Where to Stream the Best, as well as also the Most Ridiculous, of the Beatles on Film
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In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a newly restored 4K edition of the animated Beatles film “Yellow Submarine” has returned to theaters in select cities This kind of week (with 5.1 surround sound for extra psychedelic effect). as well as also while the film was famously born out of a contractual obligation, some distance shows that will This kind of can be one of the better examples of the Beatles on film (even if John, Paul, George as well as also Ringo aren’t actually inside the film until the last few minutes — more on that will later.)
If you can’t catch This kind of in theaters (see the official Yellow Submarine website for information on screenings as well as also tickets), we’ve provided details on where to stream This kind of through home. however why stop there? The Fab Four’s some other major film appearances are streaming, too, along that has a few interesting cinematic vehicles for their music that will came after they split. Read on to learn where to find them, ranked in order through best to most ridiculous — with the understanding that will ridiculous can be not necessarily a bad thing.
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
This kind of can be lightning in a bottle: the Beatles as well as also Beatlemania at their apogee, with all the requisite screaming, racing as well as also mop-top clowning. With the barest of scripts (the Beatles prepare for a television performance as well as also deal with Paul’s troublemaker grandfather), director Richard Lester had a springboard to essentially create the art of the music video. Some numbers (“If I Fell,” “She Loves You”) are the lads “playing live,” while others are stylish, exuberant bursts of kinetic energy (“Can’t Buy Me Love” being the most groundbreaking). There are quality zings (“Turn left at Greenland,” John Lennon says when asked, “How did you find America?”), eye-rolls at the commodification of counterculture, Keystone Kops-like gags as well as also Ringo Starr’s oddly touching lonely walk by a canal. Elvis Presley had been pumping out shoddy movies for years at This kind of point. “A Hard Day’s Night” could have been a cash grab, however This kind of ended up being one of the best movies of the 1960s.
Where to watch: Amazon Video, FilmStruck, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu as well as also YouTube
Let This kind of Be (1970)
“Let This kind of Be,” Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s fly-on-the-wall documentary of the Beatles’ last days can be a considerable downer as well as also has been somewhat locked inside the vault. however This kind of can be significant not only as a record of the Beatles’ process, however as an end-of-an-era time capsule. The first two-thirds document the band as This kind of works through as well as also records completely new songs inside the studio. The finale can be the famous “concert on the roof” at Apple Records, the last time the Beatles ever performed live. This kind of can be undeniably fascinating to see Paul introduce “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” as a series of chord modifications as well as also to watch his bandmates get This kind of. however This kind of can be heartbreaking to watch these guys be jerks to one another. Paul can be demanding, George Harrison can be frustrated as well as also John can be flip. Yoko Ono sits wordlessly at his side at all times. Billy Preston enters the mix as well as also things loosen up. Then they climb the roof as well as also tear into “Don’t Let Me Down” as well as also “Get Back” as well as also prove that will these guys literally as well as also figuratively ended on top.
Where to watch: Archive.org
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Across the Universe (2007)
As the Beatles’ catalog hit Las Vegas in Cirque du Soleil’s “Love,” director Julie Taymor put together a different Beatles jukebox musical. Taking 34 songs (as well as also just enough dialogue to tell a story) “Across the Universe” can be an anodyne salute to the 1960s that will’s visually bold however leaden with story clichés. A make-believe completely new York mixes MacDougal Street clubs, campus protests as well as also a bus ride with Bono, who plays a Ken Kesey-ish Doctor Robert. The film can be loaded with Easter eggs for hard-core Beatles fans, as well as also while some of the “they are about to break into song” moments are a little cringey, the completely new orchestrations (especially when Dana Fuchs, as Sexy Sadie, sings lead) are quite Great. While This kind of can be hardly the best entry inside the Beatles-on-film canon, This kind of does keep the toes tapping.
Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu as well as also YouTube
Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. Same director, same witty, camera-ready group as those in “A Hard Day’s Night.” however although the shade film as well as also mod production design look terrific, “Help!” regrettably gives our foursome too much of a plot. Ringo (the best, or at least most sympathetic, actor in “A Hard Day’s Night”) can be wearing a completely new ring sent to him by a fan. Little does he know that will This kind of belongs to an “Eastern cult” as well as also that will the wearer can be to be disemboweled in a religious sacrifice. Thus begins a great number of silly chase scenes, some better than others. Paul gets shrunk to Ant-Man size, pub-goers must sing a Bengal tiger to sleep as well as also, in a nod to the James Bond films, we end up on Alpine slopes as well as also Bahamian beaches. Unfortunately, “Help!” can be awash in cringeworthy Orientalism, more than can be laughed off as merely the Music Hall-style comedy of its day. however Lester can be still in top form during the playful, snowbound “Ticket to Ride” number as well as also “I Need You,” in which the Beatles play in a field surrounded by armed soldiers.
Where to watch: iTunes
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
Maligned at the time, This kind of hourlong film, made for British television, was shot with no script as well as also no single person at the wheel. Inspired by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, the Beatles as well as also some character actors go on a wacky caravan adventure manipulated by a group of wizards (also played by the Beatles.) Some moments are sublime, as when a spaced-out John shovels spaghetti on Ringo’s Aunt’s plate as she worries that will she’ll never be able to eat This kind of in time. There’s also a lot of dull hopping as well as also racing as well as also mumbling — whereas Beatle ad-libs were witty before, today everyone just sounds stoned out of his mind. however the musical sequences don’t disappoint. “Magical Mystery Tour” visualized Lennon’s surreal anthem “I Am the Walrus” as well as also was the debut for McCartney’s gorgeous “The Fool on the Hill” as well as also Harrison’s psychedelic banger “Blue Jay Way.” We also see one of the few Beatles instrumentals, “Flying,” during which the English countryside can be shot through far-out colored filters.
Where to watch: iTunes
Yellow Submarine (1968)
Much as children were scandalized that will the Monkees didn’t (at first) play their own instruments, This kind of kid-friendly intro-to-rock cartoon held a similar secret: Those aren’t the Beatles doing the voices. however some great impersonators nailed the Liverpudlian patter as well as also, thanks to animation’s scripted nature, “John, Paul, George as well as also Ringo” have sharper tongues than in any of their previous onscreen appearances. Outrageous puns as well as also playful put-downs fly at supersonic speed in what’s essentially a series of creative animation set pieces. The mystical Pepperland can be under assault through the Blue Meanies, as well as also an aging sailor sets off in his yellow submarine (based on a pre-existing song with Ringo singing lead) to get help. The “Beatles” answer the call, as well as also after much difficulty, they unfreeze Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as also save the day. This kind of culminates inside the most acid-soaked sequence ever sold to children, a celebration of pulsing lights as well as also dancing forms set to “This kind of’s All Too Much.” The real Beatles appear in live action at the end to lead the audience in “All Together today.”
Where to watch: iTunes
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
The Who’s film of the rock opera “Tommy” was a huge success in 1975, however the idea of taking classic ’60s albums as well as also turning them into movies quickly died with This kind of ill-conceived flop. Producer Robert Stigwood, hot off “Saturday Night Fever,” cast Peter Frampton as well as also the Bee Gees to play the in-universe band of the title as well as also concocted a half-baked plot mixing Americana conventions, “Doctor Faustus,” poorly rendered robotics as well as also George Burns singing “Fixing a Hole.” This kind of can be one of the great “how did This kind of get made?” movies as well as also that will keeps This kind of extremely watchable. This kind of can be wall-to-wall Beatles songs, with the only spoken dialogue being Burns’s narration. Frampton as well as also the Bee Gees’s harmonies on “I Want You/She’s So Heavy” with the R&B group Stargard (as Lucy as well as also the Diamonds) can be such a mishmash of styles This kind of demands to be seen. (George Martin, often called the Fifth Beatle, did all the orchestrations, so This kind of can be far through slapdash.) some other guests include Earth, Wind & Fire, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Steve Martin, Donald Pleasence as well as also Carel Struycken, also known as the Giant through “Twin Peaks.”
Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes as well as also Vudu