Arena

Arena: Magical Mystery Tour Revisited

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

On Boxing Day 1967, BBC1 screened a Beatles film that to most of the country was completely incomprehensible. “It’s not surprising,” George Harrison said later, “it was like an elaborate little home movie” with no plot or script but a lot of self-indulgent spontaneity and Pythonesque madness. Which is probably why so many viewers were outraged and confused in equal measure.

This absorbing, if sprawling, documentary puts Magical Mystery into context, with snippets about the underground movement, reflections from Paul and Ringo, out-takes from the film and comments from people who took part or were mystified when they saw it on their telly.

Magical Mystery Tour itself follows at 10.45pm so you can make up your own mind.

About this programme

The making of the Beatles' self-directed TV movie Magical Mystery Tour, which originally aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day 1967 at the height of the band's popularity - but was greeted with disdain by the media and many viewers. The programme explores the creation of the surreal tale and investigates why it inspired such a furious critical reaction, and also asks whether opinions about the film have changed in subsequent years. With contributions by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Peter Fonda, Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes and Paul Merton.

Cast and crew

Cast

Contributor
Paul McCartney
Contributor
Ringo Starr
Contributor
Peter Fonda
Contributor
Martin Scorsese
Contributor
Terry Gilliam
Contributor
Paul Merton
Contributor
Neil Innes

Crew

Director
Francis Hanly
Executive Producer
Anthony Wall
Executive Producer
Jeff Jones
Producer
Jonathan Clyde
Categories
Arts
Documentary

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