1.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 117 minutes
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In case you ever wondered why Herman’s Hermits never made much of an impact in motion pictures, this 1966 piffle will provide a dreary explanation.

“Hold On!” is based on the absurd notion that the children of the Gemini Project astronauts wanted to name the newest space capsule after Herman’s Hermits. The U.S. State Department dispatches a NASA publicist to follow the British band on their U.S. and report back whether it makes sense to affix their name to the space capsule. (And, no, NASA was never a part of the State Department – don’t try to be logical with this film!)

Meanwhile, a Hollywood starlet is desperately trying to get herself photographed with Herman’s Hermits in order to boost her career. On top of that, mobs of screaming teenage girls chase the British band everywhere they go. The band’s martinet manager forbids them from socializing with anyone – especially American girls. But frontman Herman (the toothy Peter Noone) manages to strike up a chaste relation with the blonde gal who sneaks him and his mates out of their hotel for a day at an amusement park.

There is also a pair of daydream sequences where Herman imagines he’s a knight in shining armor (on a California beach) and an astronaut in a space capsule. Pity that he couldn’t daydream himself into a better movie.

Arthur Lubin, who directed several Abbott and Costello classics, is unable to build a single laugh out of the film’s anvil slapstick and predictable antics. Herman’s Hermits perform 10 mostly forgettable songs, and it possible to get a laugh in watching Noone’s awkward attempts at lip-syncing.

“Hold On!” is being released on DVD as part of the Warner Archive Collection. This is easily among the weakest links of that series’ offerings.

Posted on May 22, 2011 in Reviews by

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One Comment on "HOLD ON! (DVD)"

  1. Thomas E. Reed on Sun, 22nd May 2011 9:38 pm 

    I remember seeing this in a matinee showing when it was released. I think it was because there was nothing else even slightly interesting in theaters that weekend.

    At the time, I had never seen A Hard Day’s Night or anything much of the Beatles; straight music was uninteresting to me, and I preferred listening to Alan Sherman or old Spike Jones records rather than anything the hip kids were dancing and screaming to. Herman’s Hermits, though, were fairly accessible, as they tried to pump their minor hits into something approximating a career. So they showed up everywhere.

    The one thing that Herman’s Hermits did for me was to raise my appreciation of The Monkees. At least those guys could joke around in the one minute improv sessions they put at the end of some of their shows.

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