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Saturday September 23rd 2023

Catch Us If You Can | 1965

Catch Us If You Can film location: Burgh Island, Devon
Catch Us If You Can film location: the ending, with the amazing sea tractor: Burgh Island, Devon | Photograph: Paul Bradley / Alamy Stock Photo

Don't confuse this with the Steven Spielberg-Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Catch Me If You Can. For a short while in the mid-Sixties, the Tottenham Sound of the Dave Clark Five was tipped to eclipse the Liverpool Sound of the Beatles, and the Five duly launched what was presumably intended to be an imitation of A Hard Day’s Night.

While the Beatles had Richard Lester (who had made films with The Goons), the Five scored by choosing first-time director John Boorman, who turned in something darker and colder than a standard pop-pic.

Catch Us If You Can film location: Smithfield Market, London
Catch Us If You Can film location: the Five work in the meat market: Smithfield Market, London

The Five play stuntmen (Dave Clark’s pre-drumming occupation) who escape the boredom of London, where they work as porters at the old Smithfield Meat Market, between Charterhouse Street and Long Lane, London EC1, which is also featured inthe biopic Chaplin and Last Orders, and was overrun by the infected in 28 Weeks Later...

They take off for a series of encounters with an array of the country’s top-notch (and underrated) character actors in the West Country.

The island to which they retreat, which turns out, symbolically, to be still connected to the mainland at low tide, is Burgh Island, connected by the strange sea-tractor – seen at the end of the movie – to Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon, twelve miles east of Plymouth on the B3392.