Runtime: 97 minutes
Starring: The Beatles
Production companies: Apple Corps Ltd.
White Horse Pictures
Written by: Mark Monroe
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by Nelson Cumming
I am a Beatle fanatic. When I was fifteen I didn’t have a job so what I did was I saved pocket money from my parents to purchase physical copies of the album and the presents I got from my birthdays were either Beatles t-shirts or picture books. I also watched “The Beatles Anthology” documentary online until I used all my parent’s Internet data and made the internet run at a very slow speed for nearly a month. That was how much a fanatic I was.
So you can imagine that I was excited to hear that there was a new Beatles movie that was sponsored by the surviving members of The Beatles and had all their original songs. The Beatles: The Touring Years aims for a blast-from-the-past experience that gives the interviewees to recall the experience while the audience tries to relive it. It succeeds on that level.
The Beatles: The Touring Years is a title that explains the premise. It is a documentary about the Beatles from their first years in Hamburg Germany to the final performance of their touring career at Candlestick Park in America in 1966.
Like The Beatles themselves: The movie is fun!
I believe that this was put well together as a whole in terms of making a movie fun and informative. There are accounts from famous people who watched The Beatles perform that was unexpected and insightful. It’s one of those documentaries where you are excited about people’s experiences because you have either had or want to have an experience meeting the fab four.
Even as a Beatle’s fan, there was a couple of small, trivial facts that I didn’t know which I found interesting. I, for instance, didn’t know that The Beatles were one of the first bands that were so popular with people that event organizers had to use stadiums instead of concert halls to fit as many people as possible. It’s something that is a given today.
There was also other insider knowledge that I didn’t know about like Brian Epstein and also how historical events that were impacting the band at the time. If Beatles fanatic like me didn’t know everything, there is something for every Beatle fan to gain knowledge from in this movie.
Too good to be true? Well…
Because this film is designed to cast a shining light on the band at the time, there comes the one flaw of the documentary. At times it feels like a revisionist historical documentary. There were many important people that were around the Beatles at the time that simply was not mentioned, nor did they elaborate on some of the most interesting events during their tours.
The main reason for this I believe is because some of the stories were not as lighthearted as the rest of the material, but a lot of that stuff is damn interesting. I would have loved it if they did a scene about former members Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. Also, because the film is about their touring years which means their time between 1967-1970 is barely mentioned (except for their rooftop concert in 1969) When you realize who they dedicate the film to you have to forgive them for that.
But mostly, The Beatles: The Touring Years is a fun innocent documentary/musical hybrid with plenty of songs from their mop top era to enjoy. Their personalities are charming and fun. If you are a fan of the music or you have seen them live, you will be a fan of the film. ***3/4