Lambert & Stamp
Directed by James D. Cooper
In this crazy, chaotic gospel of chance, aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert set out to search for a subject for their underground movie, leading them to discover, mentor, and manage the iconic band known as The Who and create rock 'n' roll history.
See more films
★★★★ review by dantesring on Letterboxd
One of the great joys of being a film and music lover is that there is never a shortage of films or documentaries chronicling the career of a band or an artist. Since there are so many, some of them resort to those in the peripheries to give context and find an interesting take on already established tales. LAMBERT & STAMP gives us the background and history of the rise of The Who as seen through the eyes of their managers and producers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert.
These two are BS artists who through sheer force of will created an iconic band, a record company and careers in the music business, something of which they had no prior knowledge of. The film has a number of interviews with the surviving people in this story and is generally depicted in an insightful way, even to the discomfort all these people still feel with each other because of the various falling outs and shortcomings.
While the film gets a little unfocused, not really sure if it is giving us the story of Lambert & Stamp or of The Who, it gets by through the candid participation of the interviewees, as well as a ton of early footage of the Mod scene in the mid-60's. The film also has a ton of energy, befitting a film discussing of the more energetic rock bands of the era.
★★★★ review by onemarathon on Letterboxd
A very cool documentary about two young men, film-makers sort of, in the early sixties who wanted to "hire" and manage a band - and make a film about that process.... sort of.
Sound confusing? Well, it was confusing even for those two fellers, Lambert and Stamp, and that band, first known as the Hi-Notes, later to become The Who. Yeah.
Kit and Chris weren't exactly people of means, but they did have a charm and style about them, as well as an acute understanding of the psychology of getting what they want and making things happen. And that is exactly what they did for The Who.
This is an enlightening and entertaining doc about stuff I had very little knowledge of... well, I did read Who guitarist Townshend's autobiography a few years back, but details faded from memory and that book didn't delve into all of this mayhem.
Loads of early Who live footage, plus interviews with all the concerned parties, Townshend and L&S and even Stamp's big brother, Terence, a well-known actor then and now. The pair weren't quite the masterminds behind The Who, but they did have a great deal of input and influence on the band. The Who knew they needed direction and someone to direct them, so.....
Lambert and Stamp guided The Who through their early years, advising them on their image, their visual and sometimes musical presentation on stage and on records, and nurturing their creativity and self-growth when they saw the boys floundering.
I'm a long-time Who fan, and have a working knowledge of the surface stuff of the band's career, but this film shed light on the behind-the-scenes nuts'n'bolts, innovation and artistry. Lots of fun watching this... crank it up for Maximum R&B!
★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd
Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were fledgling film makers when they hooked up with a young, inexperienced rock group that became, under their management, The Who. This documentary combines fascinating footage shot by Lambert and Stamp of the start-up group in the 1960s, along with current interviews with survivors (particularly Stamp, Townshend and Daltry). The scattershot editing schema of the film detracts a little from the impact of the fascinating material. I was a huge Who fan from the beginning of their American fame...but I had no idea of the background and personalities of the group and their management (unlike the Beatles and Stones whose stories were more public.) Of particular interest for me was the complex character of Lambert: posh son of a famed musician, gay, wasted by drugs and dead at age 45. Too bad the film doesn't divulge even more about him. Still, this is an appreciated and important film about a seminal rock group.
★★★½ review by Louise von Randow on Letterboxd
I didn't quite get to the last 20 minutes due to unforeseen circumstances which was disappointing.
This is an interesting watch - particularly the archival footage they have of The Who which serves as a time capsule of this groundbreaking era in pop culture & music.
It was also fascinating to see how experiences and understandings from one art form can translate to another with new & provocative results.
You do get the odd feeling that everyone has been through a lot of therapy in order to speak with such clarity & generosity.
★★★½ review by Daniel Barnes on Letterboxd
James D. Cooper's documentary about the unconventional management team that created The Who is superficial but heady, a breathless ride through 1960s mod culture driven largely by the irresistible personality of Chris Stamp and the propulsive, wall-to-wall Who music.
SN&R review HERE
- See all reviews