Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1978

The Bee Gees star in 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' film in 1978

The lengthy struggle to get a film made often pays off handsomely; this film featuring the music of The Beatles was handicapped from the start by the band’s unwillingness to participate. Producer Robert Stigwood would not let his dream die; instead of The Beatles, Sgt Pepper features the Bee gees as a band battling against music industry corruption in a random plotline, interspersed with Frankie Howard attempting to take over the world with a race of androids. Everyone from Aerosmith to Peter Frampton to George Burns to Donald Pleasance to Steve Martin has incidental bits along the way, but none of it makes sense for a moment; it’s hard to imagine what Doris Day, Elton John or Barry Manilow could have added this this farrago, but they all turned it down. A benchmark for bad-movie fans, Michael Shultz’s film is a high concept that wilted spectacularly on the way to the big screen.

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