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Film Club - Slade In Flame

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 08:00 UK time, Friday, 31 August 2012

Here is the latest Kermode Uncut Film Club choice - the Citizen Kane of British pop movies - Slade In Flame. Watch the intro, screen the film and let me know what you think.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    My intitial thought was that the movie was This Is Spinal Tap meets Get Carter and it did look like Johnny Shannon had walked off the set of Performance and onto Slade In Flame still wearing a brown suit and dripping with the same malevolence...that's all good, though. However, the film revealed a lot of depth and complexity from Richard Loncraine's visual style of direction, something he's always excelled at whether it's in the movies or for TV (the opening wedding scene, the pirate radio station and the flames projected onto the band's suits, to all the characters. Slade do very well with their roles but for me the stand out is Tom Conti who, despite being a toff arch-capitalist who sees only the money-making potential of the band, still manages to wring an ounce of sympathy as a family man who tries, but fails, to stand up to gangsters. Being a film of the 70s, the gangsters seem to win at the end...A motif that comes crashing down at the end of the decade with The Long Good Friday. Well done on choosing Slade in Flame for the film club, I really enjoyed it.

  • Comment number 2.

    On the money there Doc. Only Tommy and Slade in Flame are really any good in the Pop movies of that era. This mixes the Pop film and Kitchen Sink drama genres and embraced the grittiness that flowed through US movies at that time (like The Conversation, The French Connection, Serpico etc) and added a local, British flavour to it.

  • Comment number 3.

    Love the blog, watch every episode, etc. - but could you please get a better cameraman. The shots are often over exposed, and the audio is usually distorted. For a film blog, surely it could look and sound better than it is.

  • Comment number 4.

    When I heard the good Doctors next choice for the film club, I was sceptical to say the least , having been burnt by the movie vehicles built around a pop group before. You know the type, a well known -band playing 'themselves' are caught up in something sinister and fantastic and it all goes a bit Scooby – Doo. As for Slade - In Flame I was definatley surprised. There were no yellow submarines, no blue meanies, no cursed rings or wayward grandfathers. It was a real band playing a fictional version of themselves. And the plot. Simply the rise and fall of a northern rock group, with agents who act like gangsters, corporations looking after themselves and the opposing personalities of the group themselves heading for a burn-out. As for the films atmosphere you could almost smell the night clubs and seedy venues the band played, the whiff of cigarettes , blue nun and old spice. The performances are good to , Tom Conti excellent and understated as usual , but note must be made of the excellent naturalistic performances by Jim Lea and Noddy Holder. Slade in Flame isn't the jolly romp as most of these films had the habit of being, from the hobbling of Alan Lake to a disturbing message scrawled on a child's wall, its a darker and more realistic take on the rags to riches story.. Now that's what I call the music business.

    PS Do I have the good Doctors permission to rock.

    Brian from Luton

  • Comment number 5.

    A brilliant choice. Saw the film as a boy and have watched it several times since, each time appreciating it a little more. The only other British music film that comes close is Still Crazy. I worked as a band's road manager and saw first-hand how screwed up the industry still is.

  • Comment number 6.

    I thank you for selecting this film, Mark. When I was a kid, my dad would always talk about this film and encourage me to watch it, but I'd always just dismissed it out of hand. A decision that is rendered quite baffling by the fact that I've always rather enjoyed the music of Slade. I think that maybe this decision was in part due to my distaste for the shockingly bad Led Zepplin vehicle The Song Remains the Same, and the not as bad, but still quite awful in my opinion, Tommy. Having seen your introduction, I was tantalised by the idea that I would be presented with a film of significantly more depth than I was accustomed to from these band-centric films, and that is exactly what I got. Even when things started to go well for the band, there was this real dark cloud of menace hanging over proceedings that really kept me intrigued as to how things were going to eventually go wrong for the boys.
    I didn't enjoy absolutely everything about the film, though. While I was quite impressed with Noddy Holder's and Jim Lea's performances, those of Don Powell and Dave Hill didn't really measure up for me. I know that these guys were not trained actors, and your explanation of Don Powell's accident and subsequent memory problems should perhaps make me inclined to criticise him less harshly, but viewed at face value I feel that these two really let down what is otherwise a very solid cast.
    The second thing that left me slightly unsatisfied was the ending. Everything from their problems in the studio, disputes at live performances to the final conclusion feels extremely condensed. I feel that adding an extra 10 or 15 minutes to the running time could have really helped with the pacing of the final act.
    Overall though, I really did enjoy this film. As a musician myself, and one that has spent a considerable amount of time touring and recording with a band under some questionable management, I can really see what the intentions of this film are, and it achieves them all admirably. The sense of disillusionment that has been captured is pitch perfect, and really did stir up some memories for me.
    I've noticed on the comments for the Youtube page of your intro that a few people are opting to skip this film, and I really hope they reconsider. Even if you're not a Slade fan there is a lot to like about this film, and I really feel they are missing out as I have for all these years.

  • Comment number 7.

    excellent choice, have been banging on about this movie for years. there are so many stand-out scenes from this movie, such as in the studio with Tom Conti discussing the bands future with their roadie and his realisation that its the end of the road for him working with the band is heart wrenching (all delivered over THAT great song). I have to disagree with the above comment on Don Powells performance, his speech by the canal with his former boss is touching and truthful.

  • Comment number 8.

    All I knew about Slade before your recommendation was "Merry Xmas Everybody". However you have now introduced me to some great songs and above all, a fantastic film.
    Thank you Dr K and as a mark of my appreciation.....some of Jack Daniels toes will be in the post.

  • Comment number 9.

    Great though "Slade in Flame" is (and as 'meh' as "That'll Be The Day" is), I'd say "Stardust" edges the title as the best UK pop film. Slade's characters seem to care more for the fame/glory/girls than for the music, but Jim MacLaine's sufferin' sees him genuinely in love with the music - even the final stuff that's clearly nonsense.
    - “How much does God mean to you?”
    - “Somewhere between two and three million dollars, after tax.”

  • Comment number 10.

    Unfair to use Mud’s Never Too Young to Rock as the example of what pop movies were like in the early 70s.
    I agree with baytree61, good as Slade in Flame is, Stardust (released the previous year) has to be a strong contender for best British pop movie (or movie about the pop industry) yet made.

  • Comment number 11.

    I never owned or cared to own a Slade album before I saw Slade in Flame, but How Does it Feel? is the most amazing song. My dad was the Slade fan and I always kind of sniffed at them as spangly rubbish, until I got a bit older and saw the film. From that point, I got it. Just classy songwriting through and through.

  • Comment number 12.

    I really like this film a lot,i purchased the lovely deluxe edition dvd that came out some years ago.The Citizen Kane of pop movies does on the face of it seem like a grand statement,but i think you are right.The only one's that come close are A Hard Day's Night and the two David Essex movies.
    Flame isn't a perfect movie but i don't mind that at all.The script is full of cynism towards the music industry and occasionly the film has the look and tone of a kitchen sink drama,this is why i like it as much as i do.
    I don't have a problem with the acting abilities of Slade,their individual trait's are clearly presented and their working class roots fit right into the mood of the film.One scene in the film that does always puzzle me somewhat is the scene that takes place in the bingo hall with Don Powell and Alan Lake immediately after the drummer audition.Is this an editing mistake?If someone could enlighten me i would be truly grateful.
    The sad footnote to this movie is that the career of Slade suffered a downward slide in the years to follow,at the time of this movie the likes of Joe Strummer and Ian Dury would of been performing in the pubs of London and a new vanguard of rock n roll commodites were looming over the horizion.
    Another excellent choice Mark,really enjoying these selection's so far.

  • Comment number 13.

    'There is an argument that 'Slade in Flame' did their career no favors'

    Neither did the music they made after 1974. Still perhaps I am being unfair; I don't much like the music associated with their peak - the string of hits up to Merry Xmas Everybody (1973) - never mind what came after.

    Also, until today, I had never seen 'Slade in Flame'. I don't like it. I take the point that they are, perhaps bravely, 'lifting the velvet curtain' in a show of 'grit' and 'integrity' not seen in their musical contemporaries on screen. It isn't enough, though, to say "Look at this shot of poor midlands folk contemplating a river of turds in the rain - this is what it's really like when the stage lights go off". That noble gesture aside, I felt, that what is left is a film with few real characters (although Tom Conti lends some depth), some dodgy acting, some clichéd and quite tame 'gangster' fare, and not much of a story.

    Oh, and some glam rock songs by Slade. And yet not once throughout the entire film did someone yell "play Merry Xmas, you b*******". Realism my backside.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear professor,
    A couple of years ago I heeded your call to arms and went out to track down a copy of Slade in Flame. Luckily I managed to find the special edition with sound track CD.
    Well what can I say; it has become one of my all-time favorite movies, what I love about Slade in Flame is that it captures the mid 1970’s as it was. The Smokey cafes and working mans clubs the grime of the streets and strangely the misguided optimism before that arrival of punk. I actually grew up around characters very similar to Stokers, Charlie’s, Paul and Barry’s brilliantly portrayed in the film. Were Slade really acting. “I don’t really care”. To me Slade in Flame isn’t really a rock and roll movie. It’s a slice of life from an era that has rarely been captured this honestly.
    To sum up, Slade in Flame is everything that movies like ‘That'll Be the Day and Stardust aspired to be and A hard day’s Night might have been. Like your good self-Professor I will continue to champion Slade in flame as I believe it’s a Gem that deserves a wider audience.

  • Comment number 15.

    Its not quite on a par with Cannon and Ball in 'The Boys in Blue'.

  • Comment number 16.

    I vote NAKED LUNCH for the next round...

  • Comment number 17.

    Just finished watching it…. did someone give Ken Loach a roll of kitchen foil and a fuzzbox!?

    Yeah, actually it was surprisingly well crafted and pretty engaging for a mid seventies British 'pop' movie featuring Noddy (it's Christmasssssss!) Holder, Dave Hill, Jim Lea and Don Powell all attempting to act with varying degrees of success. I can honestly say that I really quite enjoyed it.

    It's been described as elsewhere as 'This Is Spinal Tap' crossed with 'Get Carter' and well there's humour in that comment, there's an odd truth in there somewhere to. I would be hard pressed to name any other 'pop' movie that painted, dare I say it, such a localised, realistic flavour to the darker side of the business of 'show' and the act as commodity.

    Its fair to say that plenty of bands have been treated badly by managers, agents and record labels over the course of their careers, but it's in focusing on this aspect, the manipulation for profit above all else, rather than the fame, rags to riches, working class heros cliche, that elevates 'Slade In Flame' to something interesting, unusual and, at least for me, a bit of a cult friendly viewing experience. I'd certainly watch it again.

  • Comment number 18.

    ….what next? perhaps a re-evaluation of another British classic 'The Monster Club'? :-)

  • Comment number 19.

    Seems a bit early in the thread for suggestions about the next one but since a few (good) ideas have been thrown out there already....

    Dune. Yes I know we have already had some Lynch but I am going to keep suggesting it until it happens. Dune.

  • Comment number 20.

    All joking aside… I vote for 'The Lair Of The White Worm' next.

    I watched it again recently and there is much in it to admire. Unequal parts detective, Carry On and Hammer film. It's not top tier Russell by any stretch but it works! Most underrated Russell film, put it on the list Dr K.

  • Comment number 21.

    …yeah, okay. 'Naked Lunch', 'Dune' then 'The Lair Of The White Worm' or maybe 'Outland'?

  • Comment number 22.

    Slade- the band Oasis could have been.
    Liked Slade in Flame. Good, gritty film with a bravely dark mood. Enjoyable. I prefer 'That'll be the day' though and also have a soft spot for Madness 1981 film Take it or leave it (which is similar in many ways). I'm also stunned that 'Weekender', the short-film from Flowered Up, isn't mentioned much nowadays, a real classic of the 'pilled up' early 90's scene,absolutely spot on in its depiction of those days. It's a mini masterpiece!

  • Comment number 23.

    next movie choice.. come on Mark, something by Nic Roeg please!..
    BAD TIMING
    INSIGNIFICANCE or
    CASTAWAY

  • Comment number 24.

    P.s. The Citizen Kane of pop movies is, without a doubt, Head (1968) by The Monkees. A genuine, classic that deconstructs their whole career.

  • Comment number 25.

    I've had to let this one settle for ten minutes whilst I made another cup of tea. In the end, I really liked this film and I will happily watch it again. I was somewhat trepidatious going in because I've never been a big Slade listener - I mean, I like them but when it's on, it's on - and the idea of a band 'acting' in a movie is a bit of a disconcerter. It wasn't a bother, I loved the slice of life tone; what could've been a Noah Baumbach rich-people-whinge-a-thon was well handled as the working class boys get picked up but are never fully accepted into the moneyed auspices of the cultural elite. Right to the end they are seen through up-turned noses which kept them grounded and on our side so that even when they are doing the hotel trashing, we understand what's really going through their heads. If I have any reservations, they would be that I did feel the band was oddly sidelined in the last half hour which sort of made the ending feel quite abrupt. The Tom Conti/Johnny Shannon stuff took over and so when Noddy Holder delivered the final line and disappeared off, the film ends and I was quite taken aback. I don't know that that was a killer and in the end, I will happily watch it again to see if I'm wrong or not. On the whole, terrific film; good performances from the band, particularly Noddy Holder who is an amazingly natural actor and always good to see the likes of Johnny Shannon and Ken Colley in a movie. Familiar faces that carry you along with the film. On a final note, isn't that the same suit Harry Flowers wore in 'Performance'? He wants to change more, I've heard of being typecast but that's just ridiculous.

  • Comment number 26.

    Do you know that in The Quite-A-Mess Experiment Dave Hill would have been eaten by a trffiid in the first reel?!! They had intended to make a second feature film and Zucker and Abrahams pre-Airplane were on board to script it.

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh yeah, next film: 'A Fistful of Dynamite'?

  • Comment number 28.

    I was 12 when 'Flame' came out, I saw it at the Lewisham Odeon, the cinema was pretty empty (But back then 3050 seater normally looked empty at least) since that day whenever 'Slade in Flame' is mentioned, I instantly get a terrible feeling of melancholia. I loved Slade back then, and I really did think this was the true story of Slade and it was the end, and in reality it was as Slades records sales declined around the same time as the films release. Slade was not my favourite band after that fateful day back in Feb/March 1975, as I believed in my 1975 mind set (no internet, magazines were few and far between and far to expensive for a working mans son) to have realised it was just a piece of fiction. It has the look and feel of the music film Ken Loach never made. Watching it this morning, the films gritty look and melancholia ending sent me back nearly 40 years to that day again. I also have a soft spot for 'Breaking Glass' as on watching 'Flame' reminded me of it so much and how similar they are in look and feel. Shame about the DVD print cropping the picture and how dark it is at times, perhaps Mr Kermode could rally up the troops at the BFI (of which I am a proud member) and get a true restoration of this British oddity but superb film.

  • Comment number 29.

    @stevie7771

    Nic Roeg! Good idea.

    The Witches.

  • Comment number 30.

    I have to say that i expected this film to be something closer to the acting standard of The Room. The comedy sketches of Vic and Bob also came to mind before the film began and i settled in to watch with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
    After an initially silly beginning which reminded me of a cheap British version of American Graffiti-daft group rivalry and an over-the-top car chase, the film started to settle down and actually began to move me.

    Dr K is correct that this film has much more depth than you'd expect. It has more in common with Kes and early Mike Leigh works than Spinal Tap. There's a melancholia to the story and some of the scenes filmed in and around the crumbling northern estates are beautifully shot with real poignancy.
    The direction is surprisingly good, camera choices and editing used to great effect throughout but it's the acting itself that impresses the most.
    Great performances from the group themselves plus splendid work by more seasoned and recognisable faces such as Tom Conti - i also loved the work by Kenneth Colley (who definitely needed to be in much more stuff like this).
    All in all I can honestly say that this was a very welcome surprise and i'd like to thank Dr K for his recommendation.

  • Comment number 31.

    Right ,lets start with the music.The quality in the film is up and down like a rollercoaster, which sums the band up really.. How does it feel is beautiful and haunting,and is the best song they ever did, Far Far away is good ,the rest are naff really.So the film started on a high then went musicaly down hill. Initially for the first 15 minutes I was disappointed,then it all changed when Tom Conti arrived .He is Simon Cowell .The film then becomes this very interesting class clash.They speak the same language,live in the same country, but they might as well be two totally different species.Its also a very interesting study of the essence of capitalism.You find a human resource,exploit it, then when the fruitmachine isnt going to give you anymore coin,you dump it.Simon Cowell has had nearly every xmas number one ( Go RAGE !) with X factor winners and has dumped nearly everyone,the moment they didnt sell product.The film is just as relevant today as it was then.I loved its seediness and dirt. I thought the acting of the band really good . Its amazing they would want to be seen in such a negative way,a band whose break up is largely because they go along with their own exploitation.Dr K, a nice little gem of a film,many thanks.

  • Comment number 32.

    How about 2 other films from a bit around that time,
    Peter Watkins' "Privelege" and "Move" with Roy Harper?
    I also agree on Head being a masterpiece, just terrific.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a lifelong Slade fan I'm so pleased Mark has chosen this. As a teenager in a rural area of England I never got to see the film when it originally came out, although I did naturally have the album and I bought the paperback book with black and white stills from the film. I can't really add much more than Mark has already said - except to agree - but I will say this. Out of all the bands that were around at the time, only Slade could have made a film like this. While regulars on TOTP, number ones etc. they were never the press darlings in the same way that Bowie, Bolan, Roxy Music et al were. Whether it was their midlands working class roots, the self effacing humour or the fact that they were down to earth blokes, only Slade could have made Flame. Because of the hits, Dave Hill's hair and costumes, Noddy's top hat and Merry Xmas Everybody, everyone has an opinion of Slade that isn't quite right, they are never given the same artistic credence that their peers ( who they outsold ) seem to get. The music - like the film - was incredibly gritty and raucous. I can't imagine a Cum On Feel The Noize or a Mama Weer All Crazee Now being hits in any other time, yet they still sound gritty and raucous now. How Does It Feel is perhaps the best song they have ever recorded and perfectly fits the film. Far Far Away is Noddy Holder's favourite song ( I think ). The Quite A Mess ( try saying in a brummie accent ) would have been fun - especially Dave Hill being eaten by a monster - but Flame is enduring and a lasting testament to a great - yet under rated - band. I'm biased, but I'm right as well.

    Well done Mark. And as a p.s. - in your first book you mention Jim Lea mentioning you and as a middle aged man you thought "Jim Lea knows my name". I can relate to that in that Noddy has written an intro to a book of poems I did and when my name was mentioned on Mark Radcliffe's show a few years ago he said "I know Paul Cookson ..."

    Keep up the good work

  • Comment number 34.

    Definitely a movie I'd never have watched otherwise, but I really liked this film, because it definitely does try to keep the film believable and avoid it becoming another "movie world" or another way to "sell the rock band dream pill" to the fans. And so watching this, I did feel like I was able to see a period of British life and a commentary on rock music during the 70's that showed what it might have felt like.

    Knowing zip about the 70's and it's music, what struck me like a blow over the head, was the class differences, so harshly in evidence permeating everything; the scene when Tom Conti's wife "takes control" of the band's female partners in the drawing-room of one of a number of egs (and the stuffy upper-class characters still at that time so absolute in their belief of their customs). The train scene, was interesting I reckon; because in a "fake" movie it would have been done as 'rebellious' or 'naughty' triumphalism, whereas it was more subdued and more (I think) highlighting the worlds apart of the group it seemed to me: A bunch of Midland/Northerners who say it as they see it (give me some of that [eggs]!) and every time there's some ponderous speech or staged display, you can see them roll their eyes: "w t f is this?!"

    The music was good throughout the film. Perhaps that's the point, the music was good, everything else... open to question. The forces acting on the group, the class stuff, the processing of their public image, the vagaries of being put in the limelight compared to any number of bands, the agents dangling their marionettes over the 'success' of the band, slimy deals and dealings, it was good to see all this as much a part of the story as the "rock" personalities of the band. The ambivalence of the individuals on the whole experience was possibly the most interesting aspect to the film, and whether the original question posed in the pigeon coupe was ever answered, despite hordes of fans hearing their music.

    The introduction was excellent to watch also. I think I benefited tons from listening to that, with absolutely no inkling of the 70's decade or rock music, if I'm honest!

  • Comment number 35.

    Should it now be called 'The Vertigo of British pop movies'?

  • Comment number 36.

    What got me about Slade In Flame is just how ahead of its time it feels - de-glamourising the glam rock image to remind us all that what we see on a screen or what we used to get brief glimpses of on Top of the Pops is not the actual reality; the industry is a business - and ultimately, some will sink and others will swim, and in a group you kind of understand that no-one quite reacts in the same way, despite the illusions saying otherwise. That it shows those falling or being pushed aside demonstrates that even in this era, it was obvious that the human cost was incredibly high, and incredibly draining.

    At times it feels a bit choppy - I'm assuming this is down to the heavy cuts that removed some of the darker/swearier content - but it's a pleasantly surprising movie that, much like a later film that you also champion Mr. Kermode, feels somewhat of a prediction than an actual documentary. I of course refer otherwise to Shock Treatment, that "spin-off" of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A movie that pretty much foretold the rise of reality TV, and that the glamour behind it all is actually not that glamourous at all. Both movies foreshadow what has followed since; it's quite bizarre. But it lends credibility to the movie that perhaps it may not have had on its initial release.

    I was not of the 70s sadly (A bit too young), but Slade In Flame works as you rightly said on the strength of its music. The acting is patchy in spots, but these were early days and you can somewhat forgive it (Slade at least do a more convincing job than Britney Spears and Mariah Carey were able to pull off in their respective movie roles!). But it's where it tells the story of the power struggle and the harsh realities of selling music and a band to the world in which it is ahead of its time. Of the human cost, people caught in the chaos or thrown aside in the rush to capitalise on the moment. It's why the ending, blunt as it is, works. Sometimes, caught between a rock and a hard place, the only way to win is not to take part at all.

    A thought-provoking movie that lands its punches well. It's not spectacular and it does feel cheap and rusty in spots, but it's better than it really has any real right to be. One that has matured and its message perhaps exposed and reinforced with the passages of time, perhaps.

    Certainly better than Fire Walk With Me. Whereas that movie is subjective to the point of insanity, Slade In Flame is comparatively much more straight-forward with what it was trying to say. And it makes it much easier to watch as a result. :)

  • Comment number 37.

    I really liked the gritty feel of this one, very reminiscent of films of the late 60’s, early 70’s. I have to admit to being a fan of the band and the film features two of their very best songs; “How Does it Feel” and “Far Far Away”; which is bound to swing my vote (slightly). A very interesting film giving an insight into the way bands were manipulated and eventually torn apart by unscrupulous people. I very much enjoyed it and I think it deserves more recognition. I also watched the documentary that comes with the DVD and I can see why certain band members were a little worried about how it would be received. They shouldn’t have, it’s a fine piece of work and well worth a look.

    Verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    My score: 8.4/10

  • Comment number 38.

    Rented it from local film emporium. DVD comes with two stickers on it "Believe it or not UNCUT's DVD of the Month, March 2003" and "***** in Independent, it's true!".
    It captures the mid 70s perfectly, with some scenes of the industrial landscape and the reminiscing of past times reminding me of 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?'. Slade themselves are very natural and Conti, Alan Lake and Kenneth Colley provide excellent support.

  • Comment number 39.

    A surprisingly brilliant film, even with your recommendation I didn't expect much. There was a feeling of harsh almost brutal grim reality all the way through.

    It showed how the music industry was changing, at first the criminals exploiting the band and then a large company only obsessed with how much profit they could make from those with artistic talent.

  • Comment number 40.

    It was the darkness of the whole film that surprised me most. The band's acting performance were just ok with Noddy being the exception. The standout for me was Alan Lake, his character could have been just another throw away addition to the story but I felt for him more than I thought I would. I did think that Tom Conte's character was going to be a lot more ruthless than Johnny Shannon's and I was disappointed that he wasn't but hey it's only rock n roll. Great genre film, I'd love to see a remake with Vic and Bob in the Noddy and Dave roles though.

  • Comment number 41.

    Although the right age, I didn't see this when it came out, because I and my teenage friends thought Slade were a bit 'naff'. Perhaps it was because we too were from the West Midlands, and for us, the boys were a bit too local, and lacked the "glamour" of far away exotic places like London.

    My views on Slade, have of course mellowed over the years, and I enjoy their music now as much as I should have done back then.

    As for the film, I was very pleasantly surprised. Most British pop movies consist solely of the band having to overcome some obstacles to get to their gig on time, a formula trotted out by everyone from the Beatles to the Spice Girls, with varying degrees of success.

    This, on the other hand, was, as a lot of other people have already said, a lot darker, grittier, and realistic. It actually reminded me most of Anton Corbijn's "Control", about Joy Division, although it's not quite as good as that film.

    Still, as someone who grew up in those very areas, and at that time, I can honestly say it was exactly what life was like. Great stuff.

  • Comment number 42.

    I managed to borrow a copy of the 2007 Collectors Edition, which I'd bought it for a friend when it was released. Normally, I sneak a viewing of DVD gift purchases (don't we all?), but this was one I avoided, along with the Slade's music in general. I was a T.Rex fan and children of the 1970's will understand the significance of that.

    I was impressed with the print quality of the version I watched, and it was all good knockabout mid-70's British humour, but the arc of the band's success and demise was too hurried in the end. We all know that bands react badly to the pressure of endless marketing, recording and touring, but there were no obvious clues in the story-line as to why 'Flame' fell apart in the end. The arguing in the studio and after the concerts came out of nowhere, so rushed and spoiled a reasonably good first hour in the film. I'm no expert, but it seemed as though a longer film was severely edited to make this 90-minute release, and it lost a lot of sense and flow along the way.

    The sticker on the DVD cover says "The best rock movie of all time" (Q) and "The Citizen Kane of British pop pics" (Mojo). I'm no expert, but surely 'That'll Be The Day', 'Spinal Tap' and 'Hard Day's Night' would rank above 'Flame', and of course those comments were made before 'Oil City Confidential' was released?

    It also confirmed my age-old belief that Slade will never find a home in my music collection.

  • Comment number 43.

    This movie demonstrates why introductions are can make all the difference. As an advocate of going into films blind it sometimes helps to be put in the right frame of mind before hand. I first saw Slade in Flame earlier this year and thought it a right old mess, from the abrupt opening, which made me think the DVD was faulty to knock about comedy, i couldn't see why the Good Doctor rated it so highly.

    On the second viewing with the introduction fresh in my mind, i saw it as a grim look at the life of a rock band and their growing disollusionment with being seen as nothing more than cash cow by both sides, neither of whom have any regard for them beyond their potential to make them money. Nowadays we're used to films being more frank in their presentation of violence and sleaze, but then the language was toned down for the certificate. Calling it the Citizen Kane of Britsh pop movies isn't saying much given the competition, but i do think it deserves to be better known.

  • Comment number 44.

    Looking ahead, i saw the trailer for the new Andrew Dominik film the other day, this would be a good opportunity to rewatch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

  • Comment number 45.

    Sorry to trivialise a great discussion on a marvelous film, but was I the only one who spotted the sachet of Cup-a-soup in Jime Lea's kitchen ?

  • Comment number 46.

    Can we get the other Kermode videos uploaded to Vimeo as well as the film club videos? Just a request as you can't play any of the BBC videos on an iPad.

  • Comment number 47.

    I must say chaps i'm disappointed by the lack of responses so far, film club is about viewing films you normally wouldn't watch and seeing if it surprises you.

    Slade in Flame is available on Youtube, for free in one 80 minute upload and in good quality, so there are no excuses. If you click on it and think it's started half way through, don't worry thats how it was made. Persoally i've found this to be the most rewarding film club yet.

  • Comment number 48.

    Quite pleasantly surprised by this film. I was a bit young to appreciate Slade in the seventies (probably should have been three years older for that), and when old enough to appreciate them, didn't really care for them due to the over-saturation of songs like Merry Xmas Everybody and the like. Later on I got to listen to some of their other stuff and live tracks, and I realised that they were better than I was led to believe. Anyway, I digress...

    I usually find band films a bit gimmicky and poorly done, with trite stories to please the fans, who are usually of the teenager or younger variety. Not my cup of tea. So I watched this with those expectations. Now, the film was a bit amateurish and suffers from the occasional dodgy acting that you'd expect from non-acting pop stars, but there was enough story there to keep my interest. The acting itself wasn't too bad for what would be expected for such a film, although it did expose itself at times, but I was willing to forgive them for that because the actual film did feel so down to earth and real. I loved the fact that they went with a bleak story of exploitation and diminishing expectations, not ending with a high of success. Certainly a meatier story than you'd expect from such fare. I do agree with posters who say that the ending felt a bit rushed and could have been extended for ten minutes.

    I wouldn't go so far as to claim it the "Citizen Kane of British pop movies", because even though I know why that's said, I do think that expectations could be raised a bit too far to breaking point by such a lofty claim. ;) Still, I enjoyed this film and was glad that I got to watch it. Thanks, Mark.

  • Comment number 49.

    @ #46 Adam Wilcox

    They are all uploaded onto Youtube so you can watch using youtube app using iOS, username: kermodeandmayo: http://www.youtube.com/user/kermodeandmayo

  • Comment number 50.

    @Alfienoakes

    Nothing trivial about cup-a-soup product placement in an allegedly gritty and honest film. Did you happen to notice which flavour?

  • Comment number 51.

    Well this was a pleasant surprise of a film. To be honest, I had never even heard of it until it cropped up on the Film Club but duly tracked down a copy. The thing that struck me immediately was that this was not simply a knockabout romp with a well known band playing themselves. Rather, Slade had taken an altogether more challenging (and risky) approach that works brilliantly, although by the sound of it, this did them no favours in terms of their fanbase who might have expected something more 'Beatles-ish' - it reminded me somewhat of 24 Hour Party People in terms of its no-holds barred approach to the material. I thought the performances were uniformly above par, particularly those by the 'non-actors'. My only criticism would be that the first act was a little scattergun and perhaps not as coherent as it might have been. I'm not after a whole bunch of 'Basil Exposition' but it could have been a little clearer 'who was doing what to whom' and why. Nevertheless, Slade in Flame is what many in its genre are not - a proper movie, well acted and well directed.

  • Comment number 52.

    It makes you wonder, would anyone make a movie this gritty and honest about the reality of the pop industry today? Somehow I don't think it would get to the production stage.

  • Comment number 53.

    I second comment 47 by Harry Limes Shadow. My oh my, look wot you dun,next to no responses. If youve posted before on film club your in for a penny youve got to be in for a pound.Dont run ,run away ,get down and get with .

  • Comment number 54.

    IT!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    As a musician and fan of Spinal Tap, every band has had their own "Tap Moment", i was suprised to see the other side of the coin with Flame. A look at the true underbelly of the music industry which still continues today. The suits have changed but the faces are the same... I liked the fact that not much was made about the creative side of being in a band, the songwriting, the excellent songwriting (that many overlook when referencing Slade). Everything was lumped in together with the business. No film time was spent with a "Wow! Listen to what i've just written!" - it was just like a musical factory, churning out musical fish fingers.

    I had no problem with the acting either. As the Dr stated, i think the characters were pretty close to the real people. An arrogant guitarist? Well who isn't... :)

  • Comment number 56.

    I was a big Slade fan in 74 and went to see Slade in Flame with my brother, while my dad went to see Blazing Saddles on the other screen. I have always loved the movie an hunted down a copy of the VHS when it came out - the same copy I dug out and played again last week (despite having to also find and reconnect my VHS player). It is still great. It was with great pride that I could email all my friends with a link to your blog and say "you see, I was right all along... it is the best". Thanks Mark.

  • Comment number 57.

    Mark these intros aren't as effective as the ones you used to do on filmfour. Can you get yourself a dark studio and some projector screens please. put some effort in

  • Comment number 58.

    Beef and Mushroom...bostin !

  • Comment number 59.

    As someone who has never really listened to Slade (apart from the Christmas single everybody knows) and someone who has seen some truly terrible performances from musicians in films, my expectations for Slade In Flame were low. However, I was surprised by just how well done it was. All the band members, especially Noddy Holder and Dave Hill, are great in their roles, the music is terrific and the screenplay is genuinely funny and sweet. The whole film plays out as a British realism Spinal Tap, and I really enjoyed it. Slade can now call me a fan.

  • Comment number 60.

    Having only known Slade from a few songs like Come on Feel the Noise, Mama We're All Crazy Now - and of course their ear-worm of a Christmas song - Flame was a surprise, but a good one - a frightenly real depiction of the music world that you can easily believe to be real. Okay, so maybe the acting isn't the best, but it doesn't matter - the boys only need to play musicians, something they do well (obviously!) Oh, and the music is great too.

    Oh, and as an aside, I do some voluntary work for Oxfam at one of their distribution warehouses, writing listing for their online shop, and one of the first things I listed was the soundtrack LP for Slade in Flame - but don't get excited Mark, someone bought it ages ago.

  • Comment number 61.

    A long time ago in a Bournville bar far, far away ...

    I'm wishing Slade In Flame had been a trilogy. Excellent choice Dr Kermode!
    My most watched.

  • Comment number 62.

    I finally got hold of a copy of this and watched it today and I can't believe that no one seems to have a bad word to say about it on here. The script is all over the place, there's no character development, the whole movie is very dark (and I mean badly lit, not the tone), there were no laughs (at least between me and my friends) and nothing vaguely dramatic happens. So I was left wondering, what did I just watch?

    After excellent choices like Breathless and Fire Walk With Me, I thought this was going to be some overlooked gem, but this film did nothing for me. Maybe you have to be a Slade fan. For me, the ultimate Brit pop movie is still Stardust.

  • Comment number 63.

    So I finally get around to watching this, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Excluding some of the 'comedy' in the film it does give a glimpse to the darker side of the music industry. Although probably not relevant to our time (can you see One Direction, The Wanted or any of todays manufactured bands playing in working mens clubs), it is probable to assume this is stillwhat most comedians have to go through. Overall a British treat you've helped me to discover.

  • Comment number 64.

    Blimey, Mark, I know you said it was gritty and downbeat, but I was geuninely taken aback by just how dark the film was. The Rock a Bye Baby scene was as chilling as anything we saw in Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me and the final image was unforgettable in its stark "The party's over" bleakness.
    What I thought was great about the film was that it didn't shirk on the worse aspects of the music business - the shuttling around, the dodgy deals, the low-level violence, (I was stunned by the "I bet you can't feel your toes, Jack" scene and I imagine the teeny boppers in 1975 were too) the idiotic publicity stunts (the fire-throwing microphone), the upheaval to family life that success and riches can bring(Paul and Sophie) and the disheartening moment where Paul asks Seymour "Do you actually like what we do?" and gets the great reply, "I don't smoke cigarettes, but I manage to sell a few". Jim Lea's reaction sums up the Damoscene moment of conversion where he realises that it's no longer just about the music. Indeed the whole film's thesis seems predicated on John Lennon's observation that The Beatles (and by extension every group) were ruined the moment they became successful.
    As for Slade, they did a great job. Jim Lea gave the best performance I thought, really bring through the disillusion by the end of the film. The scene with him, Noddy Holder and the lady in the lift was heartbreaking to watch. Don Powell did a great job with the humour, essentially in the Ringo role, but absolutely nailed his confusion and sadness about why things weren't going right when he had the world seemingly at his feet,in the scene with Harold by the river. Noddy Holder's performance was extraordinary, completely subverting the loveable Noddy Holder image to come up with almost an evil twin version of the national treasure he is, but remaining completely believeable. And Dave Hill was what Dave Hill always was - a Grade A star! - with that haircut, those teeth and a Black Country accent he always carried himself as the only one of Slade who genuinely believed he was a rock God (albeit with a twinkle in his eye) and it seemed entirely creditable to me that the women would fall at his feet as they did in this movie.
    I loved the supporting performances, all of which were note perfect. I'll never think of Alan Lake as just Diana Dors's husband again after seeing this. Tom Conti and Kenneth Colley were a superb double act, Johnny Shannon was terrifying in this film, even more so than in Performance (which I think is an inferior film to this one), Anthony Allen as Russ, the guys playing Ron's heavies, the various women-folk...not a weak link in it. I believed in all of them.
    I must watch more of Richard Loncraine's work. He's done so much stuff that it's got rather easy to take him for granted, but having loved this and The Missionary, I'll seek out more of his films for definite.
    As great as the film was, I can see why it had a negative effect on the band's fanbase. It's too depressing and downbeat for any fan to take. Imagine if OneDirection tried something like this for their movie (it's surely only a matter of time). I loved Slade in Flame, but unlike Breathless and Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me, I can't see me watching it again. It's too upsetting.

    Great soundtrack by the way and the moment when they fly into "Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing" as the camera pulls back through the punters at the club was a real punch the air moment, compared to the larger gigs featured later where they seem to have become as divorced from their fans as each other.

  • Comment number 65.

    Well, it isn't Spice World, I'll give you that much!
    I'm not part of the target audience. I'm not British, I didn't knew the band, I am not a teenager anymore, and I was born in the middle of the 80's. Perhapes, I'm not the right person to give this movie a fair trial. That said, what I felt after viewing it was that it actually works as a movie and on it's one. I did like some of the jokes, the cultural shocks between characters were nicely done, and the music is awesome. "I'm not the vocalist, I'm the singer!" Nice one. Adding this to your presentation, I'd say it's a pretty good film. Not sure about the citizen Kane bit... Until next time, doc!

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm American and I'm kind of embarrassed to say I've never heard of Slade or the film "Slade in Flame". In fact, I had a bit of trouble locating the movie to rent because it was listed under the eye-catching original title..."Flame". But I enjoy rock and pop movies in general so I was intrigued when Dr. Kermode chose this for his film club.

    I had quite a bit of difficulty understanding the dialogue and the Shout! Factory release did not come with subtitles so on my initial viewing, the movie was sort of lost on me. I decided to watch it a second time and I'm glad I did because the movie made more sense and I warmed to it.

    First, the negatives. Because I'm not familiar with the members of Slade, I wasn't really interested or emotionally involved with the characters and unfortunately that didn't change by the end of the movie. With the possible exception of Noddy, I didn't feel as if I knew the characters any more than I did when they were introduced. Didn't mind the acting so much as the lack of coherence during certain scenes which caused a bit of confusion as to what was going on. Despite the lack of character development, I enjoyed the first hour but the last thirty minutes, and especially the ending, felt rushed, as if there were more scenes that were left on the cutting room floor.

    All of that said, I still liked the movie in general, the music was quite good and I'm happy to have been exposed to it, but I can't see myself watching it again. I do give the members of Slade a lot of credit for playing against type and taking a big risk by going against fan and critic expectations of a rollicking, "Hard Days Night"-inspired romp. Not sure I'd call it the "Citizen Kane" of British Pop films...more like "Easy Rider". On a side note: I also enjoyed the interview with Noddy Holder included on the DVD where he details the making of the movie. He's a lot of fun and interesting to listen to.

  • Comment number 67.

    Despite your introduction, I still pressed play on the DVD player remote expecting something slick, showcasing the 'glamour' of Slade. Although I shouldn't have been, I was surprised by just how grim some of the film was, similar to one of the 'kitchen sink' dramas in that respect.

    I'm too young to have known Slade in their pomp, but hear their Christmas song every year and more associate them with the Reeves & Mortimer sketches when they are always eating pot noodles! This allowed me to have no preconceptions about the band members and their personalities, completely different to A Hard Day's Night, a film which I really wasn't keen on and don't understand why it is generally rated so highly.

    I'm really glad this was on your film club as it prompted me to buy the DVD (the set also has the CD soundtrack) as I will watch it more than once, plus the soundtrack is superb.

  • Comment number 68.

    I have to agree with 62. kaaliz, i think i must have been watching a different film.

    I must say I'm not a fan of Slade mainly due to that Christmas song, or of Britain in the 70s, how ever i did try to be open minded about it.

    It felt a bit incoherent to me, from the wedding to the car crash it felt rather Benny Hill. Then for the rest of the film it seemed like it didn't know whether to be a comedy or a gangster flick, not that it cant be both but i felt it wasn't very good at either.
    The only saving grace for me was Tom Conti.

    Sorry to disagree, but Citizen Kane of rock musicals? not for me it wasn't.

  • Comment number 69.

    One of the most overlooked of British classics that I've loved since I first saw it as a kid; soon as 'How Does It Feel?' kicks in I get that lump in my throat because you know what's coming. I've seen it at least fifty times and I possess two vinyl copies of the OST (one knackered, one mint). 'Slade In Flame' was also made by one of the greatest film companies established in this country (and never discussed) - GOODTIMES ENTERPRISES - who in their short life, generally overseen by David Puttnam, made some of the key films of the 70s... Performance, That'll Be The Day & Stardust, Dougal and the Blue Cat, Melody, The Pied Piper (as dark a children's movie as you're ever likely to see with some stonking tunes by Donovan), Mahler, Lisztomania, Bugsy Malone. MARK, I think you should make a documentary on Goodtimes, seeing as many of their movies seem to be rooted in your all-time faves. I'd watch it and it would be a must for all fans of British Cinema.

  • Comment number 70.

    I really didn't want to watch this one, but I usually agree with the good doctor so I gave it ago. Although it wasn't, as stated, the usual pop film fare, it was fairly dark and had gritty moments.
    However.
    'Slade in Flame' illustrates how hideous the 70's truly were in every sense. Every aspect was so unattractive, so without aesthetic appeal I became compelled to watch it partly for the vague repungnance I felt.
    The story itself was almost good but it felt harshly edited and with a scrappy script 'flame' felt unfinished. I wanted a more fleshed-out and co-herent film.
    I wonder whether mercifully missing out on the 70's has spared me any misplaced nostalgia about the haircuts, colour schemes and awful clothes leading me to not warm to a film that is nearly but not quite good.

  • Comment number 71.

    Slade in Flame
    First of all I'll admit I wasn't expecting much from this film. I trust Dr K's critical opinion 99.9% of the time but I couldn't imagine Slade in Flame would be any good. In my biase I imagined the likes of Dave Hill and Noddy Holder acting in a film would result in a cheesefest of the highest order. Let's just say I was more than a little bit wrong.
    Slade in Flame is a mildly gritty, realistic look at the trials and tribulations of a rock band trying to make a name for themselves in the 70s. Birkin and Loncraine show us the depressing reality of playing social and working mens clubs. Performing in rooms thick with a fog of cigarette smoke, to unenthusiastic audiences for a few quid, or as background noise at a wedding reception. To be so desperate to make it, that in the style of Robert Johnson you're prepared to make a deal with the devil, in this case manager/club owner/gangster Ron Harding. The rise to the towering heights of fame and the inevitable fall. The script from Birkin isn't as dark as it could have been and we never really get to grips with why the band fall apart. Loncraine's shows some early promise and eagerness to try things out with his artful direction including a fairly long opening crane shot that leads us nicely into the first scene.
    It's not all misery though, there's vein of humour running throughout. From the early scenes in the Jacaranda Club when Stoker (Noddy Holder) gets locked in a coffin performing with his first band the Undertakers (surely Derek Smalls getting stuck in his pod in Spinal tap is an homage to this) to Charlie's (Don Powell) "I'm going for a p**s" line. Every time Noddy was on screen I couldn't help but smile, even his regular speaking voice sounds like his about to launch into  "IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!" from Merry Christmas Everybody :) 
    I agree with Mark in his introduction, the performances from the band aren't bad at all, helped by the fact that they're basically just playing themselves. The professional actors are all good too. One can't help but wonder if Hugh Grant has based every performance he's ever done on Tom Conti's over privileged, indifferent marketer and investor.
    I also think Dr K is right about the music for the film, there are some cracking tunes, from the cheesey Halloween style song by The Undertakers to the gorgeous earworm that is "How does it feel?"
    Not the best rags to riches to rags film I've ever seen but really not bad at all.

    Initially I thought Dr K was being a tad self indulgent picking all his faves but now I think it's nice to watch some films that I personally would never have thought of. However, maybe Dr K could pick a film from the large list of suggestions on the blog for the next film club.

  • Comment number 72.

    Whilst I quite liked the film, along with other comments I don't think the competition has always been up to much! The problem with 'music' films is they fall between two stools: either sell the band on screen and make them just play themselves with a ridiculous plot line around it (Give My Regards To Broad Street anyone?) or get the band to play a band within a band which then represents a problem given that most rock stars want to be movie stars and vice versa. I thought Noddy Holder was excellent, as were Tom Conti and Johnny Shannon. I understand why even Get Carter has been banded around in some comments - the grim, down trodden location work was terrific (in the same way Get Carter was) and the smoky pubs and clubs perfectly preserved and never to be seen again. All in all, a tidy little movie that won't necessarily have me dusting off a space on the shelf for a DVD, but pleasing nevertheless. I notice that the Film Club choices so far have all been referenced in your books Mark, so whilst it is only a matter of time before we are surely urged to watch The Exorcist, when will Basic Instinct 2 make an appearance? Oh and by the way, the shot at the end when Johnny Shannon appears outside the Grand Hotel - can anyone please tell me where that was filmed? Is it Brighton?

  • Comment number 73.

    Dear Kermode,
    I'll grant you that this film is not as unpleasant as the Beatles' films, but it does have problems that are significant. Between the random editing and the script leaving out key moments in the plot I felt a bit like I was watching an episode of David Lynch's Rabbits [featured in Inland Empire]. For instance, on the editing part, you have the scene where Flame is giving an interview on that boat and all of a sudden there's someone shooting at them, and then you cut from that to a conversation between Robert and that old board member in a flower garden, only to then cut back to the boat where the band is escaping from the gunman. A bit too sloppy. It often felt like the film didn't care about the audience and was just doing its own thing. Then it would have benefited from less focus on the band members acting juvenile and being obnoxious and more focus on how they were being scammed. A strange recommendation.

  • Comment number 74.

    Despite the very effective blurring of reality and fiction, decent performances and a great soundtrack I found the story to be somewhat slow and uninteresting. I also didn't really care about what happened to the characters at the end. In Spinal Tap the band are FIRMLY in the downward spiral and the audience member is able to empathize much more easily as a result with each more and more desperate measure that the band tries. Spinal Tap's rise to (semi) fame at the end is made all the more powerful as a result. In Slade, the journey from rags to riches back to (sort of) rags was dealt with much too quickly for my liking and could have benefited from alot more fleshing out. I find it very difficult to judge ANY music film without comparing it to the genius of Spinal Tap... and so I found this to be slightly lackluster and dare I say it... a little boring! I did like the sound track!

  • Comment number 75.

    This film stunk so bad I got a letter of complaint from the Council. Gotta laugh at the constant references to its 'darkness'. You want dark, watch Festen. Not some bit of 70s retro-guff. And as for the Citizen Kane reference, well I just don't know where to even begin with that.

  • Comment number 76.

    Just had to write in to say a big thank you for making me aware this film even existed. Was not a big slade fan before and would not even have considered watching this. I kind of thought slade in flame would have been like the Vic reeves and Bob Mortimer sketches, but how wrong i was. Thought Noddy Holder seemed very natural and comfortable in the role, easily the best actor in the group, although the other three did exceedingly well. Slade in flame, for me, has got be the best rock movie i have seen. Forget those Daft cliche'd David Essex movies this is the one. Again many thanks Mark, please keep up the film club and may you continue to highlight hidden gems such as this

  • Comment number 77.

    This is the first of the Film Club that I have took part in. The first two I had seen before and was not too keen on revisiting them although I do like Breathless. Slade In Flame is a film I have been keen on seeing since I read about it in 'It's Only A Movie' but I thought it sounded more like a guilty pleasure like 'Howard The Duck' or something like that.
    I could not imagine a compelling story being made around Slade but when I sat down to watch it the other night I was very suprised indeed. From the opening crane shot, to Noddy Holder being pad locked inside a coffin I was really enjoying myself. Even though I was forewarned about the dark tone of the film I still felt shocked by some of the of the scenes. Tom Conti really stole the show with his understated performance. The scene where his daughter's bedroom is vandalised is quite frightning especially since he seems so calm by the whole thing as if this is part of the business. "It's just paint!" he quickly states as though that makes it okay.
    A brave and culturally significant film that makes you think about the fickel nature of modern pop acts even more as they only wish they were Slade. Thank you for sharing this piece of cinema wisdom. Can't wait for the next one. Maybe something more upbeat?

  • Comment number 78.

    It seems to me that there were a number of rather bleak yet affecting British movies in the 1970s about working class men in extraordinary situations. They tended to open up interesting narratives around masculine aspirations, only to bring down the protagonists with a real sense of negative closure. Frequently these male protagonists were, to varying degrees, driven, selfish and ultimately defeated....Get Carter, McVicar, That'll be the Day/Stardust,The Long Good Friday, The Squeeze, Villain, Quadrophenia and Slade in Flame. What they seem to share is a desire by their creators to explore the grim world of seventies masculinity while imbuing it with a sense of pathos...something which resonated on television with The Sweeney.

  • Comment number 79.

    saw this film as teenager back in 1975 and was amazed just how good it was when i saw it again the other day, tune into Slade Nite BBC4 21st Dec for more of these guys.

  • Comment number 80.

    Mark - You have given a very good review of the film.

    I know the Slade guys -and I was at the London premiere of the film in Feb 1975.

    Interestingly, you compared Slade's performance to that of Mud (in "Never Too Young To Rock"). Two of the Mud members (Les Gray and Dave Mount - both now deceased) were at the premiere and I asked them at the time how their film compared to the Slade movie. In no uncertain terms Les Gray said that it didn't compare. And the Slade movie was "absolutely brilliant"....

  • Comment number 81.

    Just happened to be chatting with my husband about the wonderful Slade this morning and during the conversation (and the singing) I asked " didn't Slade have a film called "Flame"? " then proceeded to look it up and came across your blog. I have never actually seen the film as I was a little too young to be allowed (!) at the time and there were no cinemas in my town. Definitely will do now so will keep you posted!

  • Comment number 82.

    As a ki d, I always thought it was Slade in (the film) "Flame" and not "Slade in Flame"

 

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