Hoping to cash in on the success of A Hard Day’s Night (1964), producer David Deutsch hired first-timer John Boorman – who later directed Deliverance (1972) – to bang out a quick pop confection starring Britain’s hugely successful Dave Clark Five.
Instead, Boorman delivered this moribund film where drummer Clark plays permanently miserable TV stuntman Steve, who runs out on a Meat Marketing Board advertising campaign, steals an E-Type and escapes the city with the campaign star, Dinah (Barbara Ferris) – a vivacious but bored model – for a few strange days on the run.
Dinah tells Steve of her dream of buying an island in Devonshire, so they turn the car in a westerly direction . . .
Pursued by a rabid caravan of advertising agency sharks and reporters, the couple encounter junkie beatniks on an army firing range, jaded swingers in Bath (Yootha Joyce is superb), and crushed dreams (finding the island of Dinah’s dreams, they discover it’s only an island at high-tide).
It’s a downbeat, plodding and existential affair with the same three DC5 songs repeated ad nauseam (with incidental music from Basil Kirchin) and no actual plot or purpose to speak of – and a dubious sequence involving a romp in a Roman bath.
It’s hard to see how Clark’s non-plussed, miserable performance added to his pop idol status.
The film was retitled Having A Wild Weekend for the US market.
David De Kayser