What's the legal status of "The Compleat Beatles"?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ricardo C, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    In the past, especially in the months surrounding the release of "Anthology" on DVD, several people suggested that TCB might be in legal limbo, since the Beatles wouldn't want an unauthorized documentary competing with their own approved version.

    However, now that Anthology has been released and made the bulk of its sales, does TCB have a better chance of being released? Does MGM still hold the rights? Does an online campaign have a chance in hell of succeeding? My Beta tape is finally dying on me (picture's still great, but the sound is faded), and I need to replace it fast!
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I second that emotion.

    Was it by Delilah Productions? Lots of old programs seem to have disappeared with that outfit.
     
  3. pitchman

    pitchman Screenwriter

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    Great documentary! I'd LOVE to have this on DVD!

     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    If MGM still owns it, it still would cost a fortune in music rights.

    That's why it took forever to get Yellow Submarine back on video and in restored form....and it probably helped that the Beatles liked that film.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ricardo: You know, even in dedicated search-engine forays I've not found a truly definitive answer as to this best-ever Beatles documentary's legal status. I started to rescreen Anthology this past weekend and haven't gone past the first disc since. It's fun, but it's the Palace-approved piece from the Education Ministry.

    Amazing how The Compleat Beatles tells the essential Beatles story in just a couple of hours.

    I'd never slam Anthology, as I treasure the footage and band-member commentary.

    But The Compleat Beatles is an independent story not approved by Corporate Beatledom for our enjoyment and (dare say) enlightenment. Too bad this excellent film is not available to us. JB
     
  6. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Anthology is irreplaceable if only for the reams of live footage and their "music videos." The set is my biggest argument for the right of the individual to duplicate DVDs for personal use. I would LOVE to make my own no-nonsense DVD of just the performances to enjoy. I don't need the bio stuff on a regular basis and I don't enjoy skipping around 4 discs. [​IMG]

    At any rate, I'll take any Beatles DVD. Let's start with Help! and Let it Be, however.
     
  7. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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  8. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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    I too yearn to see this story in DVD format. I have been meaning to give my old VHS copy a whirl, and this thread has served as a reminder.

    I agree with Jack, while the Anthology set is essential, it is by no means COMPLEAT.

    C'mon Paulie, bring it on! We know you carry the weight.
     
  9. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  10. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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  11. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    As awesome as the Anthology series is it doesn't tell the whole story. For example it never mentions that Stuart Sutcliffe died, or what happened with Pete Best. You learn much more about their history in Compleat Beatles.
     
  12. Neil White

    Neil White Supporting Actor

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    I like the Birth of the Beatles too. Not a documentary but IMHO a good telling of their early years in Germany etc. It does cover Stu and Pete.

    Another movie not on DVD.

    N
     
  13. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  14. Steve Meskell

    Steve Meskell Second Unit

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  15. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    No, it went into the Pete Best fiasco in a little more detail than that, noting how, basically, none of the other band members wanted to do the deed.

    It's true: One does gain a broader understanding of The Beatles and their world in Compleat Beatles. And by the time the documentary covers the band's troubles throughout 1966 (the Philippines, the We're-More-Popular-Than-Jesus tour, etc.), Compleat is more effective cinematically (the use of low-note incidental music to convey ominousness).

    Yet the documentary is nothing short of reverential in its approach to the band. It simply acknowledges they were human beings, flaws and all.
     
  17. Peter Mazur

    Peter Mazur Second Unit

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    Jack,

    I agree totally with you here.

    I also love the scene where they are talking about their last concert at Candlestick. The narration says something like "It was the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one". It then goes to the close-up of Revolver with Eleanor Rigby playing. I love that scene, it gives me the chills.
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Same here, bro'!
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    As musch as I love The Beatles Anthology, I
    think The Compleat Beatles says it all
    in a much shorter timespan, and overall, is a
    more energetic Beatles experience.

    I hope one day this title makes its way to DVD.
     
  20. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Re: BACKBEAT's OAR on DVD
     

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