Harry Saltzman had produced James Bond and Harry Palmer films, but he wanted to work with Don Kirshner, who had just had a big success as the producer of The Monkees. They had a three-picture deal, but it barely made it through this movie.
Saltzman had originally brought on David Benedictus to write the film, but didn’t like the script and kept him writing it while he asked director Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment) to write his own script. Once the film started shooting, the writer did learn that a new script had been completed.
Guest also had no idea that Benedictus hadn’t been informed. And it got worse for Guest, who would go six months over on the making of the film and was never paid. He was smart, though. He waited until after the film’s premiere to obtain an injunction that stated that Toomorrow couldn’t be shown until everyone was paid. As of 1994, that hadn’t happened.
This meant that this movie was shown in one theater for one week, then on some British military bases in 1971 and 1972, then sat on the shelf until it played a special LA Film Festival in 2000. When Kirshner died in January 2011, Pickwick licensed the film from the estate of Guest and released the film on DVD.
So how is it? It’s a hippie musical from 1970 about aliens, man. How do you think it is? It even has Roy Doltrice (who was in Eliminators) as an alien that falls in love with humanity. Then again, if humanity includes Olivia Newton-John, here all of twenty-two years old, well, you can totally get his point. She is seriously angelic here. The production team told her that she would have to strip to her underwear for a scene in the film, which caused her to burst into tears. I wish I could punch every one of them in the taint to protect her modesty.
So why Kirschner? The goal was to transform the band Toomorrow from this film into its own band. But with no film — no band. Every member was paid for two years of the film’s production and had a three-picture contract, too.
It’s a movie of its time. That said, it’s silly and fun in all of the best ways.
The maniacs at Deranged Visions have posted this on YouTube. You should totally watch it.