The Compleat Beatles

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The Compleat Beatles
Compleat Beatles.JPG
videocassette cover
Directed by Patrick Montgomery
Produced by Patrick Montgomery,
Stephanie Bennett
Written by David Silver
Starring John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
George Martin
Marianne Faithfull
Bruce Johnston
Billy J. Kramer
Gerry Marsden
Billy Preston
Tony Sheridan
Narrated by Malcolm McDowell
Music by The Beatles
Distributed by MGM
Release dates May 28, 1982
Running time 119 min.
Language English

The Compleat Beatles, released in 1982, is a two-hour documentary, chronicling the career of the Beatles.[1] Although it has since been supplanted by the longer and more in-depth documentary Beatles Anthology, The Compleat Beatles was for many years largely regarded as the definitive film about the Beatles. The word "compleat" is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the intentional misspelling of "Beetles" and a reference to the famous book on fishing, The Compleat Angler.

Narrated by actor Malcolm McDowell, it includes extensive interviews with a number of sources close to the Beatles. Some of the people interviewed are producer George Martin, their first manager Allan Williams, Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooler, music writer Bill Harry, and musicians Gerry Marsden, Billy J. Kramer, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Preston and Tony Sheridan. The film also includes archival footage of interviews with members of the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein. Authors Nicholas Schaffner and Wilfred Mellers are among the commentators who offer their views on the band's career. The Compleat Beatles also features early concert footage, behind-the-scenes background on the making of their albums, and candid footage of their often obsessed, hysterical fans.

Directed by Patrick Montgomery,[2] the film was produced by Delilah Films/Electronic Arts Pictures and released theatrically by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists in 1984.

Quotations from the film[edit]

"It wasn't their music which sold them to me; it was their charm. They were very charming people."—George Martin.[3]

“They generally wrote their own songs…they would play them, one to the other…It was very much a competition, and a very healthy one.”—George Martin

“At the moment they were being given a philosophy in which they could live their lives as individuals, at that very second, Brian died: the one who wanted them to be as a group.”—Marianne Faithfull

Narration in the film[edit]

These are extracts from the narration in the film - read (but not written) by Malcolm McDowell.

"The weary faces on the cover of the next British LP, Beatles for Sale, showed that Beatlemania was taking its toll."

"Millions bought the Sgt. Pepper album. Critics and musicians everywhere praised it. It was the Beatles' masterpiece."

"Magical Mystery Tour…was their first venture following Brian’s death. Largely a project of Paul’s, the idea was to travel the English countryside in a bus filled with friends, actors and circus freaks, and to film whatever happened. Unfortunately, nothing did."

"It had to be stoically accepted that the Beatles were, in the end, a phenomenon of the sixties; the seventies, and beyond, were only to feel their influence."

"“Hey Jude” was their first release from the newly formed Apple Corps. The song was seven minutes long, double the length of most singles. Radio stations usually refused to play a song that lasted more than three, but once again the Beatles were the exception to the rule. “Hey Jude” became the Beatles’ largest-selling single of all."

"Over the last 18 months, John, George, and Ringo had all privately threatened to quit, only to be coaxed back by Paul. Now it was Paul's turn. The release of his solo album, McCartney, on April 17, 1970 made it official. The Beatles, the greatest pop group of all time, were no more."


External links[edit]