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3 stars I saw this film twice in 1979 in my city during a Beatles` Films Festival organized by some cinemas. The last time I saw it was when a friend lent me for two days a Betamax cassette with the film, in 1989.

In the three times I saw this film I liked it a lot, with the exception of some scenes which were not very good. One of them is the scene when George and Paul appear arguing about a guitar part for one song played by George, with Paul trying to explain to George how he wants him to play it. After trying to please Paul, George replies to Paul in an angry way. This scene was also included in The Beatles`Anthology video. I think that it wasn`t right to include it in the film. Why the Director decided to show to the public how the members of the band argued? I don`t see a good reason to do it.

The other secene which I don`t like is the one on which John and Yoko dance the waltz to George`s I Me Mine song. Reading later in the web, I found that it really wasn`t a good gesture from John to George, because everytime George presented new songs he wrote to the band, both John and Paul didn`t show interest to his songs. In fact, John didn`t appear in the studio version of this song which was included in the Let It Be album and in other songs composed by George recorded by the other three members between 1968 and 1969. Another scene is the one on which they play some Rock and Roll oldies, out of tune in guitars and vocals, looking bored but trying to look funny.

But there are a lot of really funny scenes where they are joking, for example, the one on which Paul sings Besame Mucho in an operatic style, and the full Apple rooftop live performance, which is maybe the best part of the film.

When George was asked in 1970 after the film was premiered his opinion of the film, he said that he didn`t like it, because it brought to him memories of a very unhappy period in the history of the band.

This film really was a contractual obligation, because Brian Epstein signed a contract with United Artists and the band still had to do it. They had several plans to fill this contract. One was to film the band for a live TV special show, a thing that only Paul liked to do. Finally, their plan was to film their rehearsals and the live performance at the Apple building`s rooftop.

Some months ago I read in the web that they didn`t have plans to release this film on DVD, with Neil Aspinall saying that the film didn`t bring good memories for the band. And I agree with this comment, because the band at that point (January 1969) was in the way to split.

I originally liked this film a lot, but after reading the history of this period of time in the Beatles`career, I think that it is only of historical interest, because it really wasn`t a good time in their lives.

Report this review (#201936)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Why don't we do it on the roof

Rock's most poignant moment. For me the Beatles came to an end on a cold January day on the roof of a London building. The Beatles took some of the best material they ever recorded and walked to the roof of Apple, plugged in, and began jamming full volume to the streets below. It was an emotional and fitting end to the '60s greatest rock band. There was never any need for the "Abbey Road" album.

A portion of the "Let It Be" film may be "for fans" as it shows the lads discussing and rehearsing. Fascinating for me but for non-fans it could be boring. But the conclusion of the film makes this essential to all rock fans. First there are wonderful in-studio performances of the title track, "Long and Winding Road" and "Two us Us". Then there is the chance to see the boys perform live for the first time in years, and the last time in history. They nailed these songs and they had a blast doing it. That's right, contrary to the naysayers, The Beatles are clearly having a hoot jamming together and it shows to the camera. McCartney's vocal on "I've Got a Feeling" is viscerally powerful, it is literally one of rock and roll's greatest moments. Lennon is playful and fun as he blows a line intentionally (I think) in "Don't Let Me Down." Equally stunning is the version of "I Dig a Pony" with great harmonies and solos. Soon the mystified police would be coming up the stairs in their bid to end the public nuisance as the crowd of mostly delighted onlookers watched. The only downside is the lack of a proper spruced up DVD release. It was released on VHS/LD in the 80s but soon went out of print. Any DVD release currently is unofficial, boots of these original releases and pretty poor quality. Sadly, McCartney and Starr are blocking a proper DVD release of some of their finest work, reportedly believing that showing the darker side of the band could damage their image. What an absolutely tragic and stupid decision.

How surviving Beatles and some fans can be so down on the Let It Be project will always be the biggest musical mystery of my life. It gave us some of the band's finest material and gave us the precious, rare chance to see it performed live before the lights went out. It is a FANTASTIC historical visual document and contains essential versions of some of my favorite Beatles classics. Warts and all, Let It Be is real life and it is a masterpiece.

Report this review (#249092)
Posted Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Let It Be" is a documentary, an idea by McCartney, which captures the Beatles directly in the winter of 1969, while they are in studio to record their album, initially called "Get Back". As it is known, the project of the album "Get Back" fails but is resurrected in 1970 (when the Beatles have just melted) thanks to an idea by Lennon that, by calling the famous producer Phil Spector to arrange the songs, manages to convince the ex-beatles to release the album.

The atmosphere of failure is perceived well by seeing this film. The 4 beatles after the "White Album", which saw them "separated at home" to record each of his pieces, are still nervous, and not inclined to collaboration. Despite this, the quality of the musical pieces remains incredibly high. And Spector's orchestral arrangements will dramatically improve songs like "I Me Mine" and "The Long and Winding Road" and ... "Let It Be".

The song "Let It Be" which will be recorded on the 33 rpm, in fact, enjoys the production of Spector and a fantastic guitar solo of Harrison (which unfortunately is not seen in the documentary): it is much nicer than the 45 rpm version. The film ends with the concert on the roof of Apple building, where you can still see the Beatles' harmony, and listen to the other "Get Back", which ends with Lennon, who, sarcastic, hopes that the group has passed the audition. The 45 rpm version of "Get Back" will add a (beautiful) final tail to the song.

Historical document not to be missed.

Report this review (#2110343)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Review Permalink

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