John Boorman’s feature film debut sends the pop band on a zany adventure that serves as a potent time capsule of 1960s celebrity PR
A year after Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night, and a year before the Monkees were grown in TV’s pop culture lab, director John Boorman made his feature debut with this very English madcap pop lark from 1965, scripted by Peter Nichols and starring the Dave Clark Five as themselves. Or almost. They’re not supposed to be musicians, but rather stunt-men who live together in a wacky shared flat (evidently a converted church organ loft) that is dominated by gigantic posters of the sort generally collected by wealthy pop-art enthusiasts.
Dave Clark plays handsome Steve, first among equals in the gang, and they’re filming a TV commercial for the meat-marketing board starring It -girl and supermodel Dinah (Barbara Ferris). She’s so important she has a bodyguard on the set, who frowningly reads The Naked Lunch. Dinah has a crush on Steve, and the couple impulsively decide to abandon the shoot, pinching the production’s E-type Jag and going on the run together for zany 60s-style misadventures – an escapade cynically exploited for publicity by Leon (played by silvery-voiced David de Keyser) who is the UK’s meat supremo and also apparently Dinah’s creepy sugar-daddy.