Still Crazy [VHS] 
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Rock band Strange Fruit split up in 1977 after a disastrous concert performance, but twenty-one years later keyboardist Tony (Stephen Rea) is asked to reform the group for a reunion gig. He manages to trace bassist Les (Jimmy Nail), drummer Beano (Timothy Spall), singer Ray (Bill Nighy) and manager Karen (Juliet Aubrey). Guitarist Brian (Bruce Robinson) cannot be found, however, but the group decide to tour without him. Complete with their old roadie, Hughie (Billy Connolly), they set off on a warm-up tour, but it isn't long before the old rivalries come bubbling to the surface.
This gently satirical British comedy chronicles the quixotic reunion of a late, arguably not-so-great and unlamented 70s rock band, Strange Fruit, with a winning mix of humour and poignancy. The "Fruits", as the survivors call themselves without irony, had disbanded after the tragic loss of one member, the mysterious disappearance of another and the aftershocks of internal rivalries, but 20 years later they warily reassemble for a Dutch club tour, a warm-up for a proposed festival appearance. Between that seemingly hare-brained proposal and the fateful festival, director Brian Gibson, working from a sharp script by Dick Clement and Ian LaFrenais, captures the absurdities of middle-aged rockers trying to recapture that lost cockiness.
Breathing life into the band is a terrific cast, including Stephen Rea, Jimmy Nail, Timothy Spall and Bill Nighy, each managing to juggle deft archetype with believable character traits: Spall's cheerfully crass, flatulent drummer and Nighy's preening, slow-witted lead singer exemplify the approach, grabbing chuckles yet making you actually care about them. Equally impressive is Billy Connolly as the wily roadie, Hughie, at once pragmatic and devoted to his charges. All are well-served by production details and script points that get the group's lost world of late 60s and early 70s rock exactly right, from costuming and stage moves to the long-forgotten bands they name-check--Blodwyn Pig, anybody?
The band's music likewise benefits from inspired insiders, cowriters Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth, Foreigner) and Chris Difford (Squeeze), who hit a nifty combination of bombast (for the silly scenes) and earnestness. When Gibson and his cast risk the story's amiable glow on a darker, more dramatic final act, the music rises to the challenge and the whole project, like its fictional subject, achieves an unexpectedly touching victory. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Still Crazy follows the fortunes of a 70s rock group that reforms in 1999 to ‘surf the nostalgia wave’ and attempt to bury their acrimonious past and fulfil their previously unrealised potential.
The band are called Strange Fruit and consist of a clichéd bunch of has-beens that are all scarred by their painful, drug addled break up in the late 70’s.
This could have been a bad film or just an average film with its standard formula but it turns out to be a great film and one that I think may achieve cult status as its popularity grows in the slowburning way that ‘Withnail and I’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ did.
The Script is by veterans Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and, as you would expect from the writers of ‘The Likely Lads’ is faultless. It has great dialogue and great gags and a real warmth and depth.
The cast is also faultless and the acting superb.
Stephen Rea is Tony the keyboard player who, having fallen on hard times sets out to reform the group. He enlists the help of Karen (Juliet Aubrey) who was the young, love struck groupie that looked after the bands damaged talent during their short heyday and decides against her better judgement to go for glory once more.
Together they set out to see the other former members, Les Wicks (Jimmy Nail) the Bass player, Beano (Timothy Spall) the drummer and Ray Simms (Bill Nighy) the lead singer and Hughie the roadie (Billy Connolly) to persuade them to reform the group.
Soon the guys hit the road for stardom and as you would expect the old wounds soon open and the atmosphere of anticipation is replaced by one of resentment and bitterness.Read more ›
Whatever you do buy or rent this film. You won't regret it.
The narrative follows 70's rock band 'Strange Fruit' making a comeback after disbanding 20 years previously, on, as you could describe, not the most cordial of terms. The keyboard player, (portrayed by Stephen Rea) comes up with the idea after bumping into the son of the promoter of an old rock festival (during which the band originally parted company) wishing them to perform at such a rock festival once more. After many a trial and tribulation, they eventually manage to make a successful return.
This film makes for very entertaining viewing. It is both humourous, heart warming and accompained by an excellent soundtrack, many songs of which were performed by the actors themselves.
I recommend this film to anyone with a love of British films, British humour and "all that 70's excess".
It's extremely British in film making style and has an exceptionally strong cast, using Jimmy Nail, Bill Nighy and Timothy Spall to their best. There's plenty of Rock n' Roll cliches about the revival of this 70s glam-rock band, but it's not limited to them; there's sadness, loss and some real sparks about the friendships.
But in the end it is a great comedy, and the characters, storyline and events make it damn good. It does stand up to watching again, and I'm reminded of it when I see 'real' bands go through their revivals.
I was suprised that it wasn't higher profile at the cinema and as it made the step on to DVD/VHS, because this level of quality in the comedy section is woefully scarce.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome doesn't begin to describe this. So much cheese it's great.Published 1 month ago by Brian Louden
Every bit as good as the first time I saw it! Brilliant soundtrack too - would highly recommend to any aging hippies or anyone who was around in the 60's.Published 2 months ago by TNK
Excellent film,great cast. I never tire of watching it ! Have bought several as every time I lend it out I dont get it back!Published 2 months ago by F. Haywood