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The Beatles’ original Let It Be movie to release after over 50 years in limbo | Films | Entertainment


Back in 1969, Michael Lindsay-Hogg directed the Let It Be album sessions with The Beatles, including the last-ever live performance by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr together on the roof of Apple Corps HQ on Savile Row.

Upon its cinematic release in 1970, the film was viewed through the lens of the band’s break up and hasn’t been officially available for over 50 years aside from the odd early 1980s home video release.

Then in 2021, Peter Jackson was given access to the hundreds of hours of footage and audio, much never before seen or heard, and put together his eight hour revisionist documentary The Beatles: Get Back for Disney+.

From what he’d seen, the footage proved the Fab Four hadn’t wanted to break up at the time and were having a ball working together.

Now the original 1970 film Let It Be has been meticulously restored by Jackson’s team for release on Disney on May 8, 2024 with the support of the original director Lindsay-Hogg.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg said: “Let It Be was ready to go in October/November 1969, but it didn’t come out until April 1970. One month before its release, The Beatles officially broke up. And so the people went to see Let It Be with sadness in their hearts, thinking, ‘I’ll never see The Beatles together again. I will never have that joy again,’ and it very much darkened the perception of the film.

“But in fact, there’s a great deal of joy and happiness and creation going on, and Let It Be is – especially when you get to the roof, and you see the exchange and the way that they look at each other – essentially a happy and ‘up’ movie. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with Get Back, using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

Jackson said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, Let It Be, has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades.I was so lucky to have access to Michael’s outtakes for Get Back, and I’ve always thought that Let It Be is needed to complete the Get Back story. Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and Let It Be is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970.

“I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: Let It Be is the climax of Get Back, while Get Back provides a vital missing context for Let It Be. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was unfailingly helpful and gracious while I made ‘Get Back,’ and it’s only right that his original movie has the last word…looking and sounding far better than it did in 1970.”

Let It Be is streaming on Disney+ from May 8, 2024 and The Beatles: Get Back is streaming now.


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