If you are into perfect pop songs, this is the movie for you. It is an unlikely film for Clint Eastwood to have made, given his love of jazz, but he has opened out the hit musical to take into account the mean streets of New Jersey, from which the Four Seasons came. We learn about their Mafia connections and he post-war America of Eastwood’s and their youth, in the 1950s and 60s. Eastwood appears himself in the movie, not as he is now but as a young man, on a TV in an episode of Rawhide.
The actors sang the songs live on set. Three of the actors who play the Four Seasons had appeared in the original stage musical, and John Lloyd Young won a Tony on Broadway for his role as Frankie Valli. Given that Valli’s falsetto is immediately recognisable, it is remarkable how close Young is able to get to it.
There are references to the film Goodfellas. The milieu is the same and Joe Pesci, one of Martin Scorcese’s favourite actors, who was in Goodfellas, appears in the film as Joseph Russo, who introduced the boys to Bob Gaudio, the co-writer of the songs. Christopher Walken plays a mobster boss who comes over all sentimental, when the Boys sing.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall