[[caption-width-right:200: Cue the insane calliope...]]

->''"[[{{Irony}} A Splendid Time is Guaranteed For All]]"''
-->-- Tagline

A 1978 movie combining Music/TheBeeGees, Creator/SteveMartin, Music/PeterFrampton, Frankie Howard, Creator/GeorgeBurns and Music/AliceCooper with the then-11-year-old classic [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] [[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand album]], although it also incorporates other late-period Beatles songs. Beatles producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick lent the film their reflected credibility.

This AllStarCast fantasy tries to wrap a storyline around Beatles songs and characters in them, as a vehicle for popular acts of the time: Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, etc. There is no spoken dialogue aside from that of narrator Mr. Kite (George Burns), the mayor of Heartland U.S.A.

A prologue establishes that the original Sgt. Pepper and his bandmates were able to bring peace and harmony to those around them -- even warring armies -- with their music. After he died, the magical instruments were given over to the care of his hometown of Heartland, and now Billy Shears (Frampton) and the Henderson Brothers (the Bee Gees) have formed a new version of the band. They're good enough that they attract the attention of unscrupulous producer B.D. Hoffler (Creator/DonaldPleasence), and soon they are off to Hollywood to experience the hedonistic side of superstardom.

Alas, back home an evil organization known as "[=F.V.B.=]" has its sights set on the original instruments, for the joy and love they embody is anathema to them. The mean Mr. Mustard (Frankie Howerd) and his goon the Brute easily overpower Mr. Kite and steal the four instruments for them; soon Heartland has decayed into a sleazy shadow of its former self that Mr. Mustard gleefully dominates. Billy's girlfriend Strawberry Fields runs away from home and tells the band what happened; together they must track down the stolen instruments if they hope to restore Heartland -- which won't be easy thanks to all the treachery surrounding them.

While Music/{{Aerosmith}}'s take on "Come Together" and Music/EarthWindAndFire's cover of "Got to Get You Into My Life" are well-regarded, this movie also gave us George Burns singing "Fixing a Hole" and SteveMartin performing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". The silly story and frequent poor match-ups of songs to situations render it all SoBadItsGood at best, and it was a major flop, swiftly overshadowed by another rock musical, ''{{Grease}}'', at the summer box office. Capitol records re-released the Beatles' album with the label "The Original Classic" as impressionable teenage girls were under the impression that the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton thought up Sgt. Pepper first, and ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'' (which bears the credit "starring Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band") made the rounds on TV in syndication.

!!''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'' contains examples of:

* AccidentalMurder: In the climax, as the leader of Future Villain Band strangles Billy Shears, [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields pulls him off...and he falls to his death in the struggle. In horror, she staggers back...and the giant dollar sign she was bound to sends ''her'' to a Disney Villain Death as well]].
* AdaptationExpansion: The original album is more or less a fantasy concert. The movie starts with a concert…and then there's the whole plot. Also, it incorporates songs from other [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] albums as well (''Abbey Road'' in particular).
* BigBad: [=F.V.B.=], which stands for Future Villain Band (Aerosmith).
* BittersweetEnding: Turns out to be [[spoiler: zigzagged. The instruments are recovered, but Strawberry Fields dies in the process...then Billy Preston appears]].
* BoundAndGagged: Mr. Kite after Mustard and the Brute steal the instruments, and Strawberry Fields in the lair of Future Villain Band.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: B.D. is the sort who will spike your drink with drugs to make you less resistant to signing his contract (he does this to Billy); Mr. Mustard becomes a smaller-scale version of this within Heartland, opening arcades and fast food restaurants as the town decays without the magic instruments.
* CosmicKeystone: A small-scale version -- the four magic instruments protect Heartland USA's SugarBowl status.
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: "When I'm Sixty-Four".
* {{Cult}}: Reverend Sun leads one that preaches the love of money.
* DeusExMachina: And it's a whopper. [[spoiler: Sgt. Pepper is reborn as Billy Preston and stops Billy Shears' suicide, restores Strawberry to life, punishes the supporting baddies, and returns the town to its original state.]] ''Whew!''
* DirtyOldMan: Mean Mr. Mustard was described as a "dirty old man" in the original song, and the film version bears this out when he kidnaps Strawberry Fields -- his advances towards her are how "When I'm Sixty-Four" is incorporated into the film. (It's interesting how they managed to take a happy song Paul wrote about his father and turned it into an extremely creepy song about an old man stalking a young woman. Kudos to the acting talents of the late Frankie Howerd in his last film.)
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields]], and the last quarter of the film deals with the aftermath of the "death" part.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: The lead singer of Future Villain Band]] ''and'' [[spoiler: in a rare heroic example, Strawberry Fields]]; unusually for this trope, we see the dead bodies on the ground. [[spoiler: The heroine gets better.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: Happens with two characters, though it's easy to miss the first case. Both are triggered by the same disaster, [[spoiler: the death of Strawberry Fields]].
** The first case is that of [[spoiler: her father]]; the means of the demise (car accident) is the setup for "A Day in the Life". It's easy to miss the detail because it only appears as a newspaper headline.
** In the second case it's [[spoiler: subverted with Billy, because [[DeusExMachina Sgt. Pepper reincarnates]] [[SuicidalGotcha and saves him]]]].
* {{Fembot}}: Mustard's assistants.
* FreudianExcuse: Parodied with Reverend Sun: He used to be Marvin Sunk, a crossing guard who was always teased by the children, so he decided to drop the "k" from his name and become a cult leader in order to brainwash all young people to serve FVB. Makes perfect sense.
* GoldAndWhiteAreDivine: [[spoiler: Reborn Sgt. Pepper]] wears gold and provides gold-and-white outfits to Billy and his bandmates for the big finale.
* {{Greed}}: All the villains '''love''' money, the BigBad most of all.
* GriefSong: "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" at [[spoiler: Strawberry's funeral]].
** As [[LampshadedTrope lampshaded]] by WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob in his review of of the movie:
-->-- '''Snob:''' Really? That's what "Carry That Weight" is about? [[spoiler: Pallbearing!?]]
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: "When I'm Sixty-Four" is used for ''this'' trope.
* TheIngenue: Strawberry Fields is a "free spirit" example.
* JukeboxMusical: One of the earliest examples.
* [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Loads And Loads Of Cameos]]: At the end of the film, the "SPLHCB Reprise" is sung by many, many, many rock musical acts. [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And Carol Channing]].
* MagicMusic: The original band's special instruments can produce this.
* MagicalNegro: At the end, [[spoiler:Billy Preston comes out of nowhere and [[DeusExMachina fixes everything]]]].
* MeaningfulFuneral: Held for [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields]]. Most, if not all, of Heartland USA gathers for the event by way of honoring [[spoiler: her efforts to save the town, which culminated in her death]].
* {{Narrator}}: George Burns as Mr. Kite, the only character who ''speaks'' onscreen in the film.
* NonActorVehicle: Most of the cast members are musicians with little or no acting experience; tellingly, they originally had spoken dialogue, but it was all dropped during filming.
* {{Novelization}}: Yes, there was a novelization of the film. It [[AllThereInTheManual gives some backstory and justification]] for F.V.B.'s desire to TakeOverTheWorld via music.
* ThePowerOfLove: When Billy is left unconscious after his fight with Father Sun, Strawberry's love -- and the song that gave her her name -- brings him around.
* RaceLift: In-story -- [[spoiler: Sgt Pepper was white; when he's reborn, he's black]]!
* RemakeCameo: Billy Preston as [[spoiler: the reborn Sgt Pepper]], the only person on-screen with a true Beatles connection, singing a song ("Get Back") that he in fact contributed to on the original recording even.
* SavingTheWorldWithArt: The film ends with [[spoiler: Sgt. Pepper magically coming back to life and [[DeusExMachina restores Heartland back to the way it was, rewinds Billy Shears' suicide, and brings Strawberry Fields back to life]] by singing "Get Back."]]
* {{Sidekick}}s: The Henderson Brothers are effectively this to Billy Shears, serving as bandmates, buddies, and wide-eyed comic relief while Shears fights villains and serves as the film's romantic lead.
* StepfordSmiler: Strawberry Fields can be seen as this at times. She wants the best for Billy and the band, but isn't happy being separated from them.
* Creator/SteveMartin: Making his feature film debut as Dr. Maxwell Edison.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Producer Robert Stigwood had previously had a huge hit with the 1975 film adaptation of ''Music/{{Tommy}}'' and was trying to repeat its success.
* SugarBowl: Heartland USA, thanks to their CosmicKeystone of the instruments.
* SelfDeprecatingHumor[=/=]AffectionateParody: The logo for B.D. Records is a spoof of RSO Records' mascot, which was the Bee Gees' label.
* TearsOfRemorse: Billy Shears is driven to these in the wake of [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields's death]], not only because [[spoiler: she died in the act of saving him]], but because the chain of events that led to the disaster could have been avoided if he and his bandmates had been able to resist the call of fame and fortune and stayed in Heartland USA.
* TelegraphGagSTOP: The protagonists receive a telegram from BD Hoffler, president of Big Deal Records.
-->'''Telegram:''' We hear your music is great STOP We need a tape of your songs and we need it now STOP And if we like your music we'll make you superstars and the money will never stop STOP Signed BD Hoffler, Hollywood
* TieInNovel: Yep, it had one....and neither Billy Shears nor the Hendersons speak in that version either. As with the TieInNovel of Stigwood's ''Grease'', this one has VERY little resemblance to the movie, and seems to be screenwriter Henry Edwards' attempt to fix what was wrong with the film by adding characters and making the story considerably more elaborate. Strangely, the book manages to reference the film in its narrative -- the book ends with Sgt. Pepper's band gaining an all-star line-up, as in the film, except the list of celebrities in this unseen band stretches for several pages, ending with the Beatles, the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and other figures associated with the film.
* TitleDrop: A visual example....we see the printing of the actual SPLHCB Soundtrack album during the "Good Morning, Good Morning" sequence.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: A RealLife example. The movie was based on a stage show called ''Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road'', the type of musical built around a single artist's/group's works which was innovative in the early '70s, yet commonplace now (''Theatre/MammaMia'', ''Stepping Out'', ''Theatre/JerseyBoys'', etc.)
* UnconventionalVehicleChase: While Mean Mr. Mustard is escaping in his van, the protagonists pursue him in a hot air balloon. It has a hand-cranked propeller to give them a little more speed.
* UnholyMatrimony: Lucy and Dougie Shears (Billy's brother and the manager of the new Lonely Hearts Club Band) are brought together by their mutual love of money.
* TheVamp: Lucy and the Diamonds.
* VillainLoveSong: "When I'm Sixty-Four" for Mr. Mustard.
* VillainSong
** "Mean Mr. Mustard" is sung by his robot servants and would ordinarily be a case of TheVillainSucksSong, but he wholeheartedly, cheerfully agrees with its description of him.
** "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" for Dr. Maxwell Hammer.
** "Because" for Reverend Sun.
** "You Never Give Me Your Money" for Lucy and Dougie.
** "Come Together" for Future Villain Band.
* VillainRecruitmentSong: "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (the opening section) for B.D.
* WidowsWeeds: The entire town wears black for [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields's]] funeral.
* WorldWreckingWave: Heartland USA instantly becomes a WretchedHive without the original band's instruments. Even when they are returned to their rightful place and the town is cleaned up, the townspeople are still too upset by [[spoiler: Strawberry Fields's death]] for it to be the SugarBowl it once was, until...
** WorldHealingWave: Invoked by [[spoiler: the reborn Sgt. Pepper]] in the denouement.
* WretchedHive: Heartland USA is this without its instruments, with Mr. Mustard its effective ruler.