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A Hollywood Beatles Movie - With No Beatles
81 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.18am

Okay, before the angry mob lights up their torches and starts screaming their outraged disapproval at the very sacrilegious idea of conceiving an actual 'Beatles Life Story' being given the "Major Motion Picture Big-Screen" Treatment --

                                                                            Lower your weapons, angry villagers! Hear me out, please...

There was an American film made in the 1980's called "I Want To Hold Your Hand," a comedy about young female Beatle fanatics set during February, 1964, in which they're attempting to sneak into The Beatles' Hotel rooms in New York, prior to their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. The only actor anyone on either side of the Atlantic that you might recognize is Nancy Allen, a very cute blonde who was in some Brian DePalma films and was the "evil" cheerleader in the movie 'Carrie'.

It's a great movie, look it up if you can. It perfectly captures the 'Beatlemania' sweeping through American cities across the country at the time, when every radio station was playing Beatles music, the girls were screaming at Kennedy Airport when they arrived, the record stores all had big Beatle cutouts promoting their debut, and hundreds camped out in front of their hotel and chanted 'We love The Beatles' over and over. The Nancy Allen character is the least impressed at this strange new group, but she winds up hiding under a bed in one of their suites while they're getting ready to go to the Sullivan show. When they leave, she's left alone with all of their stuff- their guitars, clothes, etc., and she starts swooning and caressing all of their things - she's a true Beatles fan now, too.

The point is: you never once see The Beatles. You hear a few lines of them joking around in the suite (voice actors), and all the girl can see are their boots and pants cuffs walking around the room, from under the bed; near the end of the movie, she winds up driving the limousine that takes them away from the studio after the show. It's pitch black outside, but headlights behind The Beatles show only the backs of their heads, glowing from the lights as the car is driving away.

I guess the Topic I would like feedback on is:

Do you think it's possible to make a motion picture about the entire Beatles era, from when Brian Epstein first saw them at the Cavern Club, to when George Martin first recorded them, Pete Best was replaced by Ringo, John married and divorced Cynthia, all the iconic moments: Buckingham Palace, the Royal Palladium, the Phillipines, where evryone was in fear of their lives, and the deep south, boycotting the group and sending death threats for John's 'Jesus' remark; Brian's death, the Maharishi, the LSD trips; Alan Williams, the Man Who Gave Away The Beatles; Magic Alex, Yoko, Linda, Allen Klein, Rory Storm's suicide, Mal Evans' violent death, Derek Taylor, Peter Brown- all of the people whose lives were forever changed because of being a part of The Beatles Legend -

without The Beatles themselves being shown, portrayed by actors, in appearance, speech or otherwise?

Pay attention to the words "as portrayed" - this means being allowed to use any and all available newsreels, filmed images and/or audio quotes of The Beatles themselves, a la 'Forrest Gump', if you know what I mean.

Could it be a major success, with awards and critical praise, like 'The King's Speech' or 'Titanic'?

Could it do justice to the actual story of these people's lives?

Who would you cast as George Martin, or Aunt Mimi, or Brian, et al??


Personally, I've been working on a screenplay for that very idea about eight years now - only in my head, of course, and with no intention of going any further. I think it could be epic, but would be a major undertaking, and someone with the talent and creativity and money to pull it off. But I would really love to stea-ERRR, read your thoughts and ideas. What else have you got to do?

Sitarday's room
4618 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.22am

I think it could be interesting... but it would work as a miniseries rather than a whole film. The Beatles story is too epic to show it in 2.30 hrs. apple01

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie……

Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower…

Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go.

Beware of Darkness… 

81 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.25am

I'm sorry, but I think I should have posted this in a separate Topic - If I cut in or interrupted another thread I apologise, let me know and I'll take care of it!

81 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.35am

Well, mithveaen, the premise is why I don't think the 'miniseries' idea would work, unless it was on a cable network without regular censorship - but even then, when viewers realise it's only about the characters surrounding The Beatles, I think interest drops.

81 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.38am

And since my mind is wide awake 12:30am here, wouldn't just a movie about Epstein be fascinating?

511 Posts
25 September 2012 - 12.56pm

"Someday it's going to make a great movie, but it's all so insignificant"-didn't John say something like that about Brian? I couldn't find the exact quote,though. I think it would be awesome. There is this holiday resort to Spain about John and Brian, which I haven't seen, but asides from that, I don't recall hearing a movie made from him. I wonder why's that. I can just imagine the scene, him standing in the dark, dingy cavern, watching the stage for the first time, it would make an excellent opening scene for the movie


19087 Posts
25 September 2012 - 2.54pm

Not sure about movies but there have been documentaries about Brian, the one that comes to mind is a BBC show called Arena which may have been in 2 parts im not certain.


As for the hollywood movie forgive me for being slow but is 1 possible idea something like the Forrest Gump John Lennon scene as i dont personally think that worked very well; John looked out of place due to the use of the CGI. Im not sure about intercutting beatles archive footage around modern stuff unless technology has significantly improved so it looks seemless. It might be interesting to see the film start in b&w and then around Pepper time burst into colour reflecting the changing times.

 The film I Wanna Hold Your Hand was decent (it wasnt a great film but at least it was something new and different) because you didnt actually see The Beatles (as played by actors) so all of that was left to your own mind. As soon as you have actors playing them it brings comparison, well it does from me, Im always screaming at the tv "thats not how John would stand", "George would never say that".


And no artistic license. Nothing made up.  One of the worst things in the bbc show Lennon Naked was the MMT press conference attended by all 4 Beatles.blue-meanieblue-meanie


I would also agree with Mith that it would either have to be in parts (like the final Harry Potter film) or just take a small part of the story and focus on that (like the Ed Sullivan show in I Wanna Hold Your Hand).  I saw the LITMW Harrison documentary in the cinema which was screened in 2 parts back to back but with a 20 minute interval and it worked really well. Any Beatle documentary that is squished down to between 60 mins and 90 mins feels rushed and bits are missed out. Tho having said that the 1982 documentary 'The Compleat Beatles' ran for 120 mins and did a pretty good job at telling their story from beginning to break up. It wasnt perfect but is the next best thing to The Anthology series (and it has the actual beatles music and not some crummy cover versions by a band who sound nothing like the beatles but are trying to).


There is certainly a premise there for a new angle on the beatles story but im not sure on the best way forward.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

The Toppermost of the Poppermost

8720 Posts
25 September 2012 - 5.22pm

Wildcat said
Do you think it's possible to make a motion picture about the entire Beatles era, without The Beatles themselves being shown, portrayed by actors, in appearance, speech or otherwise?

Anything is possible. But, as mith pointed out, it would have to consist of more than 1 film. If not a true TV miniseries, then perhaps something along the lines of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Just think, you could make tons of cash on the original releases, then fleece the public a few years later with the "Director's Cuts" just like Peter Jackson did. Or, perhaps unlike Mr. Jackson, you have a conscience (my money says you do have one!).

If this really is a project you are working on, I wish you much success!apple01

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

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