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4.7 out of 5 stars
Melody [DVD] [1971]
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2010
I originally saw this movie in the 1970s, and did not see it again until it was shown repeatedly on a UK cable TV channel in the early 90s. What a fab film!! The storyline is simple, however it literally has an explosive conclusion! This is definitely a feel good movie, that encapsulates the 1970/71 London/social issues /school etc. Being made at that period, everything is authentic. The atmosphere and mood is well achieved by the director of this film as well as the location in London and other places.

I won't go into the storyline, however `Melody' features an all star cast, that were popular in TV sitcoms as well as film. Though the humour is evident, the cast give some serious performances.

Added to the film is a brilliant soundtrack by the BEE GEES and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

I understand this movie has gained an immense, international cult following, particularly in the Far East.

Onto the DVD itself. Firstly Optimum Home entertainment must be thanked for the debut official release of `Melody' on DVD in the UK. Optimum Home Entertainment releases are of high standard. The picture quality is excellent for a 1971 film. The film transfers have been restored. From beginning to the end credits of `Melody' there are no grain or dust or any markings! The colours are rich and vibrant. Details are clear. The sound is the original mono and presented in WIDESCREEN 1.85:1 There's only one extra which is the original WIDESCREEN UK film trailer with a notable Keith Baron narrating this trailer. There's no film grains either on this trailer!

The DVD cover art is fantastic, actually depicting the original UK LP soundtrack. Whereas the backcover is just as nice with colour publicity photos and an excellent film description.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Delightful tale of two school chidren who fall in love and vow to marry, much to the amusement (and derision) of their parents, teachers and classmates.

All three leads (Jack Wild, Mark Lester and Tracy Hyde) are charming, but Wild steals the show as ever. In one brilliantly conceived scene, he and Mark Lester head to the West End after missing their bus home, in what is clearly an homage to their jaunt round the capital in Oliver's 'Consider Yourself'. Wild reprises his impromptu dance with a street performer, and the two pinch apples again ('Whatever we've got we share!').

This film just encapsulates the 1970's - almost every scene is bathed in sunshine, with the kids running amuck in school, through a graveyard, under the old railways arches, and generally free to do whatever they like, pre-introduction of health-and-safety-madness. All topped off by a fab soundtrack and superb quality transfer to DVD.

Great nostalgia for anyone who grew up in this decade, and very poignant, both as a reminder of first love, and of the loss of a talented performer in Wild.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2010
During the early 70's I watched this film . I was a young teenager at the time the same age as the story was set in .
I had always remembered the film but had'nt a clue as to the Title. I had only seen it the once and remembered the
music or rather thought I had, because I thought it was The Hollies. As far as I was concerned it was lost in the mists of time. However whilst driving home one Friday afternoon the Film programme on Radio 4 started an article on a Teenage love story from 1971 that had starred Jack Wild and Mark Lester with the music provided by The Bee Gee's. My ears pricked up like a Jack Russells do at the thought of a walk and suddenly the title "Melody" hit me in the face! Apparently this movie had obtained cult status in Japan of all places. Anyway I sent off to Amazon and it arrived. My wife and myself sat down and enjoyed it. Mark Lester and Jack Wild reprized the partnership that had made Oliver such a success, Wild was at his peak and both actors obviously thrived on the chemistry between them. But it was the female lead that stole the show and the hearts of all us 13 year old boys. Tracy Hyde was refreshing and gave a natural and near perfect performance as the sweet young love of Mark Lester.It also gave us the opportunity to see some of that era's best British Character actors many of whom have now left our screens for ever. For nostalgia freaks and particularly those from the generation that were educated in Comprehensives in the late 60's and early 70's or for those of us that clearly remember the awkwardness , fun and heartbreak of young love it's well worth revisiting. Simple clean comedy, great cast and guaranteed to bring a few memories back! Oh and the Bee Gee's were quite good considering The Hollies were not available.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2008
A tale of teen (or rather pre-teen) love. In a very traditional school in England (where corporal punishment is still practiced), a boy and a girl (both about twelve) fall in love. Relatively realistic during most of its running time, during the final twenty minutes it falls into anarchist fantasy, as the children in the school thwart the attempts of the parents and the school masters to prevent their elopement and marriage. Unlike other reviewers, I didn't watch this as a child: it's not filtered by childhood memories, so I think I can judge it better as a movie. It's a good romantic story, sometimes demagogic, sometimes overwrought in its criticisms of traditional England, but it's still irresistible. The actress playing the girl, the beautiful Tracy Hyde, is fantastic (unfortunately, and despite her obvious talents, she never became a major star) The screenplay was by Alan Parker (the director was the unknown Waris Hussein, who would never made a major movie again). There is a great score, mostly by the Bee Gees, but the best song is probably is "Teach the Children" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The fine color photography is sometimes reminiscent of a 70s commercial, but it also let you see the London of almost forty years ago (one of the best scenes hve the young lovers skipping school and sightseeing around London). A relative failure in England and the United States when released, this nevertheless became a huge hit in Latin America and the Far East (specially, Japan). Incredibly, this movie has been very seldom shown in television, and the DVD is unavailable in many countries (including the UK and the US).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2011
I first saw this movie soon after I finished school and was absolutely captivated by its charming story and brilliant music. This is probably the best soundtrack the Beegees ever made and that includes Saturday Night Fever. Teach Your Children remains among my top three CSNY songs.

I always wondered why I could never get a decent print of this movie and thanks to Canal that finally has happened. I wish they would remaster the soundtrack though, the mono track is a bit disappointing. But the picture is so sharp that I could feel my heart strings being tugged at all over again.

Lovers of the movie will rejoice, but I think there'a a whole generation out there who would discover the movie if it was marketed cleverly.

Finally, even after all these years, Tracy Hyde remains as lovely as she was all those years ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2012
This is a wonderful and touching film from the start of the 70s (released as S.W.A.L.K. in the UK). The Bee Gees tracks were always a favourite of mine, in particular "In the Morning (of my Life)" which plays over the opening titles and was re-recorded for this soundtrack at a slightly slower pace than it was usually sung, and with a richer, lusher orchestral arrangement -- in my opinion it's the best version of it by far. I still have the original vinyl LP of the soundtrack, but recently bought the DVD to be able to play it again... then decided to go the whole hog and buy the film as well.

I was a little apprehensive, as I'd never caught a repeat on TV and so hadn't seen the film since it was originally released -- I saw it then as it reprised the pairing of Lester and Wild in "Oliver". I thoroughly enjoyed the film then and it left a lasting impression on me; but would my fond memories of it all be spoiled after 40-odd years?

I needn't have worried: it stands up very well, better than many others from the same period, and transported me back to those earlier years and more innocent times. Wild excels as usual as the cheeky chappie Ornshaw, Lester's Danny Latimer is appealing, and there's a fine performance from then newcomer Tracy Hyde as the eponymous Melody Perkins of the title. There's good support from stalwarts of the day such as Roy Kinnear, Sheila Steafel, Keith Barron, Kate Williams and others (faces those of "a certain age" like me will instantly recognise).

I'm not familiar with the districts of Hammersmith and Lambeth where it was filmed, but am quite sure the film would bring back many memories of probably long-lost buildings, streets and other scenes for those who do remember it from this period. In that respect it could be regarded as excellent archival material. I smiled broadly when Danny's mother rolled up shortly after the start in a Triumph Herald convertible, as that's what I learned to drive in!

The transfer to DVD has been done very well, quality is excellent, and I've just spent a really pleasant 100m rediscovering this little gem. I think even the more sophisticated kids of today would enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2011
I saw this film when it first came out in 1971, so I would have been around 10 years old. I loved it; but what has stuck in my memory ever since are the Bee Gee Songs in it. 'Melody Fair', 'Morning of My Life', and 'First of May' are the three songs that stand out for me and are three of my favourite Bee Gee songs, ever. I've loved the Bee Bees ever since! Superb songwriters. And this lovely film introduced me to them.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2010
This movie is(was!) so very popular and faimous in Japan.
There are some website about Tracy Hyde ,Mark Lester and Jack Wild in Japan!!
Some enthusiastic guys had gone to England for looking for the place where this movie had shooted. The Pictures that they tooked can see on the website.
When I was a teenager, I was very moved when I saw this movie.
Tracy Hyde and Mark Lester are so cute that I can't forget.
The story is very simple. They were just too young to get marry.
But I hope that they are together eternally and be happy.
So I hightly recommend this movie. Enjoy this!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2011
The quality of the DVD was excellent for a movie that was produced in 1971. Amazon.co.uk is a better source for purchase of DVD products unlike their US counterpart where the quality of DVD was atrocious to say the least and the price was less than half of the US$ price for the same DVD title.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2010
Ever since I saw Jack Wild in `Melody' and fell in love with the young starlet, Tracy Hyde, I wanted to be rebellious just like the character played by Jack Wild.
His school uniform looking pretty dismal and his hair was gloriously unkempt. He lolled about from scene to scene with his hands in his pockets, chewed gum and was a little rascal at school. He was just the role model for me.
Being twelve when I saw `Melody', I was at an impressionable age and the film being British, was so unlike any South African film I had ever seen.
Waris Hussein, the director, best describes the plot when he states that the film is about two children, Daniel and Melody who are completely taken with each other and announce to their respective parents that they plan to get married. This marriage is not a plan for the distant future, but rather as soon as possible. The uproar that that is caused when their seriousness becomes clear is not too surprising.
Their best friend, Ornshaw, played by Jack Wild, is not too thrilled with their plan either.
What makes the film work is that the entire story is told from the children's point of view in which the grownups' objections, since they have no relation to the truth of what the children are feeling, come across as silly or inconsequential.
Now I could not have put that any simpler myself. This man had empowered my young mind and I couldn't get enough of what I perceived as a jolly good thing.
I remember that I saw this film three times in one day and I must have bemused the staff at the cinema. Another four viewings during the following week ensued. By now my pocket money had been exhausted and I reluctantly decided that I would have to suffice with having seen the film seven times, surely enough to have modelled myself quite comfortably on the loveable rascal, Ornshaw.
At school my shirt now hung over my trousers and my hair was purposely not brushed as regulation demanded. I knew that this would not do in the eyes of the eagle-eyed prefects who roamed around the school, waiting to pounce upon any misdemeanour perpetrated by us snotty nosed juniors.
This short-lived rebellious phase at school died a rather quick death. Well, how could I be like Jack Wild with a haircut that resembled that of a US marine off to fight in some foreign land? My dad had discovered the 'barber kit'!
Melody, a super film bringing back all those many wonderful 'dates' I had with Tracy Hyde "in my dreams" ....
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