Already a phenomenally successful entertainer and stalwart of the London Palladium, in 1956, Max Bygraves headed an accomplished cast in this musical drama charting the rocky road to success for a young music hall comedy hopeful.
A new career opens for Charley Moon (Bygraves) when, during his army service, he is detailed to appear in a unit concert.
In doing so, he becomes friendly with Harold Armytage, a peacetime actor of the old school.
Hearing that Charley has no job to go to when demobilised, Armytage suggests they team up as stage comics.
Things are not easy; jobs are few and far between, and when they can be found they are in the tattiest of theatres, but Charley gains the experience he needs. They then decide to try their luck in London.
Bygraves takes no prisoners on his way to the top before conscience finally triumphs over ambition.
An early feature for future Goldfinger (1964) director Guy Hamilton and double Oscar-winning composer and screenwriter Leslie Bricusse, who went on to notch up ten Oscar nominations as a composer and songwriter, receiving a double nod for Doctor Dolittle (1967), which he also scripted (he won an Oscar for best song).
Bygraves loses the thread about halfway through, but it’s still a capable performance.
A 10-year-old Jane Asher appears in one of her first credited roles.
Young Charley Moon