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The little boy warbles adorably on a home recording: "What would you think...if I sang in a song?" His famous dad corrects him, with the mildest amusement: "Sang out of tune." Michael Epstein's overstuffed history of the smart Beatle's final decade works like a dream when it hews closely to the personal: Lennon's late-'70s hiatus as a househubby and bread-baking dad would make for a superb comedy, one with a majestic climax in the recording of the mature Double Fantasy album (and a heartbreaker of an ending). Alas, Epstein pads his documentary's running time with tired anecdotes about yippies, Nixon and drugs. But the new interviews—especially with a warmly reminiscent Yoko Ono—are top-notch.—Joshua Rothkopf

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