If you would like a testimony to just how strong the Beatles music really is, 1978's SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND serves up some pretty solid evidence of how great the songs are, even in the WORST of circumstances.
At the height of post "Saturday Night Fever" hysteria, producer Robert Stigwood decided to bring together the biggest selling group of the time (The Bee Gees) the hottest young male singer of the time (Peter Frampton) and the music of The Beatles in one of the most expensive musicals ever made.
To spend anytime describing the story that serves as the framework for the 25+ songs in the film would be spending more time on the screenplay than the writers apparently did.
A cavalcade of stars parade in and out of the film. Some, like Aerosmith, performing "Come Together", Alice Cooper performing "Because" and Steve Martin with a twisted version of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" are terrific and provide the best moments of the film.
Earth, Wind & Fire (Got to Get You Into My Life) and the opening song in the film with Paul Nicholas, the Bee Gees and Frampton are great too, but this think sinks faster than a stone, weighed down by Benny Hill-like performances from our leads, Donald Pleasance and George Burns, who is stuck narrating this mess to try and make some sense of it.
To say the Bee Gees can't act would be like saying dogs can't fly....very understated.
By the time it tries to turn maudlin at the end and then celebrate with a massive group of stars in its closing moments, you are so buried in polyester, bright colors and bad acting it all becomes a silly technicolor blur.
But...there is still the music, which even in its worst interpretations, rises above the whole affair.
Disco and its stars were already dying when this film hit theatres and died in the summer of 1978, buried under its massive, bloated weight.
The music, an A. The film, a tone deaf D.