Catch Us If You Can (film)
Catch Us If You Can (released with the title Having a Wild Weekend in the U.S.) was the feature-film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

 debut of director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 John Boorman
John Boorman
John Boorman is a British filmmaker who is a long time resident of Ireland and is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Zardoz, Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, The General and The Tailor of Panama.-Early life:Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey,...

. It was designed as a vehicle
Promotion (marketing)
Promotion is one of the four elements of marketing mix . It is the communication link between sellers and buyers for the purpose of influencing, informing, or persuading a potential buyer's purchasing decision....

 for pop band The Dave Clark Five
The Dave Clark Five
The Dave Clark Five were an English pop rock group. Their single "Glad All Over" knocked The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK singles charts in January 1964: it eventually peaked at No.6 in the United States in April 1964.They were the second group of the British Invasion,...

, whose popularity at the time almost rivaled that of The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, and named after their hit song "Catch Us If You Can
Catch Us If You Can
"Catch Us If You Can" is a 1965 song from The Dave Clark Five, written by group's drummer Dave Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson. The song was one of DC5's top hits, reaching number 5 on the UK Singles Chart in the late summer of 1965 and number 4 on the U.S...



During the filming of a TV commercial for a "Meat For Go" campaign set in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Smithfield Market, Steve, disillusioned by the inanity of his job, absconds in an E-type Jaguar (one of the props) with a young actress/model, Dinah (played by Barbara Ferris
Barbara Ferris
Barbara Gillian Ferris is an English actress and former fashion model.She appeared in a number of films and productions for television and is possibly best remembered as Dinah, the young woman who eloped with Dave Clark in the 1965 film Catch Us If You Can...

). After a visit to an open-air swimming-pool in central London and a memorable scene in and around the Great Conservatory in the grounds of Syon House
Syon House
Syon House, with its 200-acre park, is situated in west London, England. It belongs to the Duke of Northumberland and is now his family's London residence...

, they make their way across a wintry southern England towards the island (Burgh Island
Burgh Island
Burgh Island is a small tidal island off the coast of South Devon in England near to the small seaside village of Bigbury-on-Sea. There are several buildings on the island, the largest being the Art Deco Burgh Island Hotel...

), off the coast of Devon, which Dinah is contemplating buying (presumably to escape the pressures of her celebrity as the "Butcher Girl" on the back of the TV meat advertising campaign). This act of rebellion is cynically exploited by the advertising executive behind the campaign, Leon Zissell (played by David de Keyser
David de Keyser
David de Keyser is a British actor. He is the father of Alexei de Keyser, Pia de Keyser and Thomas de Keyser.In the mid-sixties de Keyser worked twice with the writer, actor and director Jane Arden. Their first collaboration, The Logic Game, was the first BBC drama to be shot on film; it was...

), who deputes two of his henchmen to pursue the fleeing couple.

On their journey, Steve and Dinah encounter first a group of proto-hippies (squatting in MOD-owned buildings on Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in central southern England covering . It is part of the Southern England Chalk Formation and largely lies within the county of Wiltshire, with a little in Hampshire. The plain is famous for its rich archaeology, including Stonehenge, one of England's best known...

), and then an unhappily-married middle-aged couple (the brilliant duo of Yootha Joyce
Yootha Joyce
Yootha Joyce was an English actress, best known for playing Mildred Roper in Man About the House and George and Mildred.-Early life:...

 and Robin Bailey
Robin Bailey
Robin Bailey was an English actor. He was born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire.Although often chosen for upper class and tradition-bound roles such as Judge Graves in Thames Television's Rumpole Of The Bailey, Bailey is perhaps most fondly remembered for his portrayal of Uncle Mort in I Didn't Know...

) in the opulent surroundings of the Royal Crescent
Royal Crescent
The Royal Crescent is a residential road of 30 houses laid out in a crescent in the city of Bath, England. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a grade I...

 in Bath, Somerset. (Joyce and Bailey's scenes are both the funniest and most poignant in the film.) Steve also plans to visit his boyhood hero, Louie (David Lodge (actor)
David Lodge (actor)
David William Frederick Lodge was a British character actor.Before turning to acting he worked as a circus clown...

), whose youth club in London's East End he attended, and who has since relocated to Devon.

Having fled the police (and Leon Zissell's henchmen) after a fancy-dress party in the Roman Baths (Bath), Steve and Dinah (with the rest of Steve's gang - and the police - in hot pursuit) make their way towards Devon. Steve's encounter with Louie is disappointing. Louie recognises Dinah instantly (because of her TV celebrity), but fails to recognise Steve, and misremembers his name, even after being introduced. Dinah's island also proves to be disappointing. At low tide it is reachable from the mainland, and Zissell (who is clearly besotted with Dinah) has already arrived.


Although they perform the off-screen soundtrack music, The Dave Clark Five (unlike The Beatles) do not play themselves, but appear to be a team of freelance stuntmen/extras, led by the saturnine Steve (Dave Clark
Dave Clark (musician)
David 'Dave' Clark is an English musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the leader and drummer of the 1960s beat group The Dave Clark Five, the first big British Invasion band to follow The Beatles to America in 1964....

). Clark had worked as a stuntman
A stuntman or stunt performer is someone who performs dangerous stunts.Stuntman may also refer to:*The Stunt Man, a 1980 film starring Peter O'Toole*Stuntman , a 2002 video game**Stuntman: Ignition, its sequel...

 on a number of films, providing him with a level of cinematic experience and camera-sense that The Beatles clearly lacked in A Hard Day's Night (film)
A Hard Day's Night (film)
A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British black-and-white comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists...


Far from being a conventional pop vehicle, this serious, thought-provoking film concerns itself with the frailty of personal relationships, the flimsiness of dreams, and the difficulty of maintaining spontaneity and integrity in a stage-managed "society of the spectacle." Boorman's debut offering drew favourable notices from Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic....

 and Dilys Powell
Dilys Powell
Elizabeth Dilys Powell was a British journalist, author and film critic.She was born into a middle class family in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Her mother was Mary Jane Lloyd; her father, Thomas Powell, a bank manager...

, not least because of the enormous cultural energy of the time (mid-1960s) in which the film was made.

Production notes

Lenny Davidson
Lenny Davidson (musician)
Leonard Arthur 'Lenny' Davidson was the guitarist of 60s' pop rock group the Dave Clark Five.Lenny Davidson was inducted as part of the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, 2008 along with fellow surviving band members Rick Huxley and Dave Clark and deceased band members Denis...

 is the only one of the DC5 who doesn't utter a single word in the movie, usually because the others don't let him get a word in edgeways. Appropriately enough, he is dressed as Harpo Marx
Harpo Marx
Adolph "Harpo" Marx was an American comedian and film star. He was the second oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish wig, and never spoke during performances...

 at the Arts Ball party (until Dinah switches costumes with him to avoid being caught by the police and her bosses; this is evident not only in the film, but also on the back cover of the soundtrack album).

Denis Payton
Denis Payton
Denis Archibald West Payton was an English saxophonist. He was a member of The Dave Clark Five, where he played both tenor and baritone saxophone.-Course of life:...

's last name is mis-spelled as "Paynton" in the opening and closing credits.


Of the twelve tracks on the U.S. soundtrack album (Epic 24162/26162), only four are from the film: "Having A Wild Weekend", "Catch Us If You Can
Catch Us If You Can
"Catch Us If You Can" is a 1965 song from The Dave Clark Five, written by group's drummer Dave Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson. The song was one of DC5's top hits, reaching number 5 on the UK Singles Chart in the late summer of 1965 and number 4 on the U.S...

", "Sweet Memories" and "On The Move". The remainder of songs used in the film were from previous albums, including...
  • "Time" from Glad All Over
  • "Move On" and "Ol' Sol" from American Tour
  • "When" and "I Can't Stand It" from Coast To Coast

External links

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