No menu items!
56.8 F
San Jose
Friday, May 10, 2024

The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Re-released After Over 50 Years

“Let it Be”, the documentary film about The Beatles released just after the band’s break up in 1970, hit screens again on Wednesday — the first time it has been legally available in over 50 years.

Shot in January 1969, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s movie contained glimpses of the tensions and acrimony between John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr that eventually led to them disbanding.

“George wasn’t getting many songs recorded because John and Paul were so prolifically brilliant,” Jonathan Clyde of the Beatles’ Apple Corps told AFP.

“John had met Yoko (Ono) and was making his own journey, Paul was doing what he wanted to do and Ringo had started shooting films,” he said. The film shows the “Fab Four” in rehearsals and recording sessions for the album “Let It Be”. 

The last part features their unannounced 40-minute concert on the roof of their record company building on London’s Savile Row. It was restored from the original 16mm negative with the sound remastered using the latest de-mixing technology, and has been re-released on Disney+.

More objective

Clyde said the film covered a period when they had tried to rekindle the same spirit they had when they started out performing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club and in Hamburg.

But it became tainted by the break-up in April 1970, a month before the film was released, unfairly making it a “sort of odd postscript to the end of their career”, he added.

“They never felt a great love for ‘Let It Be’ because I think it was associated with all the trouble,” he told an audience after a screening of the remastered film in London on Tuesday. More than half a century later it could now be seen in a more objective light as an invaluable record of the Beatles’ creative process.

“We all know they were genius, they created this incredible music year after year after year but actually they also worked incredibly hard at it,” he said. “You can see that two steps forward one step back, days when really nothing happened and then suddenly a burst of energy that took it forward.”


Some 60 hours of previously unseen footage shot for the film was used by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson for his 2021 series on the making of “Let It Be”.

Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back”, a documentary about a documentary, offered a more positive take on the Beatles’ final months together using the outtakes to show the bandmates joking around together as they created classics for their 12th and last studio album. The climax of Lindsay-Hogg’s documentary is the rooftop gig, their last public performance together.

Music journalist and critic John Harris said it was a snapshot of London in 1969 with office workers and passers-by dressed in bowler hats or mini skirts stopping in the street or clambering onto the tops of neighboring buildings to get a good view.

“It evokes London in that period which is amazing to see — blokes who fought in the First World War wearing hats, all those people who stream out onto the roofs.

“It’s iconic, John in his fur coat and Ringo in his red plastic mac and Paul… in that beautiful black suit and George in his green trousers and his baseball boots. It’s all perfect,” he said.

Latest Articles

Popular Reads