The Beatles on the Big Screen
Posted on 06/24/2019
The Fab Faux are no strangers to State Theatre New Jersey, but their latest show is like something we’ve never seen before. On Saturday, November 23 at 8pm they are performing a show full of songs from The Beatles original movies including A Hard Day’s Night, Help, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be.
During the peak of Beatlemania in 1963, The Beatles Manager Brian Epstein wanted to capitalize on the band’s success and pitched his idea of creating a movie to the band. At first, The Beatles had no interest in a movie being made about them; they felt that their ideas were going to be pushed aside by those of the director. It wasn’t until the band met Richard Lester that they changed their minds about the movie. Epstein secured Lester as the director, and recruited Alun Owen to be the playwright. After a long period of brainstorming ideas, they decided to make a movie about The Beatles starring The Beatles, since no one would be better to play the band than them. Owen was quickly fascinated by the crazy life The Beatles live, and wanted to authentically capture their lives while still creating a great film. He followed the band around on tour for a few weeks so he could get a sincere feel for their personalities and habits to recreate them accurately in the movie. All of the crew’s work resulted in the release of The Beatles first movie, A Hard Day’s Night.
When the film A Hard Day’s Night was released in 1964, the band was still relatively young so the audience did not expect the movie to be very entertaining; people just wanted to get as much of The Beatles as possible. Contrary to everyone’s belief, the movie was a huge hit, not just for the fans of the band but for people everywhere. The genius creation of Owen and Lester portrayed the band in a thrilling way that captured everyone’s attention.
The huge success of the first movie prompted the creation of a second movie in 1965; Help. This movie was centered on the adventures of Ringo, since his acting in the first movie was widely praised. In this fictional film, Ringo was sent a ring in the mail by a fan and he soon discovers that the ring is part of a cult and whoever wears it is the next one to be sacrificed. Ringo and the band have many exciting chasing and hiding scenes, and at the end of the film Ringo is rid of the ring and the curse of sacrifice. This film was met with as much praise as the first one, even though it had a fictional plot.
In 1967, the band released their third film entitled Magical Mystery Tour, which was unanimously declared their worst film by audience members around the world. There was no actual plot or script for this film; the camera just followed the band around on a road trip with the introduction of random characters throughout. Since this film received such negative reviews, the band created a fourth film as redemption for the third. The fourth film, entitled Yellow Submarine, was released in 1968 and was the band’s only animated film. The Beatles were not involved in the making of this film at all; they were not needed to be actors since it was animated and they got other people to voice the characters. The animated film was a huge success; it was one of the first limited animation films which introduced a new style of digital films to the movie industry that is still used today. The Beatles appeared in cameo roles in the last 10 minutes of Yellow Submarine and that was their only contribution to the film.
The film company was angered by the band’s lack of participation in the animated film, so they demanded another movie, this time the members of the band were to be in the starring roles. In 1970, Let It Be was released as their fifth and final movie together. This film documents the bands last months together leading up to their last performance in 1969 during a rooftop concert at the Apple Building in London. As the film progressed, the growing tension and distance between the members was easily seen which explained why the band ultimately broke up. Today, this film is not easily accessible like the rest of the films they created, since it shows some of the band’s darkest moments and hardest times.
Don’t miss out on the chance to experience The Fab Faux as they perform songs from The Beatles movie series with Hogshead Horns and Creme Tangerine Strings at State Theatre New Jersey on November 23 at 8pm.
By Jenna Goggin