T.A.M.I. Show

T.A.M.I. Show

4.2 8
Director: Steve Binder

Cast: Steve Binder, Teri Garr

     
 

When music fans make lists of great rock movies that should be on DVD but aren't, The T.A.M.I. Show is usually at the top of the list -- or rather, it was until Shout Factory finally gave the film its first authorized home video release ever in March 2010. The T.A.M.I. Show documented a stellar rock & roll variety show held in late October 1964, and theSee more details below

Overview

When music fans make lists of great rock movies that should be on DVD but aren't, The T.A.M.I. Show is usually at the top of the list -- or rather, it was until Shout Factory finally gave the film its first authorized home video release ever in March 2010. The T.A.M.I. Show documented a stellar rock & roll variety show held in late October 1964, and the talent roster still raises eyebrows decades after the fact -- James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Supremes, Leslie Gore and more, all on one bill and playing for a packed house of screaming (and we do mean screaming) fans. The T.A.M.I. Show was extensively bootlegged on video for years, and copies taken from TV broadcasts or battered 16mm rental prints were a not uncommon sight at used record stores or collectors' shows, so after decades of fans assuming the film was murky and poorly photographed, the Shout Factory edition of the film is a revelation. The high-definition transfer of The T.A.M.I. Show (presented in it original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for 16:9 playback) reveals a wealth of visual detail that had probably gone unnoticed since the film played theaters on its original release. Through the source print is one or two steps short of flawless, the images are sharp and the compositions are often surprisingly thoughtful for a concert film of the era, and being able to actually see the faces of the fans when the camera turn to the audience or to really get an eyeful of the frantic go-go dancers wiggling up a storm behind the bands adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the film that's already packed with excitement. The DVD also does a great job with the audio; mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo but retaining the original monophonic soundtrack, the sound is impressively well recorded for the era, with few audible flubs despite the lack of overdubs and plenty of punch. The songs are performed in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options. Among the bonus materials, the highlight is a commentary track featuring director Steve Binder (whose credits also include Elvis Presley's 1968 comeback special) and music historian Don Waller, with Waller drawing out Binder as he discusses the challenges of capturing this event on videotape in a single day, working with musicians and his career in music and television. (Waller also wrote an extensive and entertaining essay for the accompanying booklet which goes into detail about the movie and its history.) Also included are four radio ads created to promote the film and the original theatrical trailer (which can be viewed with or without a commentary by filmmaker John Landis, who was one of the fans in the audience the day the show was filmed). The T.A.M.I. Show is still one of the most exciting rock & roll films ever released, and if it took a long time for it to finally arrive on DVD, there's no arguing that Shout Factory did it right, and anyone who loves rock and soul from this era will have a blast with this disc.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Justifiably legendary among fans of vintage rock & roll, The T.A.M.I. Show is one of the first (and still one of the best) examples of a music movie that gets it almost exactly right. There's no story to get in the way of the music, no lip-synching to records, no silly sets and almost no comic relief -- The T.A.M.I. Show simply offers a dozen good to truly amazing acts showing what they can do in front of a wildly enthusiastic audience, and there aren't many films that do a better job of catching the electricity of a live show and preserving it on film. Steve Binder's direction essentially follows the format of a live television broadcast, but one done with skill and a fan's appreciation of the dynamics of a great performance; the editing subtly captures the rhythm and balance of a performance, and he knows when to pull in for a close up and when to pull back and show a group in full. And it helps that most of these acts are well worth watching, and pull off the live performances with élan (and without re-shoots or overdubs). Chuck Berry's set is a bit sedate by his standards (no duck walk or other stagecraft), but his set crackles with energy, and he's an admirably good sport about having to trade numbers with Gerry and the Pacemakers (who pale in comparison to Berry but sound a good bit livelier than they did on their singles). Smokey Robinson and the Miracles are in great form here, tight and passionate, and Robinson is a truly impressive front man -- has anyone looked cooler taking off their jacket? Marvin Gaye is a bit more relaxed by comparison, but he's in fine voice and has charisma to spare; when he smiles, he looks as if he could own the entire world. Leslie Gore is one of the most polished acts in the film, working the crowd like a seasoned pro at the age of 18, and her vocal work is great even as one marvels at how much hairspray it must have taken to hold those curls in place. Jan & Dean hosted the show as well as singing a couple numbers, and if they come off as the jokers in the pack, they seem fully aware of it and have a good time goofing on two of their biggest hits. The Beach Boys's performance was shot only a few months before Brian Wilson quit touring with the band, and if their stage act lacks the polish of Wilson's meticulous studio creations, they could do those harmonies just fine in front of an audience, Wilson's falsetto lead on "Surfer Girl" is thrilling, and they're a great, scrappy band, with Dennis Wilson pounding the drums like his life depended on it. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas are frankly the least exciting act in the film, with Kramer seeming a bit stiff and awkward on stage, but he sings just fine and the group plays their hits with crowd pleasing professionalism. The Supremes were fairly early into their cycle of hits here (notice that Diana Ross had not yet attached her name to the group's title) and they would get more impressive with time, but they already knew how to play to the audience, and if it's obvious that Ross loves the camera, it's just as obvious the camera loves her right back. The Barbarians get just one song, but they rock out hard on "Hey, Little Bird," and hook-handed drummer Moulty is a trip. You can't say enough about James Brown's set in this film -- quite simply, it's one of the most exciting filmed performances of the rock era, and from the moment Brown and his band take the stage, they explode like a string of firecrackers until they tear the house down with a phenomenal version of "Night Train" that features Brown demonstrating some dance moves that all but defy the laws of physics. And The Rolling Stones had the extreme poor fortune of having to follow Brown, and it's high praise to say under the circumstances they don't embarrass themselves; they were a few years away from having any business calling themselves the world's greatest rock & roll band, but they have attitude and personality to spare, Brian Jones and Keith Richards were a brilliant guitar team, and Charlie Watts was and is one of the best rock drummers to ever come out of England. Even during the very occasional lulls, The T.A.M.I. Show captures the pace and the feel of a good live show, and the best moments are phenomenal; decades after the fact, it's hard not to marvel at the amount of talent that blazes through this picture, and it's still a joy to watch all these years later as they're given the time and the courtesy to do what they do best.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2010
UPC:
0826663117424
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
NR
Source:
Shout Factory
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
12,458

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Steve Binder; Original trailer with commentary by John Landis; Original T.A.M.I show radio spots; Commemorative booklet

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Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- T.A.M.I. Show
1. Jan and Dean - Show Open: (Here They Come) From All Over the World [4:44]
2. Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode [2:00]
3. Chuck Berry - Maybellene [:41]
4. Gerry and the Pacemakers - Maybellene [1:26]
5. Gerry and the Pacemakers - Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying [2:29]
6. Gerry and the Pacemakers - It's Gonna Be Alright [2:07]
7. Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen [1:07]
8. Gerry and the Pacemaker - How Do You Do It? [1:06]
9. Chuck Berry - Nadine (Is it You?) [1:11]
10. Gerry and the Pacemakers - I Like It [1:38]
11. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - That's What Love is Make Of [2:05]
12. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - You've Really Got a Hold on Me [3:37]
13. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - Mickey's Monkey [5:08]
14. Marvin Gaye - Stubborn Kind of Fellow [1:12]
15. Marvin Gaye - Pride and Joy [1:25]
16. Marvin Gaye - Can I Get a Witness [1:41]
17. Marvin Gaye - Hitch Hike [2:36]
18. Lesley Gore - Maybe I Know [1:45]
19. Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me [1:57]
20. Lesley Gore - You Didn't Look Around [2:30]
21. Lesley Gore - Hey Now [2:16]
22. Lesley Gore - It's My Party [1:12]
23. Lesley Gore - Judy's Turn to Cry [:56]
24. Jan and Dean - The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena) [2:34]
25. Jan and Dean - Sidewalk Surfin' [2:15]
26. The Beach Boys - Surfin' U.S.A. [2:33]
27. The Beach Boys - I Get Around [2:04]
28. The Beach Boys - Surfer Girl [2:25]
29. The Beach Boys - Dance, Dance, Dance [1:58]
30. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - Little Children [1:52]
31. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - Bad to Me [1:31]
32. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - I'll Keep You Satisfied [:58]
33. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - From a Window [1:56]
34. The Surpremes - When the Loverlight Starts Shining Through His Eyes [1:19]
35. The Surpremes - Run, Run, Run [1:27]
36. The Surpremes - Baby Love [1:51]
37. The Surpremes - Where Did Your Love Go [2:40]
38. The Barbarians - Hey Little Bird [2:32]
39. James Brown and the Flames - Out of Sight [3:31]
40. James Brown and the Flames - Prisoner of Love [3:30]
41. James Brown and the Flames - Please, Please, Please [6:15]
42. James Brown and the Flames - Night Train [5:01]
43. The Rolling Stones - Around and Around [2:52]
44. The Rolling Stones - Off the Hook [2:37]
45. The Rolling Stones - Time is on My Side [2:39]
46. The Rolling Stones - It's All Over Now [3:14]
47. The Rolling Stones - I'm All Right [3:12]
48. All Performers - Show Close: Let's Get Together [2:26]

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