Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
on 5 June 2013
Some People is a British colour production from 1962. The story has three strands. Firstly, the picture is a rock n' roll musical featuring three popular songs - Some People - Yes You Did - Too Late - and a twangy instrumental - Bristol Express.Singing was provided by local Bristol girl Valerie Mountain and the background music by the technically excellent, and underrated Eagles (not to be confused with the much later American supergroup with the same name).. Sadly - they get no apparent acknowledgement in the credits and they do not appear on screen. However, Angela Douglas does a super job lip synching the songs and the EP of the film soundtrack charted for some weeks in 1962. Secondly, the film is a fairly tame account of "rebellious youth" - Ray Brooks, David Hemmings and David Andrews - into 'alienation' - a bit of mayhem - motor bikes, music, black leather jackets and - girls! Angela Douglas and Anneke Wills play the girls and both give spirited performances. Thirdly, the movie is modest propaganda for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme - very big deal at the time. The guys and their girls are introduced to the scheme to get them "back on the right road" by a genial choirmaster - played by Kenneth More (whose stellar movie star status of the 50s was in steep decline by the time he appeared in this picture). He was hardly called upon to act which is just as well because he failed to! Instead he opted to amble amiably through the picture, smoking a pipe, wearing a 'reassuringly middle class' fifties fleece coat, and with a few lines of pap dialogue to utter and a bit of homespun philosophy to share. More apparently gave his services free to the producers as he is quoted in the title credits as "believing"in the DOEAS. Good for him. But the acting honours are pinched from under his nose by David Andrews (later to become an influential television director) as the meanest, moodiest , and most threatening of the three rockers.
Cinematically, the film tries to do for Bristol what Newcastle did for Payroll (1961), Salford for A Kind of Loving (1962) , and Brighton for Jigsaw(1962). Lots of authentic and iconic locations. Cinema verite writ large! Clifton Suspension Bridge. Royal York Terrace. Filton airfield with the "flying pencil" (the top secret jetfighter Bristol 188) on take off. The tobacco factory etc, etc. Nice to look at. Good backdrop for the briefest of 'brief encounters' love story between Ray Brooks and Anneke Wills, and good PR for - to quote the producers - "the city and people of Bristol".
A couple of minor caveats. The DVD is sharp in imagery and offers good colour. But the requirement for the actors to i)adopt West Country accents and idioms; ii) and to "yoof speak and bicker" all at the same time in clubs and pubs blurs the soundtrack and undermines continuity. However, the moral is pretty obvious and the film ends (as it has to) enigmatically - some people will - some people won't!
I was in my mid-teens when the picture came out. I loved it and saw it three times on successive days at the Deansgate cinema in Manchester (it ran for about 3/4 weeks). Great to have the DVD of it now and, incidentally, you can catch up on all the (Bristol) Eagles instrumental tunes on YouTube.