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It Was 20 Years Ago Today (1987)

An examination of the classic rock album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the year of its debut, 1967.


John Sheppard


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Credited cast:
Peter Coyote ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
George Harrison ... Himself
Abbie Hoffman ... Himself
Timothy Leary ... Himself
George Martin ... Himself
Paul McCartney ... Himself
Malcolm McDowell ... Narrator
Derek Taylor Derek Taylor


This film examines the masterwork album by the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967, with its creation, themes and impact explored in turn. In addition, this film explores the summer of that year with the rise of the counter-culture and hippies for instance, and the whole notion that love and music could change the world. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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Documentary | Music







Release Date:

29 May 1988 (West Germany) See more »

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Features Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

A vivid, concise study of the cultural politics of a turbulent era of great hope.
3 November 2005 | by wsolomonSee all my reviews

"It Was Twenty Years Ago Today" directed by John Sheppard, for Granada Television, U.K., 1987. This is one of the best documentaries ever made. It is clear that the director, John Sheppard, had both a firm grasp of his subject and a brilliant ability to chose personalities and events which would tell the story with great effect. Then of course he had to edit all the footage. What is particularly impressive is the documentary's range: It addresses issues in the U.K. and in the U.S. The drug busts of British rock stars was a very telling episode, but the documentary's focus on the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco, and the levitation of the Pentagon, are as gritty, accurate, and real as it gets. This documentary was an enormous amount of work. Since we can presume that documentaries are made so that people can see them, it remains a disgrace that this documentary is not available for home video and educational use.

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