Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band will attract some grown-up flower children of the 1960s who will soon find the Michael Schultz film to be a totally bubblegum and cotton candy melange of garish fantasy and narcissism. The production crams nearly 30 songs, largely by The Beatles, into newly-recorded versions tailored for stars Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees.
Plot has Frampton as the grandson of the earlier Sgt Pepper who carries on the family band tradition with a modern-sound in partnership with The Bee Gees. Story introduces a lot of freakish characters out to steal the band’s instruments which, somehow, make Heartland, USA, a dream of a small town. They don’t succeed, though there’s enough teeny-bopper-teasing naughtiness to amuse and thrill the target audience. Donald Pleasence, one of the heavies, plays a music biz wizard whose fictional trademark is that of producer Robert Stigwood’s organization.
Near the end of the 111-minute film, when all wrongs have been righted, there’s a celebrity olio in which many familiar names appear to be singing happily. The sound of this isn’t any more lifelike than much of the preceding singing.