Powerful and authentic, this fascinating record of the then-emerging Suedehead subculture was largely improvised by a non-professional cast of teenagers from East London.
“Its reputation as a Good Cause will do it no harm at the box office. As a film, however, it deserves far more than a pat on the back...”
Nigel Andrews, Monthly Film Bulletin, November 1970
In 1966, director Barney Platts-Mills joined forces with filmmaker James Scott and cinematographer Andrew St-John to produce a handful of documentaries. In 1968, Platts-Mills made Everybody’s An Actor, Shakespeare Said, about Joan Littlewood’s theatre workshops with working-class East End teenagers.
From that experience emerged the idea for Bronco Bullfrog, telling the story of a teenaged couple – Del, a young apprentice, and his girlfriend Irene – who have no money and nowhere to go. Frustrated with their lot, they turn to teenage rebel ‘Bronco Bullfrog’ for a taste of fun and freedom.
With its unassuming style, semi-improvised dialogue, authentic locations and cast of non-professional actors, the film captured time and place with pinpoint accuracy, providing a fascinating insight into a world gone by.
Joan Littlewood’s theatre workshops, encouraging working-class stories to be depicted on stage, helped launch the career of Barbara Windsor when Sparrows Can’t Sing was made into a film in 1962.
Cast & credits
- Del Quant Del Walker
- Irene Richardson Anne Gooding
- Jo Saville aka Bronco Bullfrog Sam Shepherd
- Roy Roy Haywood
- Chris Chris Shepherd
- Geoff Geoffrey Wincott
- Mrs Richardson Freda Shepherd
- Sgt Johnson Stuart Stones
- Del's father Dick Philpott
- Del's uncle J. Hughes Sr.
- Grimes Mick Hart
- Dave Ken Field
- Parker J. Hughes Jr.
- Marge Marguerite Hughes
- landlady E.E. Blundell
- Parker's friend Trevor Oakley
- Tina Tina Syer
- . Terry Hayes
- Directed by Barney Platts-mills
- 1st Assistant Director Tim Van Rellim
- 1st Assistant Director Garth Thomas
- 2nd Assistant Director Tim Lewis
- Continuity Jean Winters
- Photography Adam Barker-mill
- Focus Gordon Thornton
- Loader George Stephenson
- Key Grip Les Bryan
- Key Grip Tony Picus
- Graphics Charlie Jenkins
- Music by Howard Werth
- Music by Tony Connor
- Music by Keith Gemmell
- Music by Trevor Williams
- [Music] Performed by Audience
- Sound Recording Tony Jackson
- Sound Recording Ivan Sharrock
- Sound Recording Mike Mcduffie
- Sound Recording Stuart Young
- Boom Operator Stephen Ransley
- Local Adviser Sam Shepherd Sr.