Lambert & Stamp – Movie Review


Lambert & Stamp – Movie Review by Frank L.
Directed by James D. Cooper
Stars: Kit Lambert, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend

In the late nineteen fifties, Christopher Stamp and Kit Lambert were a couple of young assistant film directors working in Shepperton studios in West London. They cooked up an idea to make a film about a rock band who would make it to great success. In order to make this idea metamorphose into reality, they decided they themselves needed to find the band, manage it and lead it to greatness. In this unlikely escapade, it is important to remember that each of them knew nothing about managing a band and neither had any connections in the business. To begin they had to find a band. They did. It was called the “High Notes”. The name was changed to “The Who” and as the world is fond of saying the rest is history.

Christopher Stamp, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, two members of the Who are still alive. Sadly Kit Lambert, and the other two band members John Entwistle and Keith Moon are now dead.

While there is great footage from the nineteen sixties including the debonair Lambert speaking in French and German, the film is to an extent dominated by the interviews with the survivors, particularly Stamp. While engaging enough initially, there is simply too much of him. He is not that articulate. While it is captivating to hear and to see about performers on the way up, they become less interesting once commercial success encircles them. They become even less interesting when they begin to argue and fall apart. This film is almost two hours long. The last quarter of which is meandering as the background to the rows are aired. It would have been good to know the circumstances which lead to Kit Stamp’s early death from heroin addiction as he appears in the early contemporaneous film footage as a charismatic guy.

As a glimpse of the changes that were being wrought in the nineteen sixties, Lambert & Stamp with its fine contemporary footage is well worth a view as it captures the irreverent creativity of the time. It is just a pity the editorial knife had not been sharper.

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