in a way. Despite the boring and goofy plot, uninteresting situations and thorough silliness, "Give My Regards To Broad Street" isn't terrible: it's just pretty bad. There are enjoyable music selections here, and even some which are genuinely touching.

The entire opening medley showing Sir Paul performing "Yesterday/Here, There and Everywhere/Wanderlust" is wonderful, as is the smoothly gliding loveliness of "So Bad". It is during these sections when you see that Paul's film, as he had explained in the above-mentioned book, was originally intended to be simply a series of music videos shown on television.

However, a terrific version of "Silly Loves Songs"--which is arguably superior to the original--is ruined by the visuals that accompany it. It's not the fact that everyone is done up in elaborate makeup; I don't mind that. It's just that all they do is simply stand in place like statues, barely moving at all while playing their instruments as an annoying breakdancer moves around on the floor in front of them. What on earth McCartney was trying to accomplish here I have no idea.

One sequence which produces unintentional giggles here is the "Eleanor's Dream" sequence. That acting. Those goofy FAKE SIDEBURNS!

Even sillier is the ending: it makes no sense whatsoever in a thread plot that already makes next to no sense to begin with (it makes the likes of "Purple Rain" look positively brilliant scriptwise), and features the biggest unintentional guffaw in the film: a scene in which Paul imagines himself as a street performer.

Interestingly enough, though, there is one strange feeling that this film gave me, and believe me, I never thought Paul McCartney would ever give me this kind of reaction with anything: a powerful wash of 80s nostalgia! Paul is dressed here precisely in the sort of outfit that so many wore during the "Miami Vice" craze, and sports one of those poofy 80s haircuts...the exact same sort of look I personally sported during the time!...that alone brought back weird reminders of my least favourite decade. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's something I just thought I'd mention in case anyone's into that sort of stuff.

All things considered, though, I've seen far worse films than this. It still entertains because it works better as a music video collection than as a movie, and you won't be as disappointed as you might be if you simply treat it as such. If you dig McCartney and The Beatles, there are bound to be at least one or two sections you like in here. Somewhere. Whether or not you have the patience to sit through the whole thing in order to see what they are is up to you.

What this movie really needs the most is a DVD re-release. That way everybody can simply skip over to whichever sections they like best rather than having to constantly rewind/fastforward just to find them.
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ex-Beatle Paul rocks the casbah
helpless_dancer16 October 2001
Tissue paper thin story used completely as an excuse for Paul and friends to conjure up a series of music videos. And ruddy good tunes they were. Loved watching the band go through several fine songs, many of which I had never before heard. The story had Paul and cohorts searching for a set of missing tapes, leading the viewer through a series of flashbacks and dreamscapes which gave the film a magically mysterious sensation. The picture at times had that 1/2 baked feel I was used to from early Beatle flickers....only this was much, much better. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie: and I really went for the little doodle bug car.
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A long and tasteful music video
luapeltaeb25 August 2006
Paul and Co. do a wonderful job here. Not a bad film attempt for a man whose only previous movie work was hamming it up with the other Beatles. Set design, locations, song selection, performance all top notch. If you are looking for a "Popeye Doyle" put to music, keep looking. If you love the work of Paul, you have found a great movie! The acting is surprisingly good...Paul emotes, Ringo deadpans, Brian acts as a fine Englishman should. Bit parts by Linda McCartney, Barbara Bach, Tracey Ullman, Giant Haystacks and Sir Ralph Richardson all meld together beautifully. Do not believe the reviews that came out in 1984. They were probably written by left-over stones fans. Paul it's time you recorded "McCartney III" and did another film. Cheers!
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Quite Good
Emily Jane13 August 1999
Compared to Paul McCartney's last opus "Magical Mystery Tour, this movie wasn't all that bad, I thought. I loved the songs, the story was OK, and over all I was pleased. It was a nice surprize to see Ringo in there too! Great for all Beatle fans!
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Steer clear.
sebastian_carr20 December 2002
I can still remember Paul McCartney being interviewed about this film shortly before its release. He sank a lot of his own money into the project and was bemoaning the fact that British investors didn't know a good thing when they saw one. Its runaway success would be his revenge on those who wouldn't fund the film. Anyway, it bombed and Macca waved goodbye to his money. I didn't see it in the cinema (nobody did), but saw it recently on TV. I watched because of the above tale. Was it a great work, as he had claimed? No. It is an excruciating piece of amateurish nonsense. Poorly acted and scripted, I can't think of a single redeeming feature.
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SmoochyKat11 September 2005
I wouldn't go so far as to call this movie a 'crap-fest'. I have definitely sat through much worse. Given the time frame in which it was made, it could have been much, much worse than it actually was. I wouldn't call it a guilty pleasure, either. Though it wasn't a complete waste of time, it was awfully trite and clichéd. It plays like an extended music video, as well as seeming like a statement on the extreme boredom of Paul McCartney. (In Macca's defense, blogs didn't really exist then.) Although it's a didn't completely suck, Sir Paul really should stick to writing songs and leave screen writing to professionals. The music was good, of course- a nifty mix of classic Lennon/McCartney and originals. Some of the visuals were very interesting as well. Once again I must make the music video comparison here. But, overall, it must be said- though it's not a crap-fest, it's still extremely cheesy. A total cheese-fest. Yeah.
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Decent music but grim and depressing **
JoeKarlosi10 June 2004
Paul McCartney's self-indulgent exercise in tolerance isn't much better today than it was at the time of its release. I'm a big Beatles/Solo Beatles fan and even I have never been able to warm up to this. It's gloomy, depressing, pointless and grim. The only reason to watch is for the McCartney tunes - ranging from updated renditions of old Beatles classics ("Yesterday," "Here, There and Everywhere") to some newer songs that range from the rockin' ("Not Such a Bad Boy," "No Values") to the soft and sweet ("So Bad," "No More Lonely Nights"). Most embarrassing moment is a rendition of "Silly Love Songs" with the band in ridiculous makeup as an absurd break dancer performs in the foreground; most excruciating sequence involves a never-ending dream which concludes "Eleanor Rigby". McCartney should have learned long ago with MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR that he is not a screenplay writer. It's also terribly directed and acted.
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Not for every Beatles fan
Rupert__Pupkin24 February 2002
I don't like reviews that take the liberty of speaking for me. Most of the previous reviews say things like, 'if you're a Beatles fan, you'll love this movie'; or 'this movie is for every McCartney fan,' etc.

I may be the biggest Beatles fan in the state and probably the biggest Paul McCartney fan in the country, but the fact remains that this movie is terrible. It's just plain boring, no two ways about it.

Two of the three new songs, "No Values" and "Not Such a Bad Boy" are mediocre at best. The script drags, the acting is sub-par, and the plot is uninteresting.

The only part I liked was when Paul was buskin' it on the street with his guitar, a glimpse of how easy music comes to him. That's also my favorite version of "Yesterday." I wish I could get it on CD.

Paul is the best, but Give my Regards to Broadstreet is garbage. Not every Beatles fan will enjoy it. This one didn't.
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Not so bad..
JefferI21 July 2004
If you're a McCartney fan, it's the equivalent of a hour and a half music video. No real plot. Silly dialogue.

It's essentially a self indulgent effort. Much in the same line as Magical Mystery Tour. Not as creepy, but not as inventive either.

But I saw it in HD at home last night and the soundtrack was certainly worth it.


So if you would like to see what is essentially a McCartney / Beatles Video starring Paul and Ringo, this is right up you're alley.

Some minor parts as well may have some interest to fans.

Again, if you're not a McCartney fan, then you'd probably skip this one.

If you are, and can get it with full sound, then do it.
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Great music, fun movie, weak plot.
CalamarDH6 November 2002
If you're a big enough fan of Paul McCartney's to get past the fact that there's not too much to the plot, I would recommend for you to see it. The music is fantastic (he even kept the classics such as Eleanor Rigby, Here, There, And Everywhere, and The Long and Winding Road) and it's also just a fun little movie to watch if you're in a good mood. It's certainly not the greatest thing our Paul has ever done, but it not the worst either (Yeah, remember the Magical Mystery Tour same story: good music, bad plot). I give it a 7/10.
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A movie for two kinds of people...
bwaynef31 May 1999
A movie for two kinds of people:

(1) Avid admirers of the undeniably talented Paul McCartney who are interested in watching their hero branch out into startling new directions (acting, screenwriting), as well as to see and hear him perform one of his best songs from the 80s (the lovely "No More Lonely Nights") and offer fresh reinterpretations of his many hits (including a version of "Here, There, and Everywhere" that may be superior to the much loved rendition that appears on the Beatles' "Revolver" lp); and

(2) Those who take a mean-spirited pleasure in seeing one of the high and mighty fall, quite spectacularly, on his face. The stench from a dozen bad Elvis movies could not hope to compete with the travesty that is this film. But then Elvis had the good sense not to write his own screenplays. Then again, there really isn't a screenplay here at all, only a credit for one given to Mr. McCartney. That, it seems, is the problem. The cast, including Ringo Starr, just stand in front of the camera with nothing to do. Only when McCartney is performing does this egomaniacal enterprise show any competence or even signs of life. Next to this, "Magical Mystery Tour" is the classic that Mr. Mac seems to think it is.
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Vivid portrait of the danger of ingesting too much of the dreaded weed
Lisa260012 May 2004
While watching this movie, I couldn't help but wonder just how much pot Macca was smoking at the time. How else could one explain the otherwise inexplicable '80s Eurotrash kitsch of "Silly Love Songs," or the "Eleanor Rigby" sequence?

Although ostensibly directed by Peter Webb, rumor has it that Paul actually took full control of the film early on, and the lack of directorial experience shows (rather painfully). Paul is credited with writing the script (such as it is), which seems to have been composed on a napkin or on the back of an envelope.

The "plot," or rather "dramatic scenario," (if it can even be dignified as such) seems to be something of an echo from the equally flimsy premise of "A Hard Day's Night," in that the protagonist(s) (Paul or The Beatles) are shown romping around a TV or film studio of some sort, constantly passing by costumed actors and extras, the whole thing serving as merely an excuse to perform their songs. I suppose one could claim that the setting in both films could be interpreted as a commentary on the "artifice" and theatricality of showbiz, or some other such pretentious mush. But where "A Hard Day's Night" overcame its lack of plot and low budget with the raw enthusiasm, charm, and sly humor of the Beatles in 1964, the 1984 Paul possesses none of these qualities, instead content to waltz around gaudily decorated, overblown sets in a kind of dope-fueled haze. Paul, and everybody else in the film, including Tracey Ullman, Ringo, Paul's wife Linda, Ringo's wife Barbara Bach, and Beatles producer George Martin seem bored silly, as if they can't wait for the shoot to be over. The film is supposed to be a "dream within a dream," and they certainly act as if they're sleepwalking through it!

Ah, well--at least you can get a nice hit of trashy, kitschy '80s nostalgia from it.
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If you enjoy the music? Then enjoy it!
bizcjs2 May 2001
Hope this film will be released on DVD as I just do not buy VHS format. If you are looking for a picture that lets you enjoy many well timed music videos by featuring Paul and his wife and friends then this is it. A movie to entertain you with good music and not a lot of plot, but fun. Don't watch this film in order to find the answer for the mystery of the formation of the universe or to be critical of it. Anyone can criticize a movie and that would be a shame for this one. Just sit back and be entertained with good music and good people. Enjoy the movie for what it is. A compilation of music from a very talented man Paul McCartney!
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What was going on in his head?
rgsalin19 August 2005
I am a real McCartney lover. However, I don't dig this movie at all. What was he thinking about when he "wrote" the "script"? How could George Martin have been able to accept such poor new versions of gems like "For No One" or "Here, There And Everywhere"? No wonder Ringo Starr didn't want to get involved in The Beatles new covers. The music in the film is the less McCartney-like ever... The arrangements are sugary, the voice... oh! please... compare it to the voice in Rockshow or Wings Over America, or, why not?, the voice he exhibits in his most recent tours (2000 on). Fortunately, he didn't make a second part of the movie, as his wish had been for a while. There are, however, some good bits (or let's say not so mediocre bits). For example, when the band (Ringo Starr included, and other excellent musicians such as Dave Edmunds), performs the not very good compositions "No values", and some others. Didn't anybody had the guts to tell him that, with such an incredible band he was performing with, he should have chosen a better repertoire? All in all, a regrettable movie, full of possibilities (excellent musicians, for instance), with a horrible script (Paul will always be famous for showing off that he can do anything, even things he doesn't know how to... as writing scripts). Fortunately, we will always have his other records. Don't forget that Paul McCartney is a musician, not an actor. His workshop is the recording studio and the stage, doing the best thing he can do: performing music.
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No masterpiece, but not bad at all.
scree18 August 2001
Here is a light-hearted, entertaining movie that gets quickly dismissed by critics who think every movie should be a 'Godfather' or something. If you like rock music in general and aren't looking for a complicated plot, this movie is a very nice Brit production complete with pretty visuals and kooky characters; if you are a fan of Paul and/or The Beatles, then you will love this movie, plain and simple!
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better then most people think!!!!!!
matthew876 June 2003
I am huge paul mccartney fan! and I must say this movie rocks,I love the plot of how he must find his tapes before midnight or serious consequences will happen.Ringo acts funny,and the soundtrack is really cool.
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Amazing misstep
treeline125 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In this odd and very bad movie, we see Paul McCartney as he goes about an average day of appointments, all the time trying to find the missing and irreplaceable master tapes for his next album. We see him rehearse and perform some Beatles and Wings songs with Ringo on drums and wife Linda doing whatever it was she did. His search for the tapes includes many dream sequences and even a pointless and embarrassing visit with his deceased father in the person of the late Sir Ralph Richardson.

The movie is a confusing and dreary mishmash of reality, drama, and music videos created by screenwriter and star McCartney. Sadly it is depressing and boring, completely devoid of life and energy. The most that can be said about Paul's 'performance' is that he had the good taste to look totally disinterested the whole time; despite the threatened take-over of his company if the tapes cannot be found, he maintains a glum pokerface as does the rest of the cast. I didn't care about the plot because he didn't seem to care. This must have been his attempt to make a cinema vérité film similar to "A Hard Day's Life," but there is not a moment of humor or even pleasant camaraderie with his coworkers; he wanders from place to place like a sleepy zombie. Wife Linda is seen but never mentioned nor does she speak, and Ringo's wife plays a journalist who just hangs around and stares at Ringo.

This project must have looked much better on paper and I'm sure McCartney thought this would show him as a sensitive actor and artiste; unfortunately, we see just the opposite - a man who can afford to star in his own movie even if it's a waste of time.
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A vanity film...and a not particularly good one.
MartinHafer15 April 2008
In 1984, Paul McCartney made a feature-length film that was simply a gigantic music video--not a film, per se. Think about it--108 minutes of nothing but music videos with the barest of plots to connect them. Even for many die-hard Beatles or McCartney fans, this is quite the endurance contest to watch! In most ways, it seems like twenty years after A HARD DAYS NIGHT, McCartney is trying to recapture the magic--without John and George. Ringo and his lovely trophy wife make an appearance as do a few of McCartney's other friends, but the magic is sadly missing and it just looks like a very, very expensive home movie.

To put it bluntly, I found the whole experience tedious--and I couldn't wait to leave the theater. Now I must admit that I have never been a huge McCartney fan--I can take him or leave him. So, my reaction may not be yours. However, considering the movie is so unstructured and undisciplined, no one can SERIOUSLY call this a good film. Poor acting, dopey fantasy sequences and an overall aura of self-indulgence make this a vanity piece that seems twice as long as its actual running time. Had MOST musicians wanted to produce such a film, I doubt if any studio would have agreed. Given McCartney's pedigree, I guess it must have been pretty hard to say 'no'. Thank goodness this film didn't do well in the box office--otherwise, we might have been treated by follow-ups! In fact, it did so poorly that it might have been THE reason the Broadstreet station was closed and demolished just two years after this movie debuted.

PS--Some gave this film a 10.
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Without John and George,Paul and Ringo don't quite cut the mustard
chinaskee15 February 2001
About the only thing this film has going for it is Paul McCartney singing some Beatles classics as well as some of the newer Wings titles.An attempt to capture the energy of "It's a Hard Days Night" fails dismally without John Lennon and George Harrison.Ringo's here,but barely utters a word.This is Paul's show all the way.This film desperately needed something it sorely lacks-ENERGY.What a shame.
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My vote for worst movie of all time
bashour14 February 2006
This movie has my vote for worst movie of all time, it was simply unbearable and did not even have the redeeming feature of being so bad that it was funny, it was so bad it was sad... Saw it the year it was released in England with four very close friends. We were all expecting something to do with the Beatles, we were all huge fans. Disapointement does not even begin to encompass what this movie will bring you if you are a Beatles fan. Its worth seeing just to know how you can go about spoiling a movie. It should be analyzed in film school. Whenever I am asked for my worst movie of all time, this is the first to come to mind. At least the Blue Lagoon was bad in a way you could make fun of while watching. Not so here.
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I've seen worse
WakenPayne1 December 2012
... But seriously what the hell is that saying? To basically describe how pointless this movie is then any entertainment value from this movie can be replicated by playing a bunch of random Paul McCartney Beatles Songs... The entertainment value will not differentiate (although I would prefer listening to The McCartney Beatles songs).

So what exactly is the plot. Paul McCartney looks for his tape that a guy stole... That's it, that's all the plot you will see from this. However in terms of following that plot you know just as much as I do (very little). The song is littered with excuses for Paul McCartney to perform his songs. Cut them out of the 100 minute running time you'll only have 15 left.

The only other entertainment value in this movie is if you're a Cinematography nut (and I do mean nut). There are shots in the half-hour-long sequence set entirely in the 1800's (What does that have to do with the plot?) that are very well constructed and set up.

Now I am not the biggest Beatles' fan, any respect I had for Paul McCartney is now completely and utterly and totally shattered. If you're not the biggest Beatles fan your respect for the guy will be as well. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Unless you want to listen to a bunch of Paul McCarntey songs in a pointless way then do not get this movie. That's the only entertainment value in it
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A great musical trip down memory lane and a lesson to boot!
hergie200712 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I will admit at the outset, I am a Paul McCartney fan. That being said This film is more of an extended music video of classic Beatles music and contemporary to the times McCartney & Wings music. All oldies now. Tossed in is a loose story of an employee working for McCartney with a criminal past that goes missing with a master tape. A mysterious corporate head attempting to take over the rights to McCartney's recording company. and a cast of strange hangers-on that may be involved. The story works for what it is and is in fact based on a loose account of an event that happened to Linda and Paul in Africa. The lesson in the film is simple, but one that most of us need reminding of, 'don't judge a book by its cover.' An enjoyable film, with some great music!
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Not that bad, but...
vincefay13 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
What really saves this film is the music. Now, Paul is no great shakes as an actor, and that really shows in this film. I remember after my father and I had seen this in an almost empty theater, his major complaint was that the "likeable Paul" that you see in interviews wasn't in this film. He was just kind of there.

Paul himself has even stated that what this film really needed was a second or third draft. Unfortunately, he wrote this, and no one had the heart to offer creative criticisms, like making the whole film a dream and dreams within dreams might be confusing and silly. Also, a second writer might have helped to add some much needed humor, and flesh out some of the characters. As it stands, actors like Bryan Brown, Tracey Ullman and Sir Ralph Richardson are left as very hollow characters who lend nothing to the plot.

What makes this film at all enjoyable is the music. On the whole, Paul tried to do an updated "Hard Day's Night". The plots are similar (a day in the life of rock star Paul played by Rock Star Paul McCartney), and the constant musical performances make this seem almost like Another Hard Day's Night.

Overall, the ending is extremely anticlimactic, the story is silly, but the musical performances are a lot of fun. It's on par with Blues Brothers 2000, another film with great music that saves an otherwise mediocre at best film.
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McCartney's finest hour
mccartne10 June 1999
I think the movie is very good. I admire the music and the story, I also admire the visuals, cool to the fore! I like it very much and I just hope that Sir Paul will do another movie. I'm looking forward for that. Fab Forever!
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Disregard any bad Reviews
gregoryg-220 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a Beatles Fan. I'm also "Critical" Of McCartney. I think he Tends to take to much credit for the beatles. But I have to to Admit I was very surprised at how much I loved the movie. The movie has a lot of beatlistic quality's. The beatle songs are well covered, As well as his own songs. The comedy is witty. The actings is "good". The only bad acting is from linda McCarney. If You appreciate Andrew Lloyd Weber's type of composing You Love the arrangements Especially the 'Elenore' sequence. No, This isn't the "Greatest" movie of all time. But will be a good ,funny, wholesome entertainment. You wont regret Whacting this movie......A splendid time for all.
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