Magical Mystery Tour (TV Movie 1967) Poster

(1967 TV Movie)

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Coom on, join in! What'sa matter with yer ?!
cerdo2 March 2001
The silliness of this film seems to be lost on many Americans as a matter of cultural difference, but to anyone brought up in the British or Australian tradition it's a shambolic delight. There are many moments which stick in the mind, but my favourite is probably the sing-along in the bus, when a drunken Ringo begins singing "I've got a looverly boonch of coconuts..." and, upon getting no reply from his fellow travellers, loudly and stroppily remonstrates, "Coom on, join in! What'sa matter with yer ?!". Magical Mystery Tour has the amateur, string-and-stickytape appeal of the early Gumby series, but with the bonus of Northern English sensibilities and great Beatle songs. The poor boys were shattered after the death of Brian Epstein, John Lennon's marriage was coming to a very unfortunate end, they had had enough of so many things and were moving into a new and frightening phase of their lives : the film can be seen as an expression of all this angst overlaid with nostalgia for the Music Hall, Crazy Gang, Goon Show comedy and tragic sea-side holidays of their, and many of their fans', childhoods, and the sheer, magical power of their creative imaginations always looking forward to new possibilities. I love it.
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Good, if taken in context
PeteRFNY24 December 2002
The problem with most people that don't "get" this little film is that they do not understand the concept of the "day trips to nowhere", which are VERY popular in England. For a small fee, you can hop on a bus and ride around the countryside doing nothing but getting drunk and having fun. And that is all this is about. There are some innovative video segments thrown in for some of the best songs in the Beatles catalog. Rest assured, if you "hated" Yellow Submarine (say wha?), you'll despise this. If you don't mind a half-hour of nonsense, you won't mind this either. Lighten up and dig it.
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Not The Beatles best, but worth a look
phonophile77292 March 2003
Although a great album,MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR was definitely not among The Beatles best works as far as movies are concerned, albeit a made for tv movie. The story does not seem to go in any particular direction and there is nothing tying any of the segments together. This movie which was first shown in black & white was a flop in England and only did a little better when shown in colour.

With that said, it is still worth a look just because it is the ONLY place you will get see a performance of I AM THE WALRUS. The other music video type segments include FOOL ON THE HILL, George Harrison's BLUE JAY WAY, YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW and FLYING. In conclusion, it is a must have for the die hard Beatle fan but, don't expect a HELP! or A HARD DAYS NIGHT kind of performance. Just sit back, enjoy the music and don't even try to figure out the rest.
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Not as bad as everybody claimed it to be.
ToddsterK22 September 2002
When this was first released in the '60s, it was critically panned and was called the Beatles' first flop. I really never listen to critics anyway, and thought that while the story was pretty goofy, the camera use was pretty innovative for the time, and, after all, it's another chance to see the Beatles playing their songs. Movies like this make me wonder why MTV thinks they invented the music video. "I Am The Walrus" piece has kind of an odd suspense in the way it is filmed.
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great music, good drunk fun
ungawa3729 December 2001
Such sourpusses out there! Anyone telling you that Beatles fans should pass this movie up is, well...NOT A BEATLES FAN. They are what John Lennon would refer to as a "day tripper". A part-timer. Not in it for the long-haul. Anyone truly fascinated with the Beatles' music and legacy, especially after thirty years hindsight, ought to be downright thrilled that these four amateur filmmakers could pull off such an original, amusing and tuneful homemovie (not to mention long-form video WAY before it's time) on their spare time between recording Sgt. Pepper and the White Album, no less. They got drunk, got on a bus and filmed away. They were free spirits with tons of love, and it shows. They obviously knew exactly what they were doing, and rough edges and all, it's quite charming after all these years. My father took me to see a double feature of Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour when I was eight, and I just can't believe how it holds up. Love them warts and all. Just as they made "Hey Jude" and "She Loves You", so did they make "Revoluton #9" and "Within You, Without You". Just as they made tight, economical movies, so did they make experimental ones like this. Four Stars(****), if not just because there's nothing like it, and never will be again.
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Weird, Creepy, Morbid, Disturbing, Fascinatingly Bizarre
Does anyone else out there find the whole "Magical Mystery Tour" package to be more than just a little creepy and disturbing? Me and my pot head buddies used to watch this all the time back in the 80s after it was released on home video (one of the first pre-record tapes I ever bought, and back then they were expensive) and I got to know it inside & out. Yet watching it now as an adult the one thing that kept striking me about the film was how it is so packed with morbid, bizarre little touches that are kind of disturbing.

First, think about the album cover, with these grown-ups dressed up as psychedelic circus animals. It is one of the creepiest covers for a pop record ever conceived of. I used to find it silly, now I see something darker and twisted in it that isn't all peppermint drops & incense. Then there are the songs themselves, amongst my favorite of The Beatles' catalog and utterly timeless examples of the psychedelic years' popular culture. Watching the band mime "I Am The Walrus" is a singular, unique experience: It was never performed or staged anywhere else by them. And George's utterly bizarre film for "Blue Jay Way" has gotten better and more mysterious over the years now that I have the patience to actually sit still long enough to see what he wanted to show us, and some of it is creepy as hell.

It's impossible to get around how deeply the music and imagery is infused with a seeming preoccupation with death, or mortality at any rate. It makes sense too since this was the band's first project after the death of their manager Brian Epstein at just 32 years of age. Where I used to look upon "Magical Mystery Tour" as The Beatles' attempt at Ken Kesey psychedelic twaddle I now look upon it as a subtle reaction to their grief and loss at having lost their friend & mentor right as they ceased needing him minding their daily affairs. The irony must have been unsettling even to Paul, who was largely responsible for this project and approached it as a way to keep themselves busy in the wake of Epstein's death. This was their expression of grief and is very unsettling because of it.

It's easy to chortle about the film's excesses being an example of how the boys needed someone to tell them "No" or how it was their first flop or misstep. I think that at the time it was impossible for their public to view the work and not dwell on the imperfections, which are numerous. Now in hindsight it's disturbingly odd, deliberately opaque and so purposefully unfocused that they must have had no idea what they were doing but had faith in themselves & proceeded as best they could anyway. It's probably exactly the movie the psychedelic age had coming to it too, waking everyone up from the party with a killer hangover and palpable sense of queasiness.

As others go to great lengths to point out, not everyone is going to enjoy this, even hardcore Beatles fans. I love the comment from another contributor of how they lost friends after showing this at a gathering: It's that kind of an experience. You'll either be fascinated by it or repulsed, as one should be by any example of artistic expression. What many may have a hard time accepting is that The Beatles were capable of making such an artistic statement, which is too bad for them. I say it's another brilliant masterpiece, though if you're looking for a trippy love fest you should probably stick with "Yellow Submarine", and if you want mop top foursome madness just watch "A Hard Day's Night" again. But for daring viewers who are content to let things be what they are this is a marvelous little head movie that may just creep you out if you let it.

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This movie is FLYING high says THE WALRUS
boowallace25 September 2005
I thought this movie was very random which was a good thing. The scenes would change often, but the skits(I guess you could call it that) are hilarious. From shoveling pasta to a Nascar race this movie was simply fascinating and definitely ahead of its time. Psychedelic(sp?)(there's a load of colors) indeed it was original and for all its worth it is good even though it was improvised a lot. The music is incredible. Fool on the Hill with scenes of Paul on the mountain are unique, I am the Walrus is creative, and Flying is just pretty. Blue Jay Way is just creepy if you ask me. This definitely a must see for any Beatles fan. ~Walker
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Had read the bad press for years, risked it - loved it!
edin18 June 1999
Having read the story of the "disastrous" and "shambolic" Magical Mystery Tour in various publications for years I wondered what I was doing purchasing the DVD. After all I hadn't really enjoyed "Hard Days Night" or "Help" (though I liked Yellow Submarine). From the second the title burst on the screen though, a grin spread over my face and stayed there even after the end. I loved it! Ringo was excellent, his scenes arguing with his aunt were priceless. The music was fab and the "Flying" sequence was brilliant. The "white album" is my favourite and this film is the visual equivalent. 10/10.
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A must-see for beatles-fans
This psychadealic story was, without no doubt, a milestone. It's always nice to see John, Paul, George and Ringo acting in a movie, especially when they play the role of wizards. The story is of no importance, but just watch the special effects (like in the song 'Blue Jay Way') and the funny scenes. I can imagine that non-Beatles-fans can find this a very bad movie, but if you have any respect for the fab four of likes their music ('I am the walrus','Fool on the hill','Inner light','Your mother should now')this is a must.

(P.S.: I enjoyed the 'coming-down-the-stairs-scene' a lot at the end of the movie)
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All you need is love
curtaincall900023 April 2003
hey this a great movie! the songs are wonderful and the whole thing is so much fun! one of my favorite scenes was when john was playing with that little girl and saying HAVE A GUESS! [what a sweetie!]. it was really cool when the beatles sang i am the walrus. george was fantastic when he sang blue jay way. the beatles are naturally fun and they express it to the extreme here! i guess i can dig why almost everyone hates it but true beatles [like me] will show some compassion and appreciate this movie as the classic it is.
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i love this movie!
wowiekazowie494 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you are easily amused, then this is the movie for you! My friends and I got the biggest kick out of this. We danced, sang, and my friend fell flat on her face at the end during the last part of "Hello Goodbye" while trying to do a dance. Ringo is so funny when he gets mad at his Aunt Jessie. Anyway, if you are not easily amused (or uptight) this movie would become a waste of time.

The Beatles have an incredible ability to make movies and sing...while maintaining the classic "Beatle" style. The best song in my opinion is "I am The Walrus" because of the odd costumes and the feeling of worrylessness (is that a word?). It just makes all of your other fears and worries go away. Anyway, this is a great of my favorites.
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My favorite Beatles film!
Rob Martinez10 February 2000
Magical Mystery Tour was the first project by the Beatles after the death of their manager and it shows. This film is disorganized, cluttered, plotless, psychadelic, over the top, and represents perfectly what the Beatles were living through at that present time.

And that's what film is all about.

Like "A Hard Day's Night" a mere three years earlier which captured a day in the life of the Beatles, this film shows what the Beatles were living and experiencing then. Imagine it: you're a famous British rock star who captured the world with Beatlemania, you're on your own now, you're watching and helping shape pop culture around the world, you're sampling the sexual, drug, and youth revolutions of 1967, and you want to capture it on film.

The Beatles tried to do that with this film and it's hit and miss. But where else will you see a performance of "I Am The Walrus"? You can see where each of the Beatles were heading: John wrote the spaghetti dream sequence and was in real life deeply into surrealism. George plays "Blue Jay Way" and his Indian mysticism comes through. Paul contributes "The Fool On The Hill" and supervised the film shoot. Ringo is giving the acting job in the film and went on to star in other 1960s films such as "Candy" and "The Magic Christian".

Many people have dismissed this film as a failure and a mess. Watch through the eyes of the Beatles and it's not so bad after all. When I first screened this movie, I watched it at least six times trying to find out the plot, etc. I failed but had fun watching it. And that's the whole point.
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Magical Mystery Tour
Seamus282911 April 2007
I was but a mere babe in arms when this film originally played on BBC Television in 1967 (and was trashed by both critics & audiences), so I didn't actually see it until years later, when I attended a Beatles convention, where it was screened with a batch of other Beatle related films. All I can say is...YOWZA! I guess I can see why our British cousins detested it. It was originally slated for a cinematic release, but was brought up by BBC for screening as a Xmas holiday feature (it was actually screened on the 26th of December,1967...and in black & white,no less). It fared so badly that NBC, who had American TV rights for screening it,backed out (no big surprise). It did turn up some years later in the early to mid 1970's, on the midnight movie circuit, playing to mostly stoned out potheads. I guess looking at it some years later, I would say that it is a period piece (check out the costumes that they wore back then). Maybe if I saw it, tripping balls, I would probably appreciate it all the more. Seeing it stone cold sober, it's a pretty lame attempt at a Beatles movie (although I admit, I do like some of the music in it).
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A truly crazy and zany effort by The Beatles
DennisJOBrien3 September 2006
Somehow a print of this film was obtained by a cinema in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 1970 or so, just three years after it had been shown on British television. I eagerly went to a midnight showing of it, as "Magical Mystery Tour" had never received a general release in theaters across America or on television. There we were, a sophisticated audience of international university students, laughing hysterically and some were even falling into the aisles unable to get up from the floor. Of course, some of the audience were stoned. I was completely sober, and found the audience reaction to be the funniest thing about the movie. It seemed as if everyone realized The Beatles were deliberately trashing their own circa-1964 wholesome image while making fun of traditional concepts of entertainment. For example, the "Your Mother Should Know" number is a satire of Hollywood musicals and dancing girls. The sillier this movie got, and the poorer the editing and sound quality became, the more the audience roared with laughter. They knew it was complete trash, but the feeling seemed to be that it was honest trash at the same time. The Beatles had always been known for speaking their minds, whether it was discussing Jesus Christ and rock music or complaining about U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam. So young people tended to respect their honesty and odd sense of humor. The movie was like an early version of the Monty Python comedy show ..... utter nonsense, but fun and zany nonetheless. I actually liked the songs in it, even though there was no rhyme or reason for them to be placed where they had been inserted into the picture. It is easy to see why it was misunderstood and panned when shown on British TV during the Christmas holiday season .... it was clearly not what was expected at the time by the general public.
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Underrated, but still not very good
Shaolin_Apu29 July 2006
'Magical Mystery Tour' presents the best band ever in the world (guess who) at their most creative period. During the phase that started from November 1966 with recording of Strawberry Fields Forever to spring 1968 with recordings of the Yellow Submarine soundtrack that one band did most of their best material ever. The six songs presented in the 'Magical Mystery Tour' are however alone better than what the group did with the movie.

At times the movie is even hilarious but perhaps too permissive adaptation of some scenes makes the overall atmosphere a bit too lame to be wholly enjoyable. It is sad that people will usually just remember the lame scenes only and forget funny ones. Therefore the overall impression will become negative to many viewers.

My score of this film is actually a combination of two separate categories: people who don't consider themselves as a Beatles fans they will get nothing more than just few cute tunes and for them this is a 4/10 movie. For Beatles fans this is about 7/10 for they will find many scenes and references certainly as entertaining as ever. Still even the fans can't be subjugated to enjoy everything and therefore not full score for even them.
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Magical Mystery Tour (1967) **1/2
JoeKarlosi10 January 2007
It's hard to accurately rate this unusual film, since I cannot honestly say I'd consider it "good movie-making," but it certainly still can be fun here and there, which is the whole point. It was rather haphazardly strewn together by The Beatles themselves as a self-made project not long after their manager Brian Epstein died in August 1967. It was originally shown on British television in December of that year but was harshly criticized and has always bore the notorious distinction of being the Beatles' first and only flop. It didn't help matters any that this very colorful psychedelic mind bender was incorrectly broadcast in black and white at that time, either. These days, however, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR has aged a lot better as a piece of sixties history and a look back on those wild and exuberant times.

There isn't any plot to speak of here; we see Ringo Starr and his ever-quarreling fat aunt Jessie boarding a special tour bus consisting of the three other Beatles and a zany cast of misfits and oddballs. From there, things get crazier and crazier as the bus travels from one absurd situation to the next. Some of the highlights involve Ringo and his tubby aunt's constant bickering, which is amusing to watch, and a surreal dream sequence written by John Lennon which has himself in the part of a maniacally grinning restaurant waiter who literally shovels heaps of spaghetti onto the table of the overwhelmed fat woman. One thing that may always be counted on within any Beatles movie are great songs, and here we're treated to early MTV-like vignettes of John's I AM THE WALRUS, Paul's FOOL ON THE HILL, and George's BLUE JAY WAY. In truth, the I AM THE WALRUS segment along with a special grand finale featuring the four Beatles spoofing it up by doing a dance routine down a ballroom staircase to the tune YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW are worth the price of admission alone. **1/2 out of ****
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So-so, yet...good
wierzbowskie31 January 2000
I am a bealtes fan, as others are,too (Duh). I thought some parts of this movie trailed off into nothing, but in all it was pretty good. the midget, the fat lady, even the stripper (Censored). If your a fan of the Beatles or weird film making style rent this movie, but if you just want a movie with solid story and plot then, well you're the fool on the hill.
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If anyone other than the Beatles would have done this, it today would be seen as a complete disaster.
MartinHafer19 September 2011
When this DVD began, I was surprised how degraded and faded the film was. It just goes to show you that not everything about the Beatles was adored. In fact, when this made for TV film was shown on BBC, it bombed...badly. So badly that the film wasn't shown on American TV--which made me curious to watch it! I occasionally like to watch film failures--either to marvel at how bad they are or to re-assess and see that they weren't so bad after all.

If I try to describe the film's plot, I really can't. It's all a rather incoherent stream of consciousness piece that looks like the four guys just chucked ANYTHING into the film--and in some cases, I am pretty sure this is what happened. In between some terribly unfunny comedy bits, there are a few music videos and in many ways it seems like a much, much lower budgeted version of Paul McCartney's later vanity film, "Give My Regards to Broad Street".

As I sat watching this film, I looked through some of the IMDb reviews. Some hated the film or saw it as a disappointment. Others, however, were such die-hard fans of the group that I honestly think a sizable minority would have loved the film if it consisted of the Fab Four picking each others' noses for 60 minutes. The film is an artless mess and demonstrates that occasionally extremely talented people delude themselves into thinking this talent extends to many other aspects of their lives. In this case, Paul McCartney appeared to think he was creating something new and different....and in a good way. Well, it's not--at least not in a good way. Now it is NOT because of the surrealistic aspects of the film. Some folks can make this work (such as the folks who did "Monty Python" just a year later) but if NOT done right, it can come off as very amateurish and puerile---like this film. Any way you cut it, it's a terrible film despite some nice songs. But, when it comes to their songs, the ones used in this movie look like castoffs from their other movies--stuff that is far from their best work. The same can be said for the entire movie, actually. The film earns a 2, as the music, at times, is a nice break from the rest of this mess.
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One of the most bizarre things I've ever seen.
Tommy Nelson25 April 2007
Stars: The Beatles as themselves and various characters.

I have no idea what the Beatles were thinking when they made this, and I'm sure neither did they. "Magical Mystery Tour" has the loose story of a group of people on an English tour bus that's out of the ordinary. Strange things happen on this bus, like random music videos and really random dreams of food and love. I guess making this movie was a way to show off some of the Beatles' songs, but I would've much preferred the music videos to sitting watching this. It makes too little sense for it's own good. The reason this deserves a 3, is because I did enjoy some of the songs (which were spread out, making us wait through nonsensical sub-plots), and even though it was totally random, some of the daydreams amused me. The I am the Walrus segment of this is so strange, with an already out there song, now made in to a music video where they were walrus heads and cut to random fires and John Lennon dressed as the egg man. One of the main positives for this, is it is short, running at only around an hour, so you don't have to sit through much. I'd really only recommend this to Beatles' fans, or for people that want to really experience a bad acid trip. For me, this is much worse than the already lacking Yellow Submarine film, and is almost unwatchable.

My rating: * 1/2 out of ****.
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Even The Beatles Can Have A Flop...
fuad11388 April 2005
If you have the choice of watching the Beatles movies in order of quality, MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR would definitely be in last place, firmly holding the rear. People who have watched this expecting the same hilarity, sincerity or wit that have come from the other Beatles movies will feel like they were kicked in the rear.

In any case, while it is indeed not a great movie, it is a strange one that bears watching at least once so you can say "Wha??" right along with the other Beatles fans. It's like a car accident... and we all know how fun those are to look at.

The premise of the movie was cooked up by Paul McCartney on an overseas flight, and shared with John Lennon. The idea (and ultimate paper-thin plot) was to scrounge up actors, Apple Corp. employees and others to join them on a "trip" via bus, improvise characters and situations, and film everything as it happens. Unfortunately... nothing much actually happens on the bus, and as John Lennon later lamented, it was "... the most expensive home movie ever made." John's quote sums up a lot about this lackluster production... poor film quality, terrible "acting", rock-bottom "improvisation" and a definite feeling that there was no way to end this movie easily.

Despite this unbelievably poor idea, there are moments of surreal abstractions that make it worth watching. The movie features the only filmed version of Lennon singing "I Am The Walrus", which watching it makes one think that MMT was the casts off of Sgt. Pepper.

Many have speculated that this production would never of happened if Brian Epstien had been alive at the time to stop them. It is also interesting to note that their greatest album (Sgt. Peppers) was followed by what many considered their worst (Magical Mystery Tour).
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Great trip out!
badger-1421 October 2004
If you are heavily into 60's music and especially The Beatles then this is a perfect time capsule for you to explore. Don't watch it looking for a great movie with good plot and strong characters, it's not going to provide that and doesn't attempt to. This film was hugely popular at my University in the early 90's, has gained in popularity over the years (unfairly dismissed in 1967 because it was shown in black and white and at primetime on BBC1!!!!!!!) and it's a fascinating psychedelic film of the 1967 summer of love. The music is of course fantastic and the "I am the Walrus" and "Fool on the Hill" pieces particularly effective. Younger people into their psychadelia will love it. Best viewed stoned
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This IS a home movie
MovieMan028314 January 2004
Watching this is like sitting at a friend's house and watching a movie they made with their friends as stoned teenagers. They'll get a huge kick out of it, but you'll be alternately baffled, amused, and embarrassed. Some of the humor has Monty Python potential, but the timing is off--and no wonder, the Beatles were stoned out of their mind. Nonetheless, it's worthwhile as a historical and cultural artifact and besides, the songs are fantastic. Fool on the Hill meanders; as many have noted, it's just Paul wandering around on a hillside. Though the view is great, not much is done with it. Your Mother Should Know is a lot of fun; the dance the Beatles are doing is silly but somehow fits in with the catchy tune. The true standout of the picture is I am the Walrus, which is actually an excellent music video, well-edited, and really hilarious. It seems that the whimsy the Beatles were trying to achieve here was better done in Yellow Submarine--though ironically, the Beatles had almost nothing to do with that movie (it was a cartoon and their dialogue was dubbed by actors). Go figure.
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A bit of a mess but fans of The Beatles might like it
Tweekums7 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It is hard to describe this film as there is no plot as such. A group of people, including The Beatles board a coach to go on a 'Magical Mystery Tour'... the problem is it isn't very magical. As they travel through fairly nondescript English countryside and various odd things happen; occasionally amusing, occasionally disturbing but more often than not just weird. The funniest scene was probably the strange race around a disused airfield and the most disturbing was the one where Ringo's aunt is in a restaurant and food is literally being shovelled on to her table. There are of course a few Beatles songs woven into the film but with the exception of the title track, 'Fool on the Hill' and 'I Am the Walrus' they aren't among their better known songs.

Many of the sketches feel like those Monty Python would be doing a few years later, so credit must be given for being ahead of its time; perhaps if the sketches were a bit more polished and given a vaguely coherent link it would have been better or even good. I was also hoping for a few more of The Beatles songs. Over all I was quite disappointed; perhaps because when I sat down to watch it I'd actually expected it to be quite good... as far as TV specials goes it is far from the worst though... I'd watch this again before I dared watch 'The Star Wars Holiday Special' again! On the plus side the recently restored print does look good.
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Are you ready to go? Splendid!
PaulMcC12 January 1999
This is my 2nd favourite Beatles movie. I enjoy the complete weirdness of it and music performances also included. This movie defines the perspective of the mid to late 60's. I recommend it to any Beatles fan.
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Brace yourself, and you may just get another enjoyable Beatles film
k_wedge27 July 2000
Being a die-hard Beatles fan and having seen A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and Yellow Submarine already, naturally I just couldn't live without seeing Magical Mystery Tour. I had read the harsh critics' reviews and heard the disappointed comments from other fellow Beatlemaniacs so I braced myself for the worst. It was a good thing, too, because it made the movie all the better. Had I thought that this film would be as brilliant as the previous three I had seen I would have also been as disappointed. But I found that if you don't let the extreme (acid-influenced) weirdness get to you, it can be quite an enjoyable movie. Not to mention the music selection was a good bargain, the Beatles being in their peak of music creation.
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