"Hopefully, it'll put a smile on your face in these rather bleak times," director Peter Jackson says in the five-minute first look

By Phil Boucher
December 21, 2020 01:30 PM
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The Beatles
| Credit: Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has given Beatles fans a special sneak peek of his new documentary, The Beatles: Get Back – and it's every bit as raucous as Paul McCartney said it would be.

"It proves that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill," McCartney recently told the Sunday Times about seeing an early cut of the film, which has been crafted from 56 hours of previously unseen footage of the Fab Four preparing to play a rooftop concert on London's Savile Row in January 1969 — a show that turned out to be their last performance ever.

"The proof is the footage," continued McCartney about the rehearsals, which The Beatles also used to record a number of classic songs for their final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

"I bought into the dark side of the Beatles breaking up and thought, 'Oh God, I'm to blame.' I knew I wasn't, but it's easy when the climate is that way to start thinking so," added McCartney, who released his third solo album on Dec. 18.

"At the back of my mind there was always this idea that it wasn't like that, but I needed to see proof. There's a great photo Linda took, which is my favorite, of me and John working on a song, glowing with joy. This footage is the same. All four of us having a ball."

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Every second of Jackson's five-minute special look confirms McCartney's words.

Opening with a long-haired Ringo Starr smoking into the camera saying, "Morning. Morning, everybody. Another bright day," the footage rapidly cuts to the newspaper headline "Beatle George May Face French Jail," as John Lennon jokingly reads out the story beside George Harrison — with McCartney accompanying him on bass.

Later, John and Paul jokingly sing Let It Be's opening track, Two of Us, through clenched teeth. John then jokingly turns to the production team and lays on a thick Liverpool accent to shout, "Don't interrupt us when we're recording. We're bloody stars you know! Cheek!"

He follows this with, "Now your hosts this evening, The Bottles…"

Other clips show Linda McCartney chatting to Yoko Ono, Lennon and McCartney jiving together beside a mixing desk and all four of the Beatles energetically playing Get Back live on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters.

The Beatles' Abbey Road
| Credit: Apple Records

"We've got 56 hours of never before seen Beatles footage and it’s really… It’s great stuff," Jackson says in the sneak peek, which also draw on 150 hours of previously unheard audio, all of which has been restored.

"We're about halfway through the edit now but because you've been so patient and the film's been delayed until 2021, we thought it was a good time to give you a little, sneaky of what we've been working on and the sort of vibe and the energy that the film's going to have," he continues.

"What you're going to see is — it's not a trailer, those will be coming out next year. And it's not a sequence from the film. It's like a montage of moments that we've pulled from throughout the 56 hours of footage that we have and it just gives you a sense of the spirit of the film that we're making.

"So, let's have a look at that and hopefully it'll put a smile on your face in these rather bleak times that we're in at the moment."