This documentary is about how aspiring filmmakers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp ended up managing the career of The Who.
Chris Stamp is the younger brother of actor Terence Stamp. In the 60s they were both riding high in their respective fields at the cutting edge of 60s hipsterdom. The story is an interesting one how upper class public school educated Kit Lambert met East End lad Chris Stamp on a set at Shepperton studios and together came up with a plan to make a film about a rock band, the plan that this would be their calling card into the film industry and start them on the road to being successful directors. What actually happened is another story; how they found The High Numbers, helped them become The Who and managed their rise to international stardom.
Chris freely admits in the course of the documentary that he and Kit although like chalk and cheese from the outside and with no idea what they were doing had enough brains and talent between them to make it work; they punched above their weight and pulled off what amounted in some cases to daylight robbery.
A combination of interviews and archive footage, this is a fascinating film if overly long. It might have played better as a 2 part TV documentary; perhaps as part of the BBC music documentary strand. It tries to tell 2 stories in one and although The Who material is interesting, the Kit and Chris story was more engaging and yet the death of Kit was strangely passed over.
Pete Townshend is his usual arrogant and humourless self; it would have been good to hear from some newer voices who were around at that time rather than just the ‘star’ names. Irish Jack was a highlight but made little impact.
All the joy in the film comes from Chris Stamp; he’s a philosophical bloke who having gone through the highs and lows, and of course rehab, realises he never did make that big film he planned. He looks back on his time with Kit and the band with fondness, ‘we were there for each other in an unheroic way, in a sensitive and frightening way’.