You may never have heard of a 1971 film called Melody but it marked an important moment for the British Film Industry. A new wave of screenwriters, producers and directors arrived on the scene from the advertising sector. It was David Puttnam’s first film as a producer. A career which has seen him to go on to make Chariots of Fire, Local Hero and The Mission. Puttnam persuaded Alan Parker to write his first script for Melody. Angela’s Ashes, The Commitments and Bugsy Malone (working with Puttnam and fellow exec Alan Marshall) followed.
When the shy and quiet Daniel (Mark Lester) joins a new school he is befriended by the scruffy troublemaker Ornshaw (Jack Wild). The pair quickly establish a burgeoning friendship and begin to get into a few scrapes. They seem inseparable. That is until Daniel falls in love with Melody Perkins (Tracy Hyde). As Daniel and Melody spend more and more time together, Ornshaw’s jealousy grows until it threatens to jeopardise their friendship.
Puttnam and Parker based the script on their childhoods in North London (Puttnam married his childhood sweetheart) and eight Bee Gees songs whose rights the former secured. Lester and Wild previously worked together on Oliver! and their camaraderie shines through. As does the sweet relationship between Lester and Hyde. Melody is a charming and delightful film about young love and the exuberance of childhood.
Melody is released on DVD, Blu-ray and EST by Studiocanal as part of their Vintage Classics collection on Monday 8 May.