All This and World War II

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All This and World War II
All this and world war ii.jpg
Promotional movie poster
Directed by Susan Winslow
Produced by Sanford Lieberson
Martin J. Machat
Music by Lennon–McCartney
Cinematography Anthony Richmond
Edited by Colin Berwick
Production
  company
Visual Programme Systems Ltd.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) November 12, 1976[1]
Running time 88 min.
Language English
Budget $1.3 million

All This and World War II is a 1976 musical documentary that juxtaposes Beatles songs, performed by a number of musicians, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s. It lasted two weeks in cinemas and was quickly sent into storage.[2]

Cast[edit]

The film starred: The Army of the Third Reich, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Milton Berle, Humphrey Bogart, Richard Burton, Neville Chamberlain, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Adolf Hitler, Bob Hope, Joseph P. Kennedy, Laurel and Hardy, James Mason, Benito Mussolini, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, James Stewart, and many others.[3][4]

Production[edit]

Although it was rumoured that Terry Gilliam turned down the offer to contribute animation to the documentary, Russ Regan, who conceived of the film, has stated that Gilliam was never asked.[2] 20th Century Fox asked Susan Winslow to direct with a budget of $1.3 million.[5] Winslow had previously participated as a researcher in the crew that produced Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (directed by Philippe Mora) which married 1930s newsreel and mostly Warner Bros. movie footage to gramophone songs of the period.

The musical director was Lou Reizner, who also produced the soundtrack album.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critics savaged the movie with gusto, audiences stayed away, and Fox promptly yanked the film from release.[4] The reviewer in the New York Daily News wrote that the film's PG rating had to have stood for "Positively Ghastly".[2] It appeared out of competition at Cannes in 1977,[6] has occasionally been shown at film festivals, and even on American cable TV.[2] On June 1, 2007 the film played a single midnight show at Landmark's Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.[7]

Distribution[edit]

The film has never been officially released on home video or DVD, but bootleg copies of the film are available from several collector-to-collector resources. A fairly high quality transfer is also available as an unofficial DVD release.[8]

Soundtrack album[edit]

All This and World War II
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released November 5, 1976
Recorded 1974–1976
Genre Rock
Length 98:45
Label Riva (UK), 20th Century (U.S.)
Producer Lou Reizner
Singles from All This and World War II
  1. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
    Released: November 18, 1974 (1974-11-18)
  2. "Get Back"
    Released: 1976 (1976)
  3. "We Can Work It Out"
    Released: November 1976 (1976-11)
  4. "Magical Mystery Tour"
    Released: 1976 (1976)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [9]

The original intention of the filmmakers was to use actual Beatles music in the film. The decision to use other artists covering Beatles music was made by the film's producers after they realised additional money could be made through a soundtrack album. The decision was a sound one, as the soundtrack actually generated more revenue than the film.

The album reached number 23 on the UK album charts, with a total of seven weeks on the chart.[2] Elton John’s rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was previously released as a single in 1974 and had been a number one hit.[4] Rod Stewart’s version of "Get Back" was subsequently released and became a UK hit single. Ambrosia’s cover version of "Magical Mystery Tour" was released and became a US hit single reaching #39 on the Billboard Charts.

The Bee Gees, who contributed three songs, would go on to star in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, another film that exclusively used Beatles songs.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lennon–McCartney.

  1. "Magical Mystery Tour" – Ambrosia – 3:52
  2. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" – Elton John – 6:15
    Features John Lennon (under the pseudonym "Dr. Winston O'Boogie") on lead guitar & backing vocals.
  3. "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" – The Bee Gees – 3:17
  4. "I Am the Walrus" – Leo Sayer – 3:49
  5. "She's Leaving Home" – Bryan Ferry – 3:07
  6. "Lovely Rita" – Roy Wood – 1:13
  7. "When I'm Sixty-Four" – Keith Moon – 2:36
  8. "Get Back" – Rod Stewart – 4:24
  9. "Let It Be" – Leo Sayer – 3:43
  10. "Yesterday" – David Essex – 2:44
  11. "With a Little Help from My Friends/Nowhere Man" – Jeff Lynne – 6:56
  12. "Because" – Lynsey De Paul – 3:24
  13. "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" – The Bee Gees – 1:54
  14. "Michelle" – Richard Cocciante – 4:00
  15. "We Can Work It Out" – The Four Seasons – 2:39
  16. "The Fool On The Hill" – Helen Reddy – 3:37
  17. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" – Frankie Laine – 3:27
  18. "Hey Jude" – The Brothers Johnson – 4:58
  19. "Polythene Pam" – Roy Wood – 1:30
  20. "Sun King" – The Bee Gees – 2:03
  21. "Getting Better" – Status Quo – 2:19
  22. "The Long and Winding Road" – Leo Sayer – 4:47
  23. "Help!" – Henry Gross – 3:07
  24. "Strawberry Fields Forever" – Peter Gabriel – 2:30
  25. "A Day in the Life" – Frankie Valli – 4:04
  26. "Come Together" – Tina Turner – 4:08
  27. "You Never Give Me Your Money" – Will Malone & Lou Reizner – 3:04
  28. "The End" – The London Symphony Orchestra – 2:26

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal. "All This and World War II: Overview". MSN Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ronnie (August 2005). "'All This and World War II': Rock's Strangest Film". Rock 'N Roll Case Study. Ear Candy Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ "All This and World War II 1976". The Video Beat. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Hall, Phil (October 1, 2004). "The Bootleg Files: 'All This and World War II'". Film Threat. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p258
  6. ^ Burridge, Shane (2005). "All This and World War II". rec.arts.movies.reviews. Web link. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Havens, Edward (May 30, 2007). "All This and World War II". FilmJerk. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  8. ^ "War is Hell!". Shocking Videos. Mark Johnston Enterprises and Shocking Videos. Retrieved September 5, 2011. "ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II (76) Finally available!" [dead link]
  9. ^ All This and World War II at AllMusic

External links[edit]