A flop that became a classic
The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour is back on DVD
Apple Corps is bringing back Beatlemania by re-releasing the classic film The Magical Mystery Tour.
The Beatles had just released the highly acclaimed album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band when Paul McCartney came up with the idea to make a film based upon The Beatles and their music. The film was to be unscripted and feature various "ordinary" people who traveled along with the band in a coach (which we Yanks call a bus).
The story highlighted the travelers who had unspecified "magical" adventures along the way and introduced us to six new Beatles songs — “Magical Mystery Tour,” “The Fool on the Hill,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Flying,” “Blue Jay Way” and “Your Mother Should Know.”
The movie was shot in color, but was broadcast in black and white on BBC-TV over the 1967 Christmas holidays and was immediately ripped by the critics. The original Rolling Stone review of the movie was comprised of a one-sentence quote from John Lennon: "There are only about 100 people in the world who understand our music.”
The album reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts, but peaked at No. 31 on the British charts. The soundtrack was better received than the film, winning a Grammy Award for best album in 1968.
Never before distributed in the U.S., the film is now being restored and released on DVD and Blu-ray on Oct. 9. Apple Corps will also have screenings of the 53-minute film for the first time ever on the big screen in the U.S. and around the world. Screening locations and times at thebeatles.com.