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Expresso Bongo (Flipside 031) (Dual Format Edition)


Val Guest's 1959 London-shot Brit Beat classic starring Cliff Richard

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Val Guest's 1959 London-shot Brit Beat classic charts the fortunes of aspiring musician Bert Rudge (Cliff Richard).

Rudge stands little chance in the music business but is propelled to major stardom after being discovered in an expresso coffee shop by sleazy Soho agent Johnny (Laurence Harvey). In quick succession Rudge changes his name to Bongo Herbert, gets a record deal and strikes up a relationship with an ageing American singing sensation. As Johnny starts Herbert on the road to stardom, an unfair deal is cut which exploits the young singer and leads their relationship to turn sour.

This sharp satire on the music industry was originally a successful 1958 West End musical, adapted for the big screen the following year, and designed as a star vehicle for the young Cliff Richard and The Shadows.

BFI Flipside is dedicated to rediscovering the margins of British film, reclaiming a space for forgotten movies and filmmakers who would otherwise be in danger of disappearing from our screens forever. It is a home for UK cinematic oddities, offering everything from exploitation documentaries to B-movies, countercultural curios and obscure classics, If it's weird, British and forgotten, then it's Flipside.

Browse more BFI Flipside titles.


• Newly remastered in 2K and presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
• Full-length theatrical version (111 mins): DVD and Blu-ray premiere of the original long cut from 1959
• 1962 re-issue version (106 mins, Blu-ray exclusive): shorter alternative cut which removed a number of songs
• Audio commentary for the 1962 re-issue version featuring Val Guest, Yolande Donlan and film historian Marcus Hearn
• Alternative sequences from the 1962 cut (2 mins, DVD only): the scenes which we added to replace cut songs
• Expresso Bongo Gallery: a selection of promotional material, Including stills, theatrical posters and lobby cards
• Original theatrical trailer (3 mins)
Youth Club (Norman Prouting, 1954, 17 mins): COI documentary about dealing with juvenile delinquency
The Square (Michael Winner, 1957, 16 mins): Michael Winner’s touching debut, long-thought lost
• Original US and UK press books (downloadable PDF, DVD only)
• Illustrated booklet with new writing by Andrew Roberts, Vic Pratt and Steve Chibnalland.

Additional Information
More Information
SKU 5035673012413
Catalogue Number BFIB1241
Product contents DVD and Blu-ray editions
Year 1959
Director Val Guest
Format DVD, Blu-Ray
Publisher(s) BFI
Countries UK
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
Colour B&W
Subtitles English Hard of Hearing
Language(s) English
Running time 106 mins
DVD region 2
Blu-ray region B
Certificate 12
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