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Review: 'Wonderwall' the film: Turn on, tune in, drop out

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"Wonderwall": The Movie

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“Wonderwall,” which will be re-released on DVD and Blu-ray March 25 by Shout Factory, is one of those curious films that only could have been made in the '60s.

The story centers around the eccentric professor Collins (Jack MacGowran) who lives in virtual seclusion in a cluttered little apartment. But all that is shattered when a gorgeous model named, would you believe, Penny Lane (and played by Jane Birken) moves in next door. Collins becomes obsessed with her, drilling holes in the wall and playing peeping Tom, and also dreaming about her, with psychedelic music swirling around him all the while.

George Harrison wrote the music for “Wonderwall,” probably the main attraction for this odd little film. The soundtrack album, some of it recorded in Bombay, India, was the first solo album released by any of the Beatles. Musicians on the album included Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton (as Eddie Clayton) and Peter Tork of the Monkees (uncredited). The album was not part of the Apple Records box set released in 2010. (A note: The box set has dropped in price from over $300 USD when it was released in 2010 to around $264 now for a new copy at Amazon.com. And third-party merchants have it even cheaper.)

The Blu-ray DVD contains both the theatrical and director's cut of the movie. The director's cut adds more of George Harrison's music, including substituting “In the First Place” by the Remo Four and which included Harrison's vocal, for the original instrumental opening theme. “In the First Place” was first premiered at a music film festival in Los Angeles.

They say if you remember the Sixties, you weren't there. “Wonderwall” definitely brings that to mind.

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