To put it bluntly this is an underrated film all round...
Consider Cliff Richard, barely out of an electrical factory job in Hertfordshire some months previously, with his spot at the 2 I's club in Soho only a recent memory and teamed up with the early Shadows line up...
not forgetting he had no acting training prior to being discovered singing at the 2 I's club in Soho he does a good job.
The story is quite shocking when you consider the content of some aspects when this story was made.
For instance the swearword 'bastard' is used at least 4 times when this sort of language rarely appearred at this time in films that (through Cliff's appearance in the film) would be likely to be seen by younger people.
The film is based in London's Soho, an area of London with a reputation for criminality from drugs, gambling, vice, prostitution and black marketeering and that was in the 1950's!
The story has adult themes in it, a strip club where I don't know how the 'costumes' were got past the strict censors of the day as they are minimal, street walking prostitutes inviting people 'upstairs', a strip club 'dancer' living with her agent/promoter and not married (remember it was 1959/60)!
The story is almost a biog of early Cliff Richard, a young singer discovered with his backing group in a coffee bar
This film takes that early plot and life almost imitates art as in the film he is signed up by a wide boy agent (later the contract is found to be null and void).
The machinations and cut and thrust of the recording industry moguls and the chancers like the Laurence Harvey charachter 'Johnny' are played out superbly.
Then we have Cliff's older female love interest in Yolande Donlan, a fading American singing star and you have a pretty full meat and veg main course.
It is interesting to look at the contemporary street scenes especially the still war damaged parts of London, some of it still semi derelict after 15 years of peace.
Spot an early appearance of Burt Kwouk too in scene 1!
And Hank Marvin's original Fender Stratocaster makes it's film debut, what a pity this film wasn't shot in colour, but maybe the black and white film stock adds a 'noir' quality to it.
Sylvia Syms as the stripper girlfriend of 'Johnny' the Laurence Harvey charachter is a very competent and mature performance.
This is quite an adult film even now, it is straight and solid, unlike the later more light hearted style of films such as the Young Ones and Summer Holiday which are good in their own right.
Other reviewers may not be overly impressed with this film but it has many facets and qualities that although it may not have sold as many seats as Summer Holiday, nevertheless is as important for the social studies of the charachters in seedy Soho of the time with its fading and peeling wall paper, damp walls and general demeanour of a world just waiting to turn the corner into the 1960's.
So look at this film from a number of perspectives and be surprised at the multi layered assemblage before you.
Oh and you get the early Shadows lineup doing some great music although this could have been longer!
Interesting footage of Hank Marvin playing his old Antoria guitar in a recording studio scene