It Was Fifty Years Ago Today... Sgt Pepper and Beyond
Time Out says
A feeble cash-in documentary about The Beatles, featuring not a single note of their music
Is there any point making a documentary about a classic album if you don’t have the rights to use any of the music? This cack-handed film about The Beatles in the year of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ does just that, and the result isn’t pretty.
With no access to the songs and no available footage of The Beatles in the studio, what’s left is fuzzy, muffled old TV newsreel footage and endless interviews with ageing Liverpudlians and enthusiastic hangers-on. These stories have been told a million times before – how ‘the lads’ wanted to make an artistic statement, how that iconic cover came together, and how afterwards they all tripped off to India, with Ringo hauling an entire suitcase full of baked beans.
The lengthiest and most worrying section deals with the death of the band’s manager Brian Epstein from an overdose – as talking heads line up to give their half-baked and at times borderline homophobic opinions on the poor man’s passing. Crudely made, overlong and over-familiar, this one’s strictly for completist Beatlemaniacs.