The film follows their journey from beginning in the late 50’s and early 60’s up to 1990 being inducted in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. I grew up listening to the Four Seasons since their beginning and still have some of their albums from then. The story is told thru the eyes of the individual members via asides to you the audience. Tommy Devito was the founder of the group. He, Nick Massi and Frankie Valli real name Francis Castelluccio were tough street punks from New Jersey’s rougher neighborhoods in Newark and Belleville. Tommy was the roughest of the bunch and a very street wise tough smart alek type. My wife kept channeling Leo Gorcey from the Bowery Boys. 😀 The band started out as a trio playing bars and clubs in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Later on Joe Pesci (Yes that Joe Pesci the current actor) introduces his friend Bob Gaudio to the group. Bob takes a liking to Frankie’s sound and introduces himself and offers to write songs for them. They start singing as The Four Lovers and then change the name to the Four Seasons after seeing the name in the neon sign of a bowling alley. It is here that the friction starts between the rough talking in charge type Tommy Devito and the more refined, sophisticated, business oriented Bob Gaudio. They do accept Gaudio into the group and the rest as they say is history. The film does an excellent job of recreating that period and you actually think you are there right down to the urban Italian culture they grew up in. Some of the asides are interesting and humorous too. When they meet Bob Crewe who is their producer and has effeminate mannerisms Bob Gaudio turns to you and says, “I knew there was something strange about this man, but then again this is 1959 when people thought Liberace was theatrical.” One night while at Bob Crewe’s house they are watching a Kirk Douglas movie where he slaps a woman.Tommy says “I bet you she cries.” to which Bob Crew replies,”Nah,big girls dont cry.” At that moment Bob Gaudio looks up and raises an eyebrow and the next thing you know they are singing “Big Girls Dont Cry ” on stage. 🙂 John Lloyd Young is superb as Frankie Valli and sounds exactly like him. Young was the original Frankie in the Broadway show when it first opened up. Vincent Piazza is Tommy Devito who is still around today at 83 years old as is Bob Gaudio 72, played by Eric Bergen and Frankie Valli who is 80. Nick Massi died from cancer in 2000 at age 72. The only person I didn’t care for was Christopher Walken as mob boss Gyo DeCarlo who took a liking to Frankie and helps him out. I thought Walken looked the part but was very wooden and just seemed to walk through his part. The rest of the cast is excellent through and the music is recreated to perfection. Any fan of the Four Seasons should see Jersey Boys. I’ve included some interesting links from the movie and an interesting interview with Tommy Devito.
Jersey Boys-The Movie
Jersey Boys is the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. It’s the quintessential rags to riches story. It’s about real people and stuff that really happened, families and brothers breaking up and the rise and fall of the band. Being from New Jersey and their area myself, only in a nicer section, 🙂 I saw the Broadway show which was fantastic and looked forward to seeing the movie especially since it was directed by Clint Eastwood I knew it had to be a superb job.