Disney has announced that Peter Jackson’s “Let it Be” documentary about the Beatles has been delayed by a year. It was supposed to be released on September 4th. Now it’s set for August 2021. If it ever comes out.
What is now also up in the air is a 50th anniversary edition of the “Let it Be” album or any kind of re-release of the original “Let it Be” film. Internet detectives can find the film floating around on the web, but officially it’s out of print.
The Jackson doc was supposed to take Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s original footage and rearrange it to make the Beatles look happier and less at each other’s throats during the making of their penultimate album. As it turned out, after making the album and the film they went on to make their masterpiece, “Abbey Road.” “Let it Be” was issued after “Abbey Road” as the Beatles broke up.
The “Let it Be” film does show the group in a tense moment. Paul McCartney is calling the shots. John Lennon is using Yoko Ono as an ally and shield. George Harrison is trying to be zen, although his facade cracks at one point and he gets a bit put out with Paul. Ringo is just doing his thing, although a highlight moment is the drummer playing a newly written “Octopus’s Garden” for George on the piano.
The Beatles legacy is so Rushmore-ish now that I’m sure there’s internal squabbling among the principals about the tone of the documentary. Frankly, they should just re-release the old movie and be done with it. The reality is that they made “Abbey Road,” broke up, fought in public, made amends, and were friends before Lennon, and then Harrison, died. Everyone loves them, and no opinions will be changed by fans now seeing “Let it Be” in its original form.