Paul McCartney in Red Square (2003)

TV Special  -   -  Documentary | Music
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As the rock musician performs in Russia, the story of the Beatles' revolutionary impact on the Soviet Union is told.


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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Band Members
Brian Ray ...
Band Member - Guitars / Vocals
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seva Gakkel ...
Boris Grebenshchikov ...
Sergei Ivanov ...
Vladimir Kozloff ...
Andrey Makarevich ...
Himself (as Andrei Makarevich)
Olga Pershina ...
Vladimir Putin ...
Sergei Roldugin ...
Timothy Ryback ...
Artemiy Troitskiy ...
Himself (as Artemy Troitsky)


Just as much a role the expense of the cold war and the rise of communications technology had in causing the fall of the Soviet Union, the Beatles played a part in the region's true revolution in the head. In 2003, Paul McCartney performed in Russia, fulfilling a dream that its citizens never dreamed possible during the Soviet era. Between songs, the story of the pop cultural revolution is told that he was inadvertently part of that the Soviet authority could not stop. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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For decades, The Beatles were banned from Russia. That was yesterday...


Documentary | Music





Release Date:

18 September 2003 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Behind the Curtain: Memories from Red Square (2005) See more »

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Good Mix of Music and Documentary
14 February 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Paul McCartney in Red Square (2005)

*** (out of 4)

Part concert film, part documentary, this release covers Paul McCartney's shows in Russia during his 2003 tour, which was the first time he had ever played there. Through the documentary we learn about Russia's troubled past and how The Beatles and their music was banned from the country during the 1960s and if you were caught buying their stuff on the black market you could be arrested. Through interviews with the people we get to hear stories about what the group meant to them and the best parts of the film deal with them discussing how they thought it would be impossible to get to see them or any of their members live. I know many reviews have bashed this for not being a complete concert but there are plenty of those out there so the added story sets this apart from many other releases out there. I personally thought the story wasn't told all that well because it seems like the producers didn't want to get too political. Where the actually story starts to shine is when we hear stories from people who talk about what the music meant to them. What speaks even louder than their words is just seeing their reactions in the crowd during the concert footage. While we don't get a full concert there are still twenty songs played complete. The numbers include hits like Hey Jude, We Can Work It Out, Let It Be, I Saw Her Standing There, Can't Buy Me Love, Live and Let Live, Birthday, Maybe I'm Amazed and lesser known tracks like I've Just Seen a Face, Calice Skies and Two of Us. The concert is high on energy as McCartney is in a very good form with strong vocals and the band is great as usual. The highlight of the show has to be Back in the U.S.S.R. as the crowd certainly erupts.

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