Expresso Bongo (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Expresso Bongo (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this witty music-business satire, Johnny Jackson (Laurence Harvey) is a talent agent down on his luck who thinks his tide may have turned when he spots a teenage rock & roll fan wailing away in a coffeehouse. Dubbing him "Bongo Herbert" (Cliff Richard, in a role the now knighted and born-again pop icon would probably prefer to forget), Johnny puts Herbert on the fast track to teenage stardom, using his record company and radio connections to make Herbert's first single a smash hit. Johnny then decides that a little image modification might make Herbert a bigger draw, so his follow-up is a treacly, inspirational tune, "The Shrine on the Second Floor," which hardly gibes with Herbert's newfound fondness for strippers and love-starved American actresses. But just when Johnny thinks he has a meal ticket for life, it's discovered that Herbert is really a minor, making his contract with Johnny null and void. Cliff Richard was at the height of his first wave of popularity as "The British Elvis" when Expresso Bongo was released, leading to a great deal of speculation about how closely it mirrored his own career (the answer probably is: not very much).

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Laurence Harvey
as Johnny Jackson
Cliff Richard
as Burt Rudge / Bongo Herbert
Sylvia Syms
as Maisie King
Yolande Donlan
as Dixie Collins
Ambrosine Phillpotts
as Lady Rosemary
Reginald Beckwith
as Rev. Tobias Craven
Wilfrid Lawson
as Mr. Rudge
Avis Bunnage
as Mrs. Rudge
Barry Lowe
as Beast Burns
Peter Myers
as Cynthia's boy friend
Susan Burnet
as Edna Rudge
Lisa Peake
as Chinese Rose
Patricia Lewis
as Woman Columnist
Wolf Mankowitz
as Sandwich Man
Norma Parnell
as Secretary
Roy Everson
as Miss Collins' chauffeur
Copeland Lawrence
as Toastmaster
Sylvia Steele
as Intime Girl - Dancer
Paula Barry
as Intime Girl - Dancer
Rita Burke
as Intime Girl - Dancer
Maureen O'Connor
as Intime Girl - Dancer
Patty Dalton
as Intime Girl
Pamela Morris
as Intime Girl
Esma Cannon
as Night Club Cleaner
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Critic Reviews for Expresso Bongo

All Critics (3)

In broadening the humour of his original play and watering down some of its more savage satire, presumably in the hope of appealing to a mass audience, Wolf Mankowitz has fallen between two stools.

January 23, 2018 | Full Review…

Has a charm all its own, but that's not enough to take the ringing of the bongo drums out of my ears.

December 20, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Expresso Bongo

U can call me loser until I reivew this neato film.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Expresso Bongo Quotes

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