Friday, May 24, 2024

Beatles Surprise Disappointment as Peter Jackson’s “Let it Be” Documentary Delayed by a Year


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.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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