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The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 1 & 2 (1996-2003)

Director: Geoff Wonfor, Geoff Wonfor
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Capitol
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, Music, Documentary, Music, UK
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German
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The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 1 & 2 (Disc 1 of 5) (1996)
The birth of the Beatles, both individually and as a group, is the focus of this first installment of The Beatles Anthology. Utilizing archival footage (some never before shown to the public), interviews produced specifically for the production, and lots of music, the viewer is treated to an explanation of the home life of each member of the Beatles as well as an explanation of the musical influences (Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly) which led them to perform. Interviews and still pictures document the day Paul McCartney joined John Lennon's band the Quarrymen, as well as the day George Harrison came aboard. Soon the band finds itself playing strip clubs in Hamburg, Germany. While there, Astrid Kirchnerr takes the famous photographs of the band that appear as a framing device throughout this episode (as people join the band they appear in the photograph and as they leave they dissolve away from it). Part one ends with the boys' triumphant return to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and Europe just days away from being swept up by Beatlemania. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 3 & 4 (Disc 2 of 5) (1996)
The Beatles Anthology 3: February '64 to July '64 documents Beatlemania sweeping through the United States and the making of the Fab Four's first feature film. Opening with their landing at JFK International Airport, this episode features archival footage, new interviews produced specifically for this documentary, private home movies from bandmembers, and lots of music. Much time is spent on the band's first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Viewers are treated to "All My Loving" while fans scream. From there you see three numbers performed at a concert at the Washington Coliseum: "She Loves You," "I Saw Her Standing There," and "Please Please Me." That is followed by home movies of the boys spending a few days in the sun in Miami juxtaposed with their recording of "I'll Follow The Sun." After a second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the band makes a triumphant return to England. The band makes the film A Hard Day's Night, and John Lennon releases his first book, John Lennon In His Own Write. The band sets out on a world tour which Ringo Starr must drop out of due to illness. Episode three of The Beatles Anthology ends with the boys attending the world premiere of A Hard Day's Night. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 5 & 6 (Disc 3 of 5) (1996)
The Beatles Anthology 5: August '65 to July '66 follows the band from one of their performing highs to one of their two most disastrous international incidents. This episode opens with five numbers from their famous performance at Shea Stadium ("Twist & Shout," "I Feel Fine," "Baby's in Black," "I'm Down," and "Help"). Utilizing interviews produced specifically for this documentary, rare archival footage, and lots of music, part five of The Beatles Anthology shows the deterioration of the band's enjoyment for playing live. Although John, Paul, George, and Ringo do get to meet Elvis Presley, they grow more and more impatient with giving concerts. They are unable to hear themselves over the screams of the crowd, and it dawns on the bandmembers that people are coming to see them and not hear them. Their songwriting takes a decidedly introspective turn with the release of Rubber Soul. There is also an explanation of how the distinctive cover for that album came to be. The band is introduced to LSD, and John's songs on Revolver show the effects. Overwhelmed by the number of television appearances they are asked to do, the band begins creating music videos and sending those to the television shows. You see the promotional clips for both "Paperback Writer" and "Rain." This episode ends with the band in the Far East. Their performances at Japan's Budokan are a disappointment for them because they cannot recreate the studio effects employed on the Revolver songs. They realize that their level of their musicianship is suffering because of their dislike for performing. Finally, the band offends Imelda Marcos by not attending a state dinner. The band is forced to flee the country after a flurry of hostile press. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 7 & 8 (Disc 4 of 5) (1996)
The Beatles Anthology: June '67 to July '68 finds the band continuing to create great music while simultaneously revealing the first seeds of their painful dissolution. Utilizing rare archival footage, interviews produced specifically for this documentary, and a cornucopia of music, this episode of The Beatles Anthology begins with the band performing "All You Need Is Love" on the Our World global satellite television spectacular. Led by George who had abandoned LSD for religion, the band become involved with transcendental meditation and that movement's founder, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They travel to India with the Maharishi. When their time in India comes to an end, the film provides a montage of the time spent there to the haunting "Across the Universe." While there, Beatles manager Brian Epstein dies. The film offers a poignant montage of Epstein to the strains of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." The band returns home and begins work on a new film, Magical Mystery Tour. The band bristles at Paul's take-charge attitude. This documentary features extensive clips from the movie including performances of "Fool on the Hill," "Your Mother Should Know," "I Am the Walrus," and the title track. The boys begin recording The Beatles, better known as The White Album. They send a video for "Hello, Goodbye" to The Ed Sullivan Show. They form Apple in order to manage their business affairs and open the Apple boutique, featuring artwork and clothing. There are clips of the musical artists that were signed to Apple during this time including James Taylor and Badfinger. The Yellow Submarine film is released. This episode concludes with John meeting Yoko Ono, and her subsequent appearances in the recording studio. The band must adjust to this new person in the studio. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

The Beatles Anthology: Special Features (Disc 5 of 5) (2003)

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 1 & 2 (Disc 1 of 5) (1996)
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8.61 (31 votes)
The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 3 & 4 (Disc 2 of 5) (1996)
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8.71 (17 votes)
The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 5 & 6 (Disc 3 of 5) (1996)
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8.76 (17 votes)
The Beatles Anthology: Episodes 7 & 8 (Disc 4 of 5) (1996)
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8.61 (18 votes)
The Beatles Anthology: Special Features (Disc 5 of 5) (2003)
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7.75 (20 votes)

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