Expresso Bongo

Watch Expresso Bongo

  • NR
  • 1959
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 6.2  (576)

Expresso Bongo is a 1959 British musical-drama film directed by Val Guest and starring Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Syms, and Yolande Donlan. The film is based on a 1958 stage musical of the same name by Wolf Mankowitz, which itself was based on his earlier novel The Night That Made America Famous. The film is set in the world of the music industry, with Harvey playing Johnny Jackson, an ambitious and amoral talent agent who discovers Bert Rudge (Cliff Richard), a naïve and talented young singer. Jackson sees Rudge as his ticket to success and sets out to turn him into a star, using any means necessary. Along the way, he comes into conflict with Rudge's girlfriend and discovers that fame and success may not be all they are cracked up to be.

The film is notable for its frank depiction of the music industry and its willingness to tackle controversial themes such as the exploitation of young performers and the corrupting influence of fame and fortune. It also features a number of memorable musical numbers, including Richard's performances of "Livin' Lovin' Doll" and "The Shrine on the Second Floor."

The cast is excellent, with Laurence Harvey giving a dynamic performance as the conniving Johnny Jackson, and Sylvia Syms providing a strong counterpoint as Rudge's girlfriend, whom Jackson sees as an obstacle to his plans. Yolande Donlan is also excellent as the jaded café singer who provides a warning to Rudge about the dangers of the music industry.

Val Guest's direction is stylish and energetic, with plenty of memorable shots and musical montages. The film's depiction of the seedy side of the music industry is both gritty and realistic, and its critique of the exploitation and corruption that can occur in the quest for fame and fortune remains relevant today.

Overall, Expresso Bongo is a highly entertaining and thought-provoking film that deserves to be better known. Its frank depiction of the music industry and its compelling storyline make it a must-see for fans of musicals and dramas alike.

Expresso Bongo is a 1959 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.

Expresso Bongo
Where to Watch Expresso Bongo
Expresso Bongo is available to watch free on Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Expresso Bongo for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (576)