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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour CD (album) cover

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.00 | 31 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I think that this film was done with the idea of not being taken very seriously. I have read a lot of bad reviews about this film, but also a lot of reviews which consider it as a funny film.

I saw it for the first time in a cinema in my city in late 1981, in a very strange film edition which also included the film done at The Beatles` Shea Stadium Concert (1965). I can`t remember how these two films were announced then in the newspapers, but maybe they were announced as "The Beatles in Concert" or something like that. I think that It was the only time that this " films combination" (intercalating scenes from both films) was presented in cinemas here. The second time I saw the "Magical Mystery Tour" film was on TV in 1998, when they broadcasted it here only once (and I recorded it on a videocassette, but unfortunately it is incomplete because I saw that this film was broadcasted on TV several minutes after it started). Now, I have it on DVD.

The "Magical Mystery Tour" film was the first project that the band did after Brian Epstein`s death. In fact, the making of the film was started only a few days after Brian`s death. But the project was in consideration even before Brian`s death, because Paul McCartney had the idea to do this film when he returned from the U.S. after a quick visit to that country during the final recording sessions of the "Sgt. Pepper`s..." album. In fact, the band started composing and recording new songs for the project months before the film was done. Even Brian attended the recording sessions of the song "Your Mother Should Know" a few days before his death in late August 1967.

Musically speaking, this film includes six new songs :

- "Magical Mystery Tour": the song which starts with the film, composed by McCartney. This song shows a few scenes of the content of the whole film.

-"The Fool on the Hill": with scenes filmed in France while Paul walks in a forest.

- "Blue Jay Way":a song composed by George, with very Psychedelic scenes. One of the best presentations of the songs in this film.

- "Flying":Psychedelic images of clouds, showed in diferent colours.

- "I am the Walrus": the best song in this film, with the band dressed as different animals playing the song in an old and not more used air field. Very Psychedelic in design, with the "Egg Men" dancing to the song!

- "Your Mother Should Know": the final song in the film, with the band dressed with white suits and accompanied by dancers! This song is in a very "oldies" style.

The film didn`t have a clear story other than a few persons buying tickets for a "Magical Mystery Tour" in a large bus. The main characters are Ringo and his auntie Jessie, who are arguing almost all the time. The "Magical Myster Tour" takes the tourists to different places, including a Strip Club on which The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band plays a song called "Death Cab for Cutie" while a stripper (Jan Carson) does her job in front of an audience which includes George and John at the front with their eyes wide open! Being a film without a clear story makes it difficult for some people to see. But it has some funny scenes, one of which shows Ringo arguing with his auntie in an exaggerated way, and even them can`t stop laughing after doing this scene. Ringo is really the star of the film, showing him as a very good comedian and as a natural actor. The other three Beatles were not as good as actors, but maybe John was next to Ringo`s acting qualities in some parts, like in the scene called "Jessie`s Dream", on which John, as a waiter, serves long quantities of spaghetti to Jessie, who is a fat woman.

In conclusion, the film is very Psychedelic on many scenes, sometimes funny, sometimes without direction and boring. But as I wrote above I consider it as a film done only for fun, and with the general idea of not being taken very seriously. The best parts of this film are the songs of course. If one see this film as a Psychedelic film done in the late sixties, one has a funny time.

Ringo Starr (listed as "Richard Starkey, M.B.E." on the end credits) is credited as "Director of Photography". I think that he did a very good job, because some of the scenes and images show very good angles or interesting landscapes.Without doubt, he has other skills apart from being a very good drummer and actor / comedian. He showed his acting skills in other films done by The Beatles and as actor in other films, but he also directed one film done at a concert by the late Marc Bolan, called "Born to Boogie", and also appeared in a Frank Zappa`s film in the early seventies called "2000 Motels" (or something like that).

This film was very criticized when it was shown twice on British TV in late 1967 (in Black and White) and in early 1968 (in colour). It was considered as The Beatles` "first oficial failure" by some critics.

The quality of the images of this DVD is not very good, maybe because the quality of the original film they used wasn`t very good anymore. The stereo sound was remasterized by George Martin in 1988 when it was released on videocassette for the first time.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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