Top Ten Beatles Movies of All-Time!
The most celebrated rock band in history has a new IMAX concert film called ‘The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert,’ which was directed by ’The Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson and opens in IMAX theaters on February 11th.
Beatlemania is back!
Premiering February 11th only in IMAX theaters is ‘The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert.’ The movie contains new and old footage from ’The Lord of the Rings’ director Peter Jackson’s three-part Disney+ series, ‘The Beatles: Get Back.’
The Disney+ documentary series covers the making of the Beatles' 1970 album ‘Let It Be,’ and uses new footage originally filmed for Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 documentary of the same name. ‘The Rooftop Concert’ centers on footage from the end of the documentary, which highlights Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in their final concert together as a band.
But the Beatles are no strangers to appearing in movies, having starred in several feature films, an animated movie, and countless documentaries. There have also been several fictional films made about members of the band, as well as movies that celebrate the music and legacy of the group.
In honor of the new IMAX concert movie, Moviefone counts down the top ten Beatles movies of all-time! For this list, we are including not only movies starring the Beatles, but also films about the band and their musical influence around the world.
On the 30th of January, 1969, the Beatles performed an unannounced concert from the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters at Savile Row, within central London's... Read the Plot
10) ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ (1967)
Released in 1967, the film was written, directed, and starred the Beatles at the height of their psychedelic phase. The movie follows a group of people on a bus tour who begin to experience strange and magical encounters, and was inspired by Ken Kesey’s own bus, Further, and his work with the Merry Pranksters.
The movie marks the third outing for the band starring in their own narrative film, and while it is probably the least appealing of any of the movies that the Beatles have appeared in, it does feature a performance of “I Am the Walrus’ with the band wearing animal masks.
9) ‘The Beatles: Eight Days A Week’ (2016)
This documentary directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard focuses on the Beatles’ touring years between 1962 and 1966, from their first gig in Liverpool to their final concert at Candlestick Park in 1966.
The highlight of the documentary is 30 minutes of unseen footage from the band’s 1965 Shea Stadium concert, which had its sound remastered by Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin.
8) ‘Nowhere Boy’ (2009)
The film stars Aaron Johnson as a young Lennon and follows his complicated relationship with his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his mother (Anne-Marie Duff), as well as the creation of his first band, The Quarrymen, which eventually became the Beatles. Johnson gives a quiet and beautiful performance as Lennon, which gained a lot of attention from Hollywood and basically launched his career.
7) ‘Let It Be’ (1970)
This 1970 documentary about the making of the band’s final album ‘Let it Be’ marked the last original film the Beatles would release before breaking up. The movie documents the interpersonal relationships between band members and illuminates some of the turmoil that would eventually lead to their dismantling.
The highlight of the documentary is an impromptu rooftop performance, which sadly would become the last time the Fab Four ever played in public. Unused footage from the making of this documentary is what Peter Jackson utilized for ‘The Beatles: Get Back.’
6) ‘Yesterday’ (2019)
The story follows a struggling musician (Himesh Patel) who through a series of events now finds himself the only person on the planet who has ever heard of the Beatles and plagiarizes their music for his own gain. In addition to Patel, the film also stars Lily James, Kate McKinnon, and in a hilarious cameo, Ed Sheeran.
5) ‘Across the Universe’ (2007)
The movie also uses characters from Beatles songs like Lucy (‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’), Jude (‘Hey Jude’), Max (“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’), Sadie (‘Sexy Sadie’), Jo-Jo (‘Get Back’), and Prudence (‘Dear Prudence’). The film features an excellent cast that includes Evan Rachel Wood,Jim Sturgess, Logan Marshall-Green, Dylan Baker, Bill Irwin, Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek, Joe Cocker, and Bono.
4) ‘Backbeat’ (1994)
This 1994 movie directed by Iain Softly, centers on the Beatles original bass guitarist Stu Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) and his relationship with Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee), which led to him leaving the band before they had worldwide success. In addition to Dorff and Lee, the film also features Ian Hart as John Lennon, Gary Bakewell as Paul McCartney, Chris O’Neil as George Harrison, and Scot Williams as Pete Best, the band’s original drummer.
But the best part of this movie might be the soundtrack, which featured an all-star band performing songs that the Beatles played in their early days. The musicians include David Pirner from Soul Asylum, Greg Dulli from The Afghan Whigs, Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, Mike Mills from R.E.M., Henry Rollins from Black Flag, and Dave Grohl from Nirvana.
3) ‘Help!’ (1965)
The Beatles second film, ‘Help!’ follows the group as they struggle to record a new album and try to protect Ringo Starr from an evil cult out to steal one of his rings. Directed by Richard Lester (‘Superman II’), the film’s plot is boarder-line ridiculous but does mark the last time the band’s pre-psychedelic years were captured on film.
The highlight of the movie is that the Beatles were just being themselves and having fun, which is a stark contrast to their disillusioned behavior by the time they made ‘Let it Be.’
2) ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (1964)
The first of their many movies, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ follows the band at the height of Beatlemania. What I like about this movie is that it is just a “slice of Beatles life,” and brings the audience behind the scenes to see what it would have been like to be a Beatle.
They mostly just avoid fans, make TV appearances, and try to manage Paul’s “crazy” grandfather, played by Wilfred Brambell. Directed by Richard Lester, the movie was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay and ranked 88th on the British Film Institute’s greatest British movies of the 20th century list.
1) ‘Yellow Submarine’ (1968)
Not only is ‘Yellow Submarine’ the best of Beatles movie of all-time, it’s one of the best animated movies of all-time. Directed by Charles Dunning, the film marks the fourth movie released by the Beatles. While the band technically doesn’t appear in the film or even voice their own characters, they do perform the music, which includes ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ ‘Nowhere Man,’ ‘All You Need Is Love,’ and of course, ‘Yellow Submarine.’
The “totally trippy” movie begins in Pepperland, the home of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, where the music-hating Blue Meanies have just attacked. Young Fred (Lance Percival) is tasked with fleeing Pepperland in a Yellow Submarine to find help to battle the Blue Meanies, eventually returning with Paul (Geoffrey Hughes), John (John Clive), George (Peter Batten), and Ringo (Paul Angelis), to save the day. The animated film also acts as a great gateway for parents who want to introduce their kids to the music of the Beatles.