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Long rejected, the Beatles’ film “Let It Be” returns after 54 years

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As recently as 2021, Ringo said there was “no joy” in the film. Did the band members really seem unhappy at that point?

Well, after watching the rough cut in July, the day before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, John and Yoko (Ono), Paul and Linda McCartney, Pierre Brun from Apple, my girlfriend and I went to dinner at Provans in London. The film, I think, was considered a promising work in progress. There was no underhanded dealing going on. We sat and had a good time like friends do. We talked about our childhood, drank a few bottles of wine. When we showed them the final cut at the end of November, we all went out to dinner again, to a place with a nightclub. We all had a nightcap and a chat, and Paul said he thought the movie was good. Ringo was having fun on the dance floor. He’s a good dancer.

After 54 years, do you think fans will have a different perception of the film?

If you look at it without prejudice, the image works very well, and it’s clear that you’re looking at four men who have known each other since they were teenagers – well, three of them anyway – who love each other like brothers. But they were no longer the Fab Four, the mops. A few of them are almost 30 years old. They had stopped touring, which is a very big change for a rock’n’roll band. What we see in the film is that the affection is eternal between the four of them. But they were now living very separate lives.

During filming, did you have the feeling that they were on the verge of breaking up?

No not at all. We started touring with four Beatles. We ended it with four Beatles. It wasn’t like the San Andreas Fault. I I thought they could go off and do their own thing, follow their hearts and release separate albums, and then come together, because the Beatles were a very powerful artistic force, but also a social force. I didn’t think the Beatles were going to break up until they broke up.

Even critics of “Let It Be” would be hard-pressed to argue that their latest live performance on the roof of Apple Corps wasn’t a joyful moment.

How lucky are you that the last line of the film comes from John, on the roof. The set was broken up by the police – which is a good thing, because that’s as many songs as they had rehearsed anyway – and then John says, “And I hope we passed the audition.“Because if anyone nailed the audition, for that whole decade, it was the Beatles.

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