Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silver Screen Sunday {Summer Holiday}

Well, it's been another long break between Silver Screen Sunday posts - I had this scheduled for whilst I was away but, even though I'm still here, I figured I may as well still use it!.

Summer Holiday is just one of a number of movies made in the '50s and '60s starring singer Cliff Richard, though his film career was by no means more prolific (or of any greater quality) than that of Elvis Presley. Despite a ridiculous plot and some elements that I frown at, Summer Holiday is a fun, colourful film with lots of great early '60s fashions. It also serves as a showcase for Cliff Richard's songs, backed by The Shadows (who make numerous cameos throughout the film.)

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Don, played by Cliff Richard, is a mechanic who, along with three friends, also mechanics (played by Melvyn Hayes, Teddy Green and Jeremy Bulloch) do up a London double decker bus with the intention of taking it on holiday tours with paying passengers. The test trip doesn't go quite as they planned, though...

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They all but kidnap Una Stubbs (playing Sandy) and company - I say all but as the women eventually decide to go with the men but this is after being manhandled out of their not-at-all-road-worthy vehicle as the four men try to coerce the girls onto their bus. That sounds a lot more sinister than it is presented in the film but it did strike me as I was re-watching it just a few weeks ago, now. The three women all have gorgeous outfits throughout the film (which somehow fit into their small suitcases - hmmmm.)

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They change their destination to Athens so the women (a singing trio) can make a gig on time and have other adventures/mishaps along the way...

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As I said, The Shadows make numerous appearances in the film, once of which was during the club scene when the travellers are in France, I believe. Oh and there are plenty of slightly odd dance sequences, too! (I couldn't find a video for the club bit but maybe I didn't look hard enough.)

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I love Una Stubbs' hair in this movie - makes me want to chop my long locks off! I also love Melvyn Hayes' (as Cyril) wardrobe. I think these two probably have my favourite fashion throughout the whole film.

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Can you see the hand and footprint print on Cyril's shirt? So cute. 

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I'm also fond of the amount of stripes present in the costumes! Oh, and all the very amusing facial expressions. 

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They discover a stowaway played by Lauri Peters who is the famous Barbara Winters, disguised as a young boy to escape the demands of her career (well, mainly her mother).

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Look at Cyril in the top picture! And the print on Sandy/Una Stubbs' dress, too. This is the part where Cliff Richard starts singing about how every girl is a beautiful girl when you're a Stranger in Town - all the women around him start turning into young, beautiful scantily clad ones as he walks by. Hmmm.

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Of course there is convenient that everyone is paired off so nicely! Oh, but Don insists he wants to be a Bachelor Boy and have A Swinging Affair (then changes his mind later on).

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Then there is some waltzing (really waltzing?) and the women, as you can see, have these beautiful dresses. I can't pick a favourite - the colours, styles and fabric are all so gorgeous.

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Another great shirt/hat from Cyril!

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When they finally arrive in Athens (after many mishaps orchestrated by Barbara's scheming mother including arrests amongst other things) they get arrested...again! This time for kidnapping Barbara and she is whisked away before she can explain it all to either Don and the gang or the police, etc.

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Barbara's mother locks her in her room (wearing this beautifully simple blue dress) but Don gets her out and (spoiler alert, ha) it all works out in the end!

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I tend to view movies like this more as a showcase for the singer's music and some great clothes. Plus it is fun to watch and the supporting cast is actually very good (some of whom appear in other Cliff Richard films, as well.) And I'm a huge fan of Cliff's music - he has such a beautiful singing voice. Any other fans (either of the movies or just Cliff)? I do wish there'd been more of The Shadows as I've got a bit of a crush on a young Hank Marvin...

Andi B. Goode


  1. This looks so cute!!

    I am so out of touch with films from this era - I watch so many from the 70s/80s/90s - but goodness this post makes me want to explore them more

  2. I have the 33 rpm of this movie but never see it! I have to... I will search for a french version!
    Thanks for sharing!!!!

  3. This film is such a delight! I haven't seen it in years, but given the we're getting treated to some unusually warm early fall temperatures this year, I think I should celebrate our extra lengthy summer-esque weather (which is a bit like a holiday unto itself!) by watching this great early 60s musical again.

    ♥ Jessica

  4. That purple dress with the low back. Wow. Can I have that right now? Please and thank you.

  5. I love this movie is it just as you say. Colourful and fun! And those dresses… I would die for several of those!

  6. LOVE Cliff Richards... and I remember this used to be on every summer when I was a child LOL
    Funnily enough, I never hear anything about Cliff since being here in the states... I'll have to dig out the film for my daughter and I to watch :)

  7. Wow, the clothes in this film look wonderful. I'll be adding this to my lovefilm list for sure, I do like a bit of Cliff :)

  8. Oh my the clothes in this are just drool worthy x


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