It was Fifty Years Ago Today (2017) | Home Ent release
Alan G Parker (Hello Quo) has included some previously unseen Beatles photos and footage in his biopic that opens with the aftermath of the band’s disastrous 1967 US tour that inflamed religious Christians in Texas, and culminates with the band’s intoxication with the Maharishi. This biopic follows Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week (2016) but ironically contains no tunes, a real drawback for a film about a legendary band. That said, fans will lap up the informative talking heads interviews from those personally involved: Ray Connolly; Brian Epstein (footage) and his secretary (live); John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird; Jenny Boyd (Patti’s sister); Hunter Davies – their biographer; and Tony Bramwell.
The Beatles are a household name and will always provide endless fascination for generations to come. Aside from their music, the band’s honesty and disenguousness comes across in spades as a tribute to an era that was still genuinely free from the trappings of today’s celebrity and show-business nonsense. Parker’s film is very much wallpaper, but worthwhile wallpaper if you’re Beatle mad. Those really keen to get to grips with The inside story would enjoy Sir George Martin’s recollections in his 1994 paperback Summer of Love. MT
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It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond is in cinemas 26th May, including special Q&A previews and On Digital 1st June and DVD 5th June.