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Magical Mystery Tour (TV Movie 1967) - Plot Summary Poster

(1967 TV Movie)

Plot

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Summaries

  • The Beatles first film since "Help" was largely Paul McCartney's project. The story follows a bus load of eccentric characters on a magic journey through the English countryside. Rather than a unified narrative, it becomes a series of psychedelic clips promoting various songs including "The Fool on the Hill," "Blue Jay Way," "Your Mother Should Know," "I Am the Walrus" and "Magical Mystery Tour." The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band are seen in a strip club playing "Death Cab for Cutie."

  • The Beatles charter a special bus for a surreal mystery tour.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film begins as Ringo and his aunt Jessie Robbins walk hurriedly to catch the Magical Mystery Tour bus for an afternoon trip to the English countryside, double meaning on the word "trip", as a major punning tool for the late 60s, when everybody was dropping out, turning on, and tuning in. As an unidentified voice over narrates, this trip to the country has alternate layers of meaning and understanding and this is evident in the overbearing presence of Jolly Jimmy Johnson (Derek Royle), the tour guide. As the tour progresses other characters pop up to meet John and George and Paul. There is The Lovely Starlet (Maggie Wright) whom everyone wants to meet, and there is the strange Buster Bloodvessel (Ivor Cutler) who has fun saying his name, and there is The Accordionist (Shirley Evans) who leads everyone in a sing-a-long, and there is Miss Wendy Winters the Hostess (Mandy Weet) who keeps thing in perspective. As the tour continues there is a road rally with the bus and several other followers in cars such as a Bentley and a Mini Cooper. The scene shifts to 5 magicians (John, Paul, George and Ringo, and Mal Evans) in a remote castle as the voice over explains overseeing the position of the bus, and in some ways controlling its movement. As the bus stops for a tour of a military post an Army Sergeant (Victor Spinetti) barks directions and instructions in an indiscernible voice as the tour group follows him through the camp. Along the way the narrative of the bus tour is interrupted by musical interludes which introduce ideas and imaginations of Paul, George and John who are taking the tour. The bus later stops at a strip club and all the men disembark to watch a band The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band play a rendition of "Death Cab for Cutie" as The Stripper (Jan Carson) performs. Then at the end of the day the tour turns home.

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