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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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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