All This and World War II

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All This and World War II
All this and world war ii (1976 film) poster.jpg
Promotional movie poster
Directed bySusan Winslow
Produced bySanford Lieberson
Martin J. Machat
Music byLennon–McCartney
CinematographyAnthony Richmond
Edited byColin Berwick
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 12, 1976 (1976-11-12)[1]
Running time
88 min.
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1.3 million

All This and World War II is a 1976 musical documentary[1] directed by Tony Palmer. It juxtaposes Beatles songs covered by a variety of musicians with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films. The film was severely mauled by critics and lasted just two weeks in cinemas before being pulled.[2]

Cast[edit]

The film featured clips from the Nazi Germany army newsreels, 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 and James Stewart, among others.[3][4]

Production[edit]

The film was directed by Tony Palmer. He has previously released All My Loving, a history of 1960s music in 1968, and the 17-part rock history documentary series All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music.[5]

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

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]

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] A version of this film was released as a DVD plus two CD set by Gonzo Multimedia – TPDVD191 in 2016, entitled The Beatles and World War II, but this is a revised edition by original director Tony Palmer, utilizing different footage and a different soundtrack.[5]

Soundtrack[edit]

All This and World War II
ATAWW2.jpg
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedNovember 5, 1976
Recorded1974–1976
GenreRock
Length98:45
LabelRiva (UK), 20th Century (U.S.)
ProducerLou Reizner
Singles from All This and World War II
  1. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
    Released: November 18, 1974
  2. "Let it Be"
    Released: November 1975
  3. "Get Back"
    Released: 1976
  4. "We Can Work It Out"
    Released: November 1976
  5. "Magical Mystery Tour"
    Released: 1976
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 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 Albums Chart, with a total of seven weeks on that listing,[2] and number 48 on the Billboard Top 200.[10] It also made number 17 on the Dutch album charts and number 37 on the New Zealand album charts.[11] Elton John’s rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", when previously released as a single in 1974, had been a US 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 No. 39 on the Billboard chart.[which?]

The album was also released in 1979 with the title The Songs Of John Lennon & Paul McCartney Performed By The World's Greatest Rock Artists,[12][13] and two of the tracks ("Let It Be" performed by Leo Sayer and "Because" performed by Lynsey de Paul) were released on the Beatles cover version CD album With A Little Help that was released in 1991.[14]

The album was finally released on CD in 2006 on the Hip-O Select label[15] and again in 2015 as a limited issue release on the Culture Factory label complete with the original gatefold sleeve.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lennon–McCartney.

No.TitleArtistLength
1."Magical Mystery Tour"Ambrosia3:52
2."Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Features John Lennon (under the pseudonym "Dr. Winston O'Boogie") on lead guitar & backing vocals)Elton John6:15
3."Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"The Bee Gees3:17
4."I Am the Walrus"Leo Sayer3:49
5."She's Leaving Home"Bryan Ferry3:07
6."Lovely Rita"Roy Wood1:13
7."When I'm Sixty-Four"Keith Moon2:36
8."Get Back"Rod Stewart4:24
9."Let It Be"Leo Sayer3:43
10."Yesterday"David Essex2:44
11."With a Little Help from My Friends"/"Nowhere Man"Jeff Lynne6:56
12."Because"Lynsey de Paul3:24
13."She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"The Bee Gees1:54
14."Michelle"Richard Cocciante4:00
15."We Can Work It Out"The Four Seasons2:39
16."The Fool on the Hill"Helen Reddy3:37
17."Maxwell's Silver Hammer"Frankie Laine3:27
18."Hey Jude"The Brothers Johnson4:58
19."Polythene Pam"Roy Wood1:30
20."Sun King"The Bee Gees2:03
21."Getting Better"Status Quo2:19
22."The Long and Winding Road"Leo Sayer4:47
23."Help!"Henry Gross3:07
24."Strawberry Fields Forever"Peter Gabriel2:30
25."A Day in the Life"Frankie Valli4:04
26."Come Together"Tina Turner4:08
27."You Never Give Me Your Money"Wil Malone & Lou Reizner3:04
28."The End"The London Symphony Orchestra2:26

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "All This and World War II: Overview". MSN Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Dannelley, 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. ^ a b Marinucci, Steve (12 July 2016). "Wacky Beatles tribute 'All This and World War II' gets makeover and new title". AXS. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  6. ^ Burridge, Shane (2005). "All This and World War II". Newsgrouprec.arts.movies.reviews. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Havens, Edward (May 30, 2007). "All This and World War II". FilmJerk. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "War is Hell!". Shocking Videos. Mark Johnston Enterprises and Shocking Videos. Archived from the original on August 21, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2011. ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II (76) Finally available!
  9. ^ All This and World War II at AllMusic
  10. ^ "Top 200 Albums". Billboard. 1977-01-01. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. ^ "All This and World War II". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Various - The Songs Of John Lennon & Paul McCartney Performed By The World's Greatest Rock Artists". Discogs. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Various - The Songs Of John Lennon & Paul McCartney Performed By The World's Greatest Rock Artists". Discogs. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Various - With A Little Help". Discogs. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Various - All This And World War II". Discogs. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Various - All This And World War II - Original Soundtrack". Discogs. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

External links[edit]