POSTED February 7 2014

Your favorite movie starring the Fab Four or Fab One?


This weekend Boomers will share their memories of the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. What I remember more than the music and the mania is the 360-degree flouncing hair and the identification of John Lennon as “Sorry girls, he’s married.”

While I agree with almost everyone that A Hard Day’s Night is the definitive Beatles movie my second favorite Beatle movie is Carl Gottlieb’s Caveman (1981), starring Ringo, Shelley Long and Barbara Bach. It’s like a prehistoric Mel Brooks movie where all the characters grunt cavemanese.

I also very much like the many speculative Beatles portraits such as The Hours and Times (1991), with the young Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein on a Spanish holiday. And  Backbeat (1993), with Ian Hart as puppy Lennon in Hamburg with fifth Beatle Stu Sutcliffe. Another one of my favorites is The Two of Us (2000), with Jared Harris and Aidan Quinn as the post-Beatles Lennon and McCartney, considering a Beatles reunion and gamboling through Central Park. It was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who also made the definitive Beatles documentary Let it Be (1971), and has a very John vibe. I’m also a fan of Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe (2008), which uses Beatles music and  characters named Jude and Lucy Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood) to tell the surrealistic story of ’60s pop and politics. Likewise Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy, starring Aaron Johnson as the young John torn between his mother and aunt.

Your favorite movie starring the Fab Four or Fab One?


  1. John Derham says:

    The Magic Christian, in which Ringo plays a homeless man who is adopted by eccentric billionaire Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) is a collection of often hilarious sketches which doesn’t quite add up to a whole, but it is fun!

  2. All of the “official” Beatles movies, with the exception of Yellow Submarine, which is basically intolerable, are wonderful. Really, I can see most any film footage of The Beatles and immediately be made very happy. I enjoyed Ringo Starr’s appearance in Candy and George Harrison’s wonderful tv appearance on Rutland Weekend Television. Unfortunately, I have no time for fictionalized or non-documentary movies about the group. I’m sure it’s my loss, but having experienced their career first-hand, and having it as such a big part of my life, I guess those other works seem irrelevant.

  3. wwolfe says:

    We only see their feet – and even those feet are (pardon the expression) stand-ins – but I’d add a vote for “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” This does a good job of capturing the moment when the Beatles hit New York, and then America, and the mix of emotions that impact created. Bobby DiCicco’s bafflement with a Supreme Being who would abandon the Four Seasons in favor of a bunch of longhaired Englishmen is memorable, but even better is the completely fresh and wonderful Theresa Saldana.

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