The Compleat Beatles (1982)

Video   |    |  Documentary, Music

The Compleat Beatles (1982) Poster

The history of the great British rock band.



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Patrick Montgomery


David Silver

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6 May 2004 | Lisa2600
Good companion to The Beatles Anthology
This documentary, along with "The Beatles Anthology," both offer a history of the band. Both come to their subjects in different ways, and where "Anthology" is somewhat insular, being concerned only with the Beatles and their inner circle's thoughts and experiences, "Compleat" is told from a more detached and disinterested point of view. There are little details here and there that add a bit of a different perspective, such as Allan Williams, the Beatles' first manager, recalling them being described as "that bum group The Beatles" before their first trip to Hamburg, Bill Harry's recollection of John, far from rebelling against Brian Epstein's makeover of the Beatles from leather jackets to suits, going around asking for all the old pictures of them back, "because Brian wouldn't allow that sort of image with his boys," George Martin mentioning that Pete Best was the best-looking of the Beatles, footage of police trying to calm down a frenzied concert crowd that goes a long way toward showing the dark side of all the fan adoration, a detractor from Minneapolis deploring their conduct in that town, notably the "parties" in their hotel rooms (a subject passed over without mention in Anthology), and so on. There are a few sequences that aren't in the Anthology, notably a performance of "If I Needed Someone" in Japan, as well as interviews of George Martin (different from the ones in Anthology) and Billy Preston discussing their work with them. It's a good supplement to Anthology, but it stands up quite well on its own, despite a few factual inaccuracies. And the ending credits sequence, cut to "Blackbird," is bittersweet.

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