A biography of the rock music star.


Andrew Solt


Sam Egan, Andrew Solt





Credited cast:
John Lennon ... Self / Narration (archive footage)
Yoko Ono ... Self
Paul McCartney ... Self (archive footage)
George Harrison ... Self (archive footage)
Ringo Starr ... Self (archive footage)
David Bowie ... Self
Phil Spector ... Self (archive footage)
Cynthia Lennon ... Self - John Lennon's first wife
Julian Lennon ... Self
Sean Lennon ... Self
Al Capp ... Self (archive footage)
May Pang May Pang ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neil Aspinall ... Self (archive footage)
Fred Astaire ... Self (archive footage)
The Beatles ... Themselves (archive footage)


This "biography" evolves around the nearly 240 hours of film and videotape fortuitously taken by Lennon of his life. The archive footage is transformed into a fascinating life story of one of the most complex and fascinating men of the modern music era. This effort includes a 36 song soundtrack. Includes some very personal and insightful footage, never before made available to the public. Written by Todd Tidyman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Discover John...the angry youth, the musician, the radical, the husband, the father, the lover, the idealist...through his own words and personal collection of film and music.


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Did You Know?


The producers transferred all available footage and recordings to laser discs, logged each one into a database and used a computer to access cuts and assemble the edit. This was an early version of non-linear editing. See more »


[a homeless-looking young man is found wandering the grounds of Lennon's Tittenhurst Park estate]
John Lennon: Don't confuse the songs with your own life. I mean, they might have relevance to your own life, you know, but a lot of things do. And so we've met, you know? I'm just a guy, man, who writes songs.
Young Man: Yeah, I figured that if we met, I'd know, you know, just by meeting you.
John Lennon: But know what, man?
Young Man: That it all fits, you know?
John Lennon: Anything fits, you know? If you're tripping off on some trip, anything fits, you know?
Young Man: ...
See more »


Features Yellow Submarine (1968) See more »


Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Published by SBK Blackwood Music Inc.
under license from ATV Music (Maclen)
See more »

User Reviews

Very good moving documentary
23 August 2003 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

In 1987, seven years after John Lennon's tragic murder, a book came out. I've forgotten the title and the author, but it portrayed Lennon VERY negatively. It showed him as a cruel, egotistical monster who abused drugs and alcohol up to his death. The book was written by somebody who had never talked to anybody who knew Lennon. Yoko Ono was shocked and pushed to have this documentary made to set the record straight.

It's full of home movies, news footage, videos all narrated by John Lennon himself (he recorded over 200 hours talking about his life and work). It's not a whitewash of him--it does point out he was a mean drunk and he is shown swearing and telling off Phil Spector in a recording studio when a song was not working out. It also chronicles his remark about the Beatles being "bigger than Jesus Christ" and totally ignores how horribly he treated his first wife Cynthia. But, aside from that footage, there is also interviews with Johns wives, his children and, basically, everyone who knew him (curiously, none of the Beatles were interviewed). He comes across as a very talented, peace-loving man--he has his dark moments but everybody does. His confrontations with Al Capp and Gloria Emerson are just fascinating.

I remember seeing this in a theatre in 1988 and most of the audience walked out crying. 15 years later the ending still packs a punch. It shows people crying at the peace rallies held after Lennon's death and ends with the "Imagine" video him and Yoko did. Also "In My Life" plays over the closing credits. A fascinating, very moving documentary of a great man. Recommended.

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Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Imagine: John Lennon See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,412,213, 10 October 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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