Long Dismissed, the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Film Returns After 54 Years

by The Technical Blogs


As recently as 2021, Ringo said there was “no joy” in the film. Did the members of the band actually seem unhappy with it at the time?

Well, after we watched the rough cut in July, the day before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, John and Yoko [Ono], Paul and Linda McCartney, Peter Brown from Apple and me and my girlfriend went out for dinner at Provans in London. The film, I think, was regarded very much as a promising work in progress. There was no snarky business going on. We sat and had a good time like friends do. We talked about our childhoods, had a couple of bottles of wine. When we showed them the final cut in late November, we all went out for dinner again, to a place with a discothèque. We all had a nightcap and a chat, and Paul said he thought the movie was good. Ringo was jiving out on the dance floor. He’s a good dancer.

After 54 years, do you think fans will have a different perception of the film?

If you see it with no preconceptions, the picture works very well, and it’s clear that you’re looking at four men who have known each other since they were teenagers — well, three of them anyway — who love each other as brothers might. But they weren’t any more the Fab Four, the mop tops. A couple of them are pushing 30. They had stopped touring, which is a very big change for a rock ’n’ roll group. What you see in the movie is that the affection is eternal between the four of them. But they were living very separate lives now.

During filming, did you get the sense that they were on the verge of breaking up?

No, not at all. We started shooting with four Beatles. We ended it with four Beatles. It was not like the San Andreas Fault. I thought they might go off and do their own thing, follow their heart and release separate albums, but then get together, because the Beatles were a very powerful artistic force, and also social force. I didn’t think the Beatles were going to break up till they broke up.

Even critics of “Let It Be” would have a hard time arguing that their final live set on the roof of Apple Corps wasn’t a joyous moment.

How lucky can you get that the last line in the movie is from John, up on the roof. The set has been broken up by the police — which is good, because that’s as many songs as they had rehearsed anyway — then John says, “And I hope we passed the audition.” Because if anyone did pass the audition, in that entire decade, it was the Beatles.


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