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`Let It Be` (Photo: ┬ęDisney, all rights reserved)
"Let It Be" (Photo: ┬ęDisney, all rights reserved)

The Beatles 'Let It Be' - at last

Tue, Apr 16th 2024 07:50 pm

Michael Lindsay-Hogg's original 1970 film about The Beatles, meticulously restored by Peter Jackson's team at Park Road Post Production, to launch exclusively on Disney+ May 8

Press Release

Today, Disney+ announced that “Let It Be,” director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s original 1970 film about The Beatles, will launch exclusively on Disney+ on May 8. This is the first time the film is available in over 50 years.

First released in May 1970 amidst the swirl of The Beatles’ breakup, “Let It Be” now takes its rightful place in the band’s history. Once viewed through a darker lens, the film is now brought to light through its restoration and in the context of revelations brought forth in Peter Jackson’s multiple Emmy Award-winning docuseries, “The Beatles: Get Back.” Released on Disney+ in 2021, the docuseries showcases the iconic foursome’s warmth and camaraderie, capturing a pivotal moment in music history.

“Let It Be” contains footage not featured in the “Get Back” docuseries, bringing viewers into the studio and onto Apple Corps’ London rooftop in January 1969 as The Beatles, joined by Billy Preston, write and record their Grammy Award-winning album, “Let It Be,” with its Academy Award-winning title song, and perform live for the final time as a group. With the release of “The Beatles: Get Back,” fan clamor for the original “Let It Be” film reached a fever pitch. With Lindsay-Hogg’s full support, Apple Corps asked Jackson’s Park Road Post Production to dive into a meticulous restoration of the film from the original 16mm negative, which included lovingly remastering the sound using the same MAL de-mix technology that was applied to the “Get Back” docuseries.

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, how often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs? And then you get to the roof, and you see their excitement, camaraderie, and sheer joy in playing together again as a group and know, as we do now, that it was the final time, and we view it with the full understanding of who they were and still are and a little poignancy. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with ‘Get Back,’ using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, ‘Let It Be,’ has been restored and is finally being rereleased after being unavailable for decades,” Jackson said. "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,” directed by Lindsay-Hogg, stars John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, with a special appearance by Preston. The film was produced by Neil Aspinall with The Beatles acting as executive producers. The director of photography was Anthony B Richmond.

“Let It Be” will debut exclusively on Disney+ on May 8.

More music

Disney+ also announced:

•“Queen Rock Montreal”: Following its record-breaking success as the biggest IMAX exclusive event release ever, “Queen Rock Montreal” will make its global streaming premiere May 15 on Disney+ as the first concert film available with IMAX Enhanced sound powered by DTS. It will debut alongside the availability of IMAX Enhanced sound for 18 fan-favorite Marvel films that will immerse subscribers in the action like never before. The announcement was made by Disney+, IMAX Corp., and DTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xperi Inc.

Subscribers on IMAX Enhanced certified devices will be able to feel the full dynamic range of every heart-pounding moment of the digitally remastered concert film, which captures the world’s most iconic rock band at the very peak of their live powers. “Queen Rock Montreal” presents Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon at their most exciting and exhilarating. The original concerts, which took place Nov. 24 and 25, 1981, were arranged specifically to be filmed for a full-length concert film to document their live show. The film was restored for IMAX by Mercury Studios.

•“The Beach Boys”: Get ready for an endless summer of fun, fun, fun with “The Beach Boys,” the all-new documentary streaming exclusively on Disney+ beginning May 24.

“The Beach Boys” is a celebration of the legendary band that revolutionized pop music, and the iconic, harmonious sound they created that personified the California dream, captivating fans for generations and generations to come. The documentary traces the band from humble family beginnings and features never-before-seen footage and all-new interviews with The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, Bruce Johnston, plus other luminaries in the music business, including Lindsey Buckingham, Janelle Monáe, Ryan Tedder and Don Was. Viewers will also hear from the group’s Carl and Dennis Wilson in their own words, plus view a new interview with Blondie Chaplin and hear audio from Ricky Fataar.

“I’m super happy with the way the documentary turned out, they did an amazing job," Brian Wilson said. "It really brought me back to those days with the boys, the fun and the music. And of course, those incredible harmonies.”

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