Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
A documentary showing both how The Beatles made music together, and how they split up. Hundreds of hours of raw footage was condensed into the final product. The rooftop performance ending the film remains a rock-n-roll archetype. Written by
Ed Chen <email@example.com>
Following the argument with Paul McCartney seen in the movie, George Harrison went home and wrote the song "Wah-Wah", which he recorded for his first solo album two years later. Three days after the argument with McCartney, Harrison temporarily quit the Beatles after a row with John Lennon. Harrison was coaxed back a week later, after McCartney promised that they would start recording in the band's new Apple Studios, instead of Twickenham Studios. See more »
At one point rehearsing "I've Got A Feeling", John is heard singing (and bantering) with Paul, but his mouth isn't moving on camera. See more »
I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we pass the audition.
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I believe this candid look inside the troubled world of the later Beatles is a good account of why the world's greatest musical force ultimately broke up. I wouldn't easily recommend it to a "casual" Beatles listener, and certainly not at all would I suggest it for clueless "non-fans". But for the serious fan such as myself, this is fascinating to watch. Paul McCartney was the only Beatle at this point who was interested in trying to keep the band together; George Harrison was too busy getting fed up with Paul for telling him how to play his own guitar; Ringo Starr was lethargic and resigned to being the solemn background drummer; and John Lennon was so in love with Yoko Ono that he couldn't care less what the other three were doing anyway. So, it's this grim reality creeping into the once magical world of the Beatles' recording sessions that is tense and uncomfortable to watch here. But there is no denying that it's all frank, in-your-face, and well captured.
But it's not all ugliness. When Billy Preston is invited in for an inspired jam session, for example, everything seems like fun and games again. And the impromptu rooftop concert at the end of the movie displays The Fab Four at their best, playing great music together and having a lot of fun one last time as a unit, almost in spite of themselves. Of course, even with all its warts, there's always the music. Classic songs like "Two of Us," "I've Got a Feeling," "Don't Let Me Down," The Long and Winding Road," "Get Back," and the appropriate title tune itself are always there to make us feel good again. *** out of ****
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