"So great was the responsibility of protecting the Beatles that the Miami Beach Police Department specially assigned Sergeant Buddy Dresner to take care of their security. He was allocated over 20 policeman to help him. The protection of the Beatles was literally a 24 hour a day job, and Dresner was forced to temporarily abandoned his family and stay with them at the Deauville. He devised secret lapel badges, set up booby traps for invading fans, and arranged ingenious means of escape from the hotel. His job was difficult, not only because of the fans, but because the Beatles themselves often felt like going out and looking for fun during their week in Miami. Even the simplest excursion required planning for security.
One day the Beatles visited the home of Sergeant Dresner and had dinner with his family. It was a simple down-to-earth occasion, perhaps the only one during the whole of their American trip. The boys found it very relaxing to be amongst ordinary people again. For them, it was like being with their own families. The day was not only relaxing, but somewhat educational because this was a real American family with all the little differences. It gave them their first insight into the way of life of ordinary Americans."
- Dezo Hoffmann (official Beatles photographer)
From his book, "The Beatles Conquer America"
“Buddy& the Beatles” is a musical family comedy and a true story of a small town police sergeant who is assigned to bodyguard the most famous rock band on the planet and ultimately, he must convince that band to help save his family!
In 1964, during the Beatles first visit to America, this happened to Sergeant Buddy Dresner of the Miami Beach police department. Unfortunately, Buddy was already trying to heal a suffering marriage as he was working the midnight-to-eight shift and his wife, Dottie, was working 9 to 5 at her new job at the local junior high school. This “ships passing in the night” thing was a real problem. Buddy had planned a surprise getaway with Dottie for the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend and this special assignment now made him have to cancel. But he promises to make time for his wife on that special day.
Brian Epstein, the flamboyant manager of the Beatles contacts Buddy and inquires about the security arrangements for the groups’ arrival. Buddy figures that since he only needed four men to guard President Kennedy at the same Deauville Hotel only a few years earlier, that he'd use those same four men for this job. When Buddy first tells him that he planned on using only four men, Epstein is floored. He says, “As I look down on the street below here in New York, I see 200 men on horseback." Buddy says that Miami Beach is a little island and that there are only 60 men on the entire force! He soon realizes that he's in way over his head and must now be very creative to make up for the lack of manpower. Also, this assignment now starts causing many problems in his family life.
First, he decides to move in and live with the group. Unfortunately, this happens on Valentine's Day, which puts him in the doghouse with Dottie for breaking yet another promise. Then, he feels compelled to lie to his children about where he is living and when his 12-year-old daughter, Jeri, finds out about the lie, she feels betrayed, perhaps the biggest betrayal of a teenage girl in the history of teenage girls!
Buddy tells Dotty that The Beatles are scheduled to leave on Monday after the Ed Sullivan broadcast and that he will make up for all the past disappointments. Also scheduled to leave is Brian Epstein and all their money and since Buddy was showing the Beatles such a good time, they decided not to leave and wanted him to stay on with them. Since he had promised Dottie that he would make amends for having ruined Valentine’s day, he must now break yet another promise. These nine days were the most that the couple had spent apart since the day they met. Also, little Jeri had been trying to guilt her father into making up for his huge betrayal of her. Soon the Beatles realize that they are partly responsible for the crisis in the Dresner family and they gladly volunteer to help him in his quest to save his family.
Buddy comes up with clever plans to show the Beatles a good time while having no money. One day The Deauville elevator doors open to reveal Buddy dressed in a laundryman's uniform. He proceeds to roll two loaded laundry carts out of the elevator as The Beatles are obviously inside covered in nasty used linens. He bangs the carts against the walls on purpose. He easily passes through the crowd outside and slams the carts into a waiting laundry truck and they make a clean getaway. Prankster Buddy swerves the truck wildly, which bounces the group off the walls. This reckless driving is noticed by the police who pull them over to discover that it's only one of their own, Buddy. Inside the truck the Beatles start pretending they're being kidnapped. Buddy explains to the cops that he's just jogging the memories of some uncooperative witnesses and the cops give him a wink of approval. As the light turns green, Buddy pulls away and drives right by Dottie who is headed in the opposite direction. She glances up at the face of the man driving the truck. She thinks she recognizes him but shakes her head and says, "Naw, couldn't be?”
On another occasion the Boys convince Buddy that they have to visit Dottie at work. They drive over to the school after classes had ended for the day. The guys creep along until they reach Dotties’ office door. Buddy gives the knob a turn and swings the door open as if to yell "surprise". Dotty looks up. Suddenly, down the hall, the auditorium doors fly open as band practice has ended. The Beatles are spotted immediately and HERE THEY COME!!…It’s just kike a scene out of the movie, “A Hard Days Night”. They have to dive into the car windows and barely escape. Once again, Dottie believes she is imagining things.
Buddy introduces the boys to the television show, "The Outer Limits." The TV shows a space alien using a raygun to zap his enemies. He says, "I could surely use a gun like that. I'd be like Captain Marvel zapping all the bad guys. ZAP!! Good-bye Mr. bank robber. ZAP!! Good-bye Mr. Murderer... Hold it right there or I'll zap you right between the eyes... ZZZAP!!” (This also later becomes a lyric in the song, “Bungalow Bill”)
Down in the lounge they catch a performance by comedian DON RICKLES. The highlight of the evening is when Rickles says, "Look at this, a Jewish cop guarding four Zulus when all over the city there's raping and pillaging going on. D'ya want some advice? You should quit the police department and get yourself a steady job!!!” This becomes a running joke between Buddy & the Beatles. (It also became a lyric in the song, “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”).
The only thing left to do now is make amends with Dottie and the three Dresner children. They cleverly sneak out of the hotel and drive to their house for a home cooked meal and the shear act of bringing the Beatles home for dinner – Saves the family.
I imagine the style of this movie to be an homage to the film, "A Hard Day's Night," and the last shot of our movie will be a cut borrowed from that movie where Paul points a hand held hair dryer directly at the camera and says, "ZZZAP!!!"