Revisiting Paul McCartney’s disastrous self-made 1984 film ‘Give My Regards To Broad Street’
Paul McCartney’s 1984 feature film Give My Regards To Broad Street is regarded in the category as being one of the former Beatle’s few missteps over the years. But it did lead to a glorious soundtrack, including his wonderous collaboration with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on ‘No More Lonely Nights’.
The film centres around a fictional day in the life of McCartney, who wrote the film for the screen with himself, Ringo Starr and Linda McCartney all appearing as themselves. The film was nothing short of a disaster commercially, only managing to recoup $1.4 million from it’s $9 million budget however the soundtrack album which accompanied Give My Regards to Broad Street made up for the film’s shortcomings.
McCartney’s passion project was also less than well-received by critics at the time who universally panned the film, with Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times giving it one out of four stars, praising its music as “wonderful” but said it “is about as close as you can get to a nonmovie, and the parts that do try something are the worst.”
He labelled the film’s long dream sequences as irrelevant and criticised it’s photography, advising readers to buy the soundtrack album rather than going to the effort to watch the film.
IMDB describes the somewhat nonsensical feature film as “Sir Paul McCartney plays himself in another exaggerated “Day In the Life”. Included are fictional scenes of the star preparing to film two videos, rehearsing in a loft, playing for the BBC, and even dreaming up a rather horrific nightmare. A loosely developed plot about missing master tapes ties all of these events together.”
In this 1984 interview from around the time of the film’s release, it seems like McCartney yearned for the days of The Beatles’ films, which is why he decided to pen the screenplay rather than he had a great idea for the film, disclosing: “I wanted to be involved in the making of a movie. I remembered from the time of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ what a pleasant experience it is. And there’s a funny thing. It’s a real luxury, having 10 people looking after you.”
“It’s silly, I know, but I come from a big working-class family in Liverpool, and we had to look after ourselves, and if someone wants to come and brush my hair, I must admit I like it. And being fussed over for makeup and costumes, I like that, too. Also, I like creating an illusion. I think I could have been very happy as part of the Muppets team.”
The soundtrack album that accompanied it and was McCartney’s fifth solo effort which was received in polar opposite fashion to the film with it being nothing short of a masterpiece.
The highlight has to be his collaboration with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on ‘No More Lonely Nights’ where the Floyd man took the plaudits for a guitar solo of the highest margins. The track would go on to top the UK Charts and then receive nominations by both the Golden Globes and BAFTA.
The soundtrack also featured a whopping reworking of ‘Ballroom Dancing’ with Led Zeppelin’s Jon Paul Jones taking on bass duty in an unlikely collaboration which is utterly brilliant. It also features many Beatles classics such as ‘Yesterday’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Here, There and Everywhere’.
Check out Macca and Gilmour’s collaboration below.