Herman's Hermits Hold On!

A couple days ago, the 1966 film Hold On! was on Turner Classic Movies. This, of course was the wacky adventures on Peter Noone (AKA Herman) and his fellow Hermits. I tried to watch this with an open mind and put it into a historical perspective, and with keeping this all in mind, the film a still an embarrassment.

A quick history lesson for those who don't know Herman's Hermits. They were originally a English rhythm and blues band fronted by former soap opera star, Peter Noone. Eventually the band was taken over by Mickie Most. Mickie controlled everything about the band, picking songs and projects and pretty much used the band like puppets. With his guidance, the band had a huge success, even giving the Beatles a little competition, but only for a very short time. By the late 60's, the band had faded into the rock and roll history.

I assume this film was the bands answer to the Beatles films, Hard Days Night and Help but, unlike those films, Hold On! was neither fun or entertaining and the music was dismal.

As I watched, I could help but feel embarrassed for the band. There is a scene in which Peter, in a fantasy segment, is dressed up as Knight and singing a silly childish pop song to a girl on the beach. I can't even begin to describe this scene.

While a few years earlier this film might have been understandable but by 1966 rock and roll had really began to move away from this kind of nonsense. Herman's Hermits manager failed to realize this and kept the band in 1965. Yet, the band seemed happy and I've never read an interview in which any of the band members complained about their situation. Maybe they were all just five happy guys who enjoyed the ride as long as it lasted.

They are still touring today, with Peter Noone


lordzorori said...

I would disagree with your opinion, Sure the film is B-list to a degree but it is enjoyable

The Hermits did the best they could to mimick A Hard Day's Night but it wound up more like a movie-length reminescent of an episode of "The Monkees", Which it isn't a bad thing IMHO (In my honorable opinion)

Keep in mind not all films we like either publicly or in a form of guilty pleasure would likely never win a Oscar but they are enjoyably fun to watch regaurdless

From your litl' review, It seems your pretty harsh on the film.. I suggest enjoy it as it is and not take it seriously
I mean, Not all music-related films are never gonna be like "A Hard Day's Night"
Take The Monkees' film "HEAD" for example, While an acid trip in it's own right.. It's a pretty fun ride plus the music is fun to listen to

Anonymous said...

I'd also disagree that the music was dismal. The soundtrack mixed some mediocre material from the likes of Sid Tepper with some terrific folk-rock songs written by Barri & Sloan. The latter, several of which were also recorded by the early version of the Grass Roots (including the superb "Where Were You When I Needed You," are worth seeking out. The '60s dance choreography is good and the scenes shot at Pacific Ocean Park provide some terrific footage of this historic amusement park.

Anonymous said...

I like the movie, I find it a good pick me up when there is not much else to watch. I do have a question for you or anyone else who might be able to help me out......I was wondering who the dancers on stage were during the movie Hold On, they danced during the songs
A Must of Avoid and Where Were You.....I know it's been 40 something years but someone, somewhere has to know the identy of those people. If anyone can point me in the right direction of tracking down this info I would be infinitly grateful.



Jeff K said...

I'm surprised by how many people like this film. That explains why it is still shown these days. Personally, (as my review shows) I didn't care for it but if it is your type of thing, sorry if I offended you!

Anonymous said...

Not a great movie but any excuse to watch Shelley Fabares.

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