That Thing You Do | Beatles films, television and radio | Fab forum

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That Thing You Do
15 February 2010
8.26pm
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Carnegie Hall
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5 February 2010
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I suppose this is probably old hat for a lot of you, but I thought I'd start a topic on it anyway.  Can't hurt, right?

I really enjoyed That Thing You Do when it came out, and the soundtrack was a lot of fun as well.  I understood from the start that there were some intentional tips-of-the-hat to The Beatles, in a sort of generic way, throughout the movie: the haircuts, the basic "sound" of the songs, even some of the guitar riffs (the ending lick is a dead-copy of the closing riff to "I Saw Her Standing There", and the final chord is the same chord used at the end of "Till There Was You").  But only recently have I started to notice some of the more particular, specific link-ups to the story of The Beatles.

- Looking at old pictures of Pete Best, I thought he bore more than a passing resemblance to Tom Everett Scott (who, of course, played Guy Patterson, the drummer for The Wonders)

- Old pictures of Brian Epstein look an awful lot like Tom Hanks, who played the manager of The Wonders

- The film's portrayal of The Wonders' hit song is interesting.  It's a power-ballad of some mediocrity, until the drummer spontaneously decides to speed it up by playing a gutsier rhythm – then it turns into a hit record.  This mirrors the story of "Please Please Me", the way George Martin tells of the account (although it was John and Paul who decided to speed it up, not Ringo, necessarily)

- The Wonders become a hit band after their regular drummer breaks his arm and gets replaced by a fill-in drummer who just fits better – sort of a marriage of the Jimmy Nicol story and the Ringo story

- The drummer for The Wonders gets tagged by his managed with a pair of "signature" sunglasses, and that becomes his on-stage gimmick.  I was just reading the other night that Stu Sutcliffe did the same thing, wearing sunglasses on stage on a regular basis

There must be a web site out there somewhere that draws out all of these links more specifically, no?

Not a bit like Cagney.
15 February 2010
8.49pm
Joe
Pepperland
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Not old hat for me at all – I'd never heard of this before (though I've mentioned my lack of knowledge of films here before). Sounds like there are some interesting parallels. I'll keep an eye out for it. Is it any good?

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15 February 2010
9.04pm
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Carnegie Hall
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5 February 2010
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Joe said:Not old hat for me at all – I'd never heard of this before (though I've mentioned my lack of knowledge of films here before). Sounds like there are some interesting parallels. I'll keep an eye out for it. Is it any good?


I thought it was a lot of fun.  Catchy title tune, too.  I won't mention the rest of the parallels with the Fab Four – might spoil the fun of you actually watching the film!  :-)

Not a bit like Cagney.
15 February 2010
10.25pm
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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13 November 2009
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Tom Hanks did it on purpose it seems. He kind of went through a 60s phase, movie wise, didn't he?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 February 2010
7.12pm
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
Apple rooftop
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It's an OK flick, and yeah the title song's kinda catchy…at first. But it gets played, like, two dozen times in whole or in part before the movie ends; you'll likely be sick of it by then!

Another parallel: The unorthodox spelling of the band's name. (They start out as the "Oneders" -as in the numeral "1" – but are forced to change to the conventional spelling when too many confused fans call them the "o-NEED-ers".)

Also, isn't there a scene in which their producer prophetically announces "Gentlemen, you've just recorded your first #1 record!" or am I conflating that with the "Be-Sharps" episode of "The Simpsons?" (Haven't seen the film in 10+ years)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
14 March 2010
8.48am
McLerristarr
A Place
Carnegie Hall
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13 November 2009
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Von Bontee said:

Another parallel: The unorthodox spelling of the band's name. (They start out as the "Oneders" -as in the numeral "1" – but are forced to change to the conventional spelling when too many confused fans call them the "o-NEED-ers".)


 

Being a Northerner, I would pronounce "Oneders" as "wanders".

 

The film was on TV in Australia recently but I didn't watch it. I wish I had now…

14 March 2010
10.38am
mjb
Candlestick Park
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14 October 2009
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Joe said:

Not old hat for me at all – I'd never heard of this before (though I've mentioned my lack of knowledge of films here before). Sounds like there are some interesting parallels. I'll keep an eye out for it. Is it any good?


 

Don't feel too bad Joe – I wasn't aware of it either!

You can read all about it here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117887/

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