NEW TO DISNEY+! The Beatles: Get Back is a documentary years in the making. With over 150 hours of audio and 60 hours of unreleased footage, co-directors Peter Jackson and Michael Lindsay-Hogg, along with Disney, came together to show viewers the making of the last Beatles album, “Let It Be.” The results are a three-part series.
In 1969, the four Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, got together in a warehouse in London to complete the final album from the group. Because it was known to The Beatles as the possible last album, they planned to do a special event for its release. They planned to do a live performance (after years of being absent from the stage) and a TV special to celebrate. The Beatles had to create 14 songs for the album in a matter of two weeks, with it leading into the special.
As a die-hard Beatles fan, The Beatles: Get Back is a film I’ve been looking forward to all year (next to Ghostbusters: Afterlife). I was not disappointed. The documentary is what gives meaning to being “a fly on the wall.” To watch what went into making the hit record is something that I never thought I would get to see. Not only does it show how complex the process of making a hit song is, but it also highlights the musicians’ genius as well as their individual personalities. We also find out which role each member played in the band, which answers a huge question that has been asked for years, “Why did the Beatles break up?” Spoiler alert: It is not Yoko Ono as many have believed over the years. Although she can be seen hovering over John’s shoulder every five seconds, she did not lead to the break up of The Beatles.
“…had to create 14 songs for the album in a matter of two weeks, with it leading into the special.”
The documentary is done in three parts, with each episode being over 2 hours and 30 minutes long. I could have binged the entire series had they all been released on the same day. Now that each part is now streaming, I will likely do so. That’s how great the mini-series is.
We likely see the best options of the unused archival footage has to offer, and as great as it is, I would still want to watch the rest. Some of the audio taken from the footage can also be heard in the amazing Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show “Love.” So it might not be all completely new footage or audio, but most of The Beatles: Get Back is unseen/unheard before, aside from the live performance that takes place in part three.
No matter your favorite Beatles member, the series might make you think differently of them all, though Paul McCartney, in particular. Without spoiling too much, McCartney is a genius at what he does and likes things done a specific way. If you are a Starr fan, he does not get involved with throwing ideas out for the special/album until part two. In part one, it is easy to see that he either knows his place or is over the whole being a Beatle thing.
I would give this a complete 10 out of 10, but I think that if you are not a Beatles fan, you probably won’t appreciate The Beatles: Get Back as much as a life-long fan might. But it might give you a new respect for the group and what they did for music. Then again, this documentary is for a specific type of person, and if you are not a fan, you probably aren’t going to bother watching it. Next to The Beatles Anthology, this is the greatest Beatles documentary I have come across. To see the Fab Four get together one last time and make hits out of nothing (even what would be future solo hits) is something that I will cherish forever.
"…something that I will cherish forever."