9 September 2006 | dboh
Must See For Even Casual Beatles Fan
The Beatles' First U.S. Visit is, behind "The Compleat Beatles" and their self-produced "Anthology", the most entertaining and revealing about this musical group of four doing what they were born to do, on the way to the crest of their musical creativity. The performances on the American "Ed Sullivan Show" are entertaining for fans and interesting as historical documents, but the true gems are the sequences of non-performance documentary footage of all four members of the group, Brian Epstein, and (briefly, hush-hush ;)) Cynthia Lennon. This footage provides a window into The Beatles' emotional state during this life-altering point in their career. They balance organized professionalism (largely achieved by Brian Epstein, often under-appreciated in that he was managing a musical act achieving unprecedented popularity with no precedented business or professional model) with their excitement of their success in America. Then and now, largely the Holy Grail of success in entertainment. It is interesting to compare their reaction to fame with, on one hand, more impressionable, and on the other hand, more stoic celebrities. Paul, as would seem to be his role in their entire career together, acts as a conduit between George, John, Ringo and their handlers, like gently encouraging Ringo to pack his suitcase thoroughly in a "mother hen" voice. Funny. Watching them listen to themselves on the radio in America, seeing footage of car-mobbing people from the INSIDE of their car, seeing John tease instrumental DJ Murray The K (none the wiser) with pervy English slang, and The "Ed Sullivan" performances themselves are priceless. Though by February 1964 they were well versed in Hotel Room culture, their upbeat moods reveal their happiness (and reported surprise) at their reception from the moment they stepped off the trans-Atlantic airplane. Seeing this week of pivotal events in rock n' roll history from is a wonderful peek behind the Beatles' curtain on par with their "Anthology" and not to be missed by any casual or greater fan. Probably, if purchased, one of the Beatles-related home media films you will find yourself repeat watching more than others. Well shot by the Maysles brothers, directed and edited. Highly recommended.