As any good Beatles fan knows, The Fab Four appeared in a total of five films before their untimely breakup. Unfortunately, most of them have been pretty difficult to get a hold of. Nobody’s really sure of whether A Hard Day’s Night is even in print or not, Help! had to wait until 2008 to get more than the most minimal DVD release, Yellow Submarine was out of print for over a decade before they finally decided to re-release it earlier this year, and the less said about the legal troubles regarding Let it Be, the better.
But it appears that their third film, the red-headed stepchild of the group, is finally getting its first good DVD release since 1997: Magical Mystery Tour. It has been out of print for over a decade, but on October 9, the film is finally getting released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
For those of you who don’t know, Magical Mystery Tour is a film about how Ringo takes a trip (in more ways than one) with his overbearing aunt. I could tell you more, but I won’t, not because there are a lot of twists, but because the movie is just so weird that it must be seen to be believed. Needless to say, it was during this time that the Beatles’ drug use was at its height.
But really, as weird as it is, the film is worth it, if only for the six songs that the Beatles performed; “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Fool on the Hill,” “Flying,” “Your Mother Should Know,” “Blue Jay Way,” and, of course, “I am the Walrus.” Perhaps more than any of their other films, this may have codified the basics of what we now know to be the music video, especially “I am the Walrus”. Also, Neil Innes’ band The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band perform “Death Cab For Cutie,” in a number that even rivals the other six songs in how well-done it is.
The special features include several small featurettes, deleted scenes, alternate edits of several musical numbers, and a commentary from none other than Paul McCartney.
The film is due to be released on 9 October 2012 in Region 1 (or 8 October, everywhere else). The DVD is priced at $19.95, with a Blu-Ray edition to be released at the same time at the price of $29.95. In addition, a “Deluxe Boxed Set” with not only the DVD and the Blu-Ray, but also a 60-page booklet, and a vinyl reproduction of the original double EP that was released in the wake of the film’s release and expanded for the international market into the album “Magical Mystery Tour.”
Now, if only we can get a proper DVD release of Let it Be.