Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I always thought of Herman's Hermits as a light-weight pop group with some pretty good tunes and was really expecting to be entertained by Hold On. Since the lads always seemed a pleasant bunch, I thought the movie would be along the lines of some of the other British Invasion era movies I have watched (Ferry Across The Mersey, Help!, The Ghost Goes Gear). Guess I was wrong!

Herman's Hermits have come to the U.S. because the kids of American astronauts have chosen to name the next space flight after The Hermits. NASA thinks the world will think the U.S. is still some sort of English colony and sends one of their scientists (Herbert Anderson of Dennis The Menace fame) to keep an eye on the group...
.I know the preceding plot line doesn't make any more sense when written out, than it did when I watched the film. At the same time an actress (Sue Ann Langdon), wanting to boost her career, has set out to be photographed with The Hermits.

Hold On turned out to be a terrible movie with the songs (most written by P.F. Sloan) performed by Herman's Hermits being the only reason to watch this dud of a film. The movie is filled with awful jokes which all fall flat regardless of who is delivering them. Topping everything off are two goofy fantasy sequences in the movie. One with Peter Noone as a lovelorn Knight on a beach, and if that sounds odd, it's nothing compared to the second one: An outer space fantasy, in which Peter Noone sits inside a rocket while the other members float outside playing their instruments. (All of the other members of the group are dressed as astronauts except one, who is an angel....WTF!) During this segment the group sings "Leaning On A Lamppost", a song which would have been super easy to insert into the film with Herman actually leaning on a lamppost singing to his love interest in Hold On, Shelley Fabares (who also sings one song "Make Me Happy" in the movie).

Maybe I expected too much from
Hold On, after all it was produced by famed B movie producer Sam Katzman, who had done similar bad movies based around musical acts as far back as the 1950's (Rock Around The Clock, Don't Knock The Rock). Katzman understood plot wasn't all that important to the fans who would be more interested in seeing Herman's Hermits on the big screen than the storyline. It probably didn't help matters that Hold On was written by 44 year old Robert E. Kent and directed by 78 year old Arthur Lubin. I would recommend Hold On only for fans of Herman's Hermits. If you're a fan of 1960's British Invasion movies, you would do better to look elsewhere.

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