ABBA: The Movie is a feature length film about the pop group ABBA's 1977 Australian tour. It was directed by Lasse HallstrÃ¶m, who directed most of the group's videos. The Movie has become something of a cult film among ABBA fans. The film's release coincided with the release of ABBA: The Album, that year's studio album from the group, and features many songs from that album as well as many of their earlier hits, and one, "Get on the Carousel", unavailable anywhere else.
The film has a very loose plot which is little more than a vehicle to link together the concert footage. It concerns the adventures of Ashley Wallace (Robert Hughes), a naÃ¯ve radio DJ who is sent by his boss (Bruce Barry) to get an in-depth interview ("Not an interview, a dialogue", demands his boss) with the group, whose fame and stature neither he nor Ashley have the first clue about, which is to be aired on the day ABBA leave Australia. Needless to say, Ashley singularly fails (and the fact that he has accidentally left his press card behind at the radio station doesn't help matters!), and Â– armed with his trusty reel-to-reel tape recorder Â– is forced to follow the group all over Australia, experiencing repeated run-ins with the group's bodyguard (Tom Oliver), as well as his increasingly exasperated boss, who is threatening to fire Ashley unless he gets the interview. Eventually, a stroke of luck at the hotel where Ashley happens to be staying at the time has him bump into Stig Anderson, the group's manager, who grants him an interview. Unfortunately, he sleeps in (earlier in the movie, in a dream sequence, Ashley has become ABBA's best friend; the dream sequence was also used as the video for the single "The Name of the Game" in some territories) and ends up missing the appointment. Just as Ashley is about to give up (by this time, he doesn't even care that his press card Â– which has also been travelling across Australia, continually forwarded by the postal service Â– has finally arrived!) and resign himself to the fact that he will soon be unemployed, something truly miraculous happens: he bumps into the group in an elevator at the hotel and manages to finally get the interview he needs Â– just in time to meet the deadline for the radio show to go out on-air. He puts together the final edit in the back of a taxi on the way back from the airport, as ABBA depart Australia for Europe. With only seconds to go, Ashley makes it back to the radio station where, having set the tape up on the studio's playback machine, he relaxes at his control desk to listen as the interview Â– which he worked so long and hard to obtain Â– is broadcast over the airwaves down under.