Today marks the 30th anniversary of the devastating murder of music legend John Lennon. Listening to 'Imagine' and placing Lennon quotes in your Facebook status are two ways to commemorate the late great Beatle, but may we suggest remembering Lennon by watching his films?
Lennon's movie career consisted of mainly Beatles films -- among them 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'Magical Mystery Tour,' 'Help!' and 'Let It Be.' There was also 'How I Won The War,' Lennon's first and only turn at playing an entirely fictional character. (I'd include the psychedelic cartoon 'Yellow Submarine' but the Beatles didn't even do their own voices in that one.)
The Beatles movies have always been guilty pleasures for me, and I'm sure for other fans, as well. The band's members, Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, made brilliant music, but their films were often cheesy and promotional. For Lennon, though, I'd argue they allowed him to show off his wicked-sharp comedic skills. In a lot of ways, they also humanized the giant celebrity on the big screen. He played himself, or at least, a version of himself, letting fans see the man behind the music.
For example, his bathtub scene in 'A Hard Day's Night,' in which Lennon plays with a toy submarine before disappearing into the bubbles before his disgruntled manager's very eyes, shows a playful, funny young guy. The way he interacts with the rest of the band, as friends having a grand old time, captures a part of Lennon seen less as the Beatles notoriously and nastily split up.
So today, we recommend remembering John Lennon, not with a somber listening party, but by laughing out loud at his movies.
For those who want to see others play Lennon, here are some films where actors (or archival footage) have portrayed him:
'The U.S. vs. John Lennon'
'Chapter 27' (Just kidding, don't watch that, it's terrible.)
Also listed are some quotes from his best movie apearances:
From 'A Hard Day's Night':
Reporter: How did you find America?
John: Turned left at Greenland.
John: [finding a season ticket in his soup] What's this?
Ringo: A season ticket. What do you think it is?
John: Oh. I like a lot of seasoning in me soup.
From 'Let It Be':
"I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we pass the audition"