Watch Ferry Cross the Mersey
- 1 hr 28 min
Ferry Cross the Mersey is a musical drama film released in 1964 that takes its name from the famous 60s song of the same title by Gerry and the Pacemakers. Directed by Jeremy Summers, the film explores the lives and struggles of a group of young people in Liverpool, against the backdrop of the bustling Mersey River. The film begins with the introduction of Gerry Marsden, played by himself, a young musician who dreams of making it big in the music industry. Life, however, is not easy for Gerry, who finds himself struggling to pay rent and put together a band. His desperation for success is further compounded by his father's ill health and financial difficulties. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Mary, played by Julie Samuel, is trying to make a career as a dancer and is torn between her ambition and her love for Gerry.
As the story progresses, we are introduced to a cast of characters who add to the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of the film. There is Les Chadwick, played by himself, who is Gerry's bass player and best friend, and his brother, Freddie, who plays the drums. There's also a young couple, played by Cilla Black and The Fourmost's Mike Millward, who are struggling to find work and make ends meet.
The film is set against the backdrop of the swinging Mersey River, which is an essential element of Liverpool's culture and identity. The river acts as a metaphor for the characters' lives, as they cross it back and forth, metaphysically and physically, trying to build better futures for themselves. The iconic Mersey Ferry becomes a central hub of activity, with people from all walks of life crossing the river, from businessmen to dockworkers.
The film features several memorable scenes, such as the band's first performance at the famous Cavern Club, which was the starting point for many of Liverpool's most famous musicians. The scene shows the band playing their hit songs to an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd, capturing the excitement and energy of the Merseybeat scene that dominated British music in the early 60s. Another memorable scene features Gerry and his bandmates on the ferry, performing an impromptu version of the title song to the delight of the passengers.
Despite its light-hearted and upbeat tone, Ferry Cross the Mersey also deals with deeper themes of family, love, and loss. The characters' relationships with their parents are explored in detail, and the film acknowledges the harsh realities of life in a city that was undergoing significant social and economic change at the time.
In terms of its musical score, the film features many classic songs from the era, including "It's Gonna Be Alright," "How Do You Do It?" and "I Like It," all performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers in their inimitable style. The film's climax, a performance on the deck of the Mersey Ferry, with the city's skyline in the background, is an iconic moment in British cinema that has come to symbolize the spirit of the swinging 60s.
Overall, Ferry Cross the Mersey is an entertaining and nostalgic look back at a pivotal moment in British history. It offers a fascinating insight into the culture and identity of Liverpool and the Merseybeat scene, which transformed British music in the early 60s. The film's charming performances, catchy soundtrack, and vivid cinematography make it a must-watch for fans of British culture and music. Whether you're a fan of the era or discovering it for the first time, Ferry Cross the Mersey is a film that is sure to delight and entertain.