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Magical Mystery Tour


A sixty minute color movie which The Beatles starred, directed, and produced.  It was their first attempt at making a movie themselves.  Filming began September 11, 1967 as The Beatles, camera crew, actors and friends took off to make the movie without a script and very little experience.  Being mainly Paul's idea the object was to film whatever happened and to stop at interesting sites.  Filming lasted for two weeks, followed by six weeks of editing hundreds of hours of movie footage.  The movie was broadcast on Boxing Day, December 26, 1967 in black and white although it was filmed in color.  It got horrible reviews and was called "blatant rubbish".  The Beatles argued that the black and white broadcast was not conductive to the picturesque scenes in the movie.   The film was shown again on January 5, 1968 and this time in color but the critics were still unimpressed, and worldwide distribution plans were scraped.

Some years later the film was released in theaters, and has since developed a huge following, lending credence to The Beatles original claim that the film was a concept ahead of its time.

Film Notes

The title song "Magical Mystery Tour" was recorded in April 1967, five months before production of the movie started.

 

Paul and Ringo were the main directors of the movie, with each of The Beatles lending supervision and instruction throughout the  filming.

 

Paul's brother, roadies Mal and Niel, and a host of Beatles Fan Club secretaries were on the trip.  All appear in the film.

 

George came down with the flu during the second week of filming and the bus was delayed for two days.  

 

Ringo's dog, Tiger appears in the "Blue Jay Way" sequence which was shot, in part, in Ringo's Weybride garden.

 

Paul's "Fool On The Hill" segment was shot in Nice, France, without the other Batles present.Serious legal and financial problems resulted in Paul's decision to take advantage of France's sunny climate and scenic landscapes.  He had forgotten his passport and had to have it sent air frieght while he was detained at French customs.  The hotel refused to accept Paul's credit and also would not advance him the money to pay his other debts, such as car rentals, when he realized that he forgotten his wallet as well.  He also got in trouble for not using union film crews to do the filming.

 

The movie was previewed to the guest of The Beatles party on December 17, 1967 At the Royal Lancaster Hotel.  Linda Eastman attended and took photos of Paul the next day for a book she was working on.

Cast

John Lennon... John
Paul McCartney... Paul
George Harrison... George
Ringo Starr... Ringo
Mal Evans... Mal
Ivor Cutler.... Buster Bloodvessel
Victor Spinetti
George Claydon.... Little George the Photographer
Shirley Evans.... The Accordionist
Neil Innes.... Bonzo Dog Band member
Jessie Robins.... Ringo's Auntie
Derek Royle.... Jolly Jimmy Johnson the Courier
Vivian Stanshall.... Lead Singer, Bonzo Dog Band
Mandy Weet.... Miss Wendy Winters the Hostess
Maggie Wright.... The Lovely Starlet

 

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