The Day the Music Died – A Review of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

by Cesidia on March 12, 2010

thumbnailThanks to my father I grew listening to the Beatles, (and watching Star Trek, but that’s another story). Because of this I have had the pleasure of seeing all the movies that have to do with the Beatles. This year for my birthday, to finish off the long list of movies that fall under this category, he gave me Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, staring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees.

For the most part I thought this movie was ridiculously pointless. The plot was very confusing and went two different ways. Plus, in the end, after attempting to beat the antagonist, the main character’s love interest, Strawberry Fields, dies. She falls to her death while Billy Shears (Frampton) battles it out with the Future Villain Band (Aerosmith) to stop the evil pop group from playing their instruments. But wait…

I thought that she just fell and she’d be ok and there would be some romantic scene between her and Billy. But no, she died. The next scene they showed her funeral, where her casket was made of glass so you could still see her. The thing is that in the plot, it was not imperative for her to die. Billy and her had already had their fight but they made up a few scenes before, and they had already started their happy ending in a way. But now she is dead. On top of this whole thing, towards the end of the movie Billy Shears decides he’s going to commit suicide because he can’t live without Strawberry.

So right as he jumps, the weathervane of a man playing a trumpet suddenly transforms into Billy Preston. Then with his trumpet he rewinds time and Billy on the sidewalk where he is accompanied by…Surprise! Strawberry. Yep that’s right, Preston brings her back to life. Once again, this was completely unnecessary to the movie and created more chaotic threads in the already knotted story line. I saw the whole ending from her dying as utterly pointless, not to add the movie is already 2 hours long. The movie could have been made shorter by probably another  15 or 20 minutes if they got rid of the thing.

There were, however, some interesting parts of the movie. One of the enjoyable scenes was the beginning where they retold the story of the fictitious, original Sgt. Pepper’s Band and how they played throughout all the major decades. At the end of this introduction they show how the band playing one last time, during the dedication of the weathervane, and when Sgt. Pepper started the song he humorously falls to the ground and dies. It then cuts to the narrator who just looks up into the camera and says “Oh Well.” Another funny part of the movie was when Steve Martin sings “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” Similar to his character in Little Shop of Horrors, he plays a creepy doctor. He impersonates a surgeon and transforms his patients into “soldiers” for the FVB (the Future Villain Band). The song and dance he does is actually quite comedic. For fans of Steve Martin, this is a must see.

Overall the movie was kind of stress inducing because you just got angry with futile content of the movie. This movie, like Napoleon Dynamite is one of those movies that you just need to see, so you can say you saw it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Meredith April 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm

This is really great, Cesidia! I didn’t know you could write so well!!! You’re basically amazing at everything.

nannie leanie July 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Ireally never felt any interest in seeing this movie, but after reading your article, I guess I would like to see it just to say I saw it.

nannie leanie July 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm


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