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Beatles Stories (2011)

Seth Swirsky , Henry Winkler , Seth Swirsky  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Seth Swirsky, Henry Winkler, Jon Voight, Smokey Robinson, Sir Ben Kingsley
  • Directors: Seth Swirsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Libre Studio
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008S83IWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,034 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • 30 minutes of bonus stories
  • Supporting feature interview with Beatles engineer Norman Smith
  • Directors commentary track

Editorial Reviews

Songwriter Seth Swirsky grew up in the 1960s loving the Beatles -- their songs, their sound and their style. He set out with video camera in hand, to talk to people who had crossed paths with his heroes. From Sir Ben Kingsley to Sir George Martin; from Beach Boy Brian Wilson to astronomer Brian Skiff, Seth filmed hundreds of personal recollections from people that knew them or those that just had an unforgettable encounter with them. Others who shared their personal recollections of the Fabs include: Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz), former Beatles recording engineers Norman Hurricane Smith, Ken Scott and John Kurlander; Jackie DeShannon, actor Jon Voight, Graham Nash, Davy Jones, Susanna Hoffs and Art Garfunkel among dozens of others. The result is Beatles Stories-A Fab Four Fan's Ultimate Road Trip. Chosen as an Official Selection in many prestigious international film festivals, the movie has been delighting audiences the world over. Longtime Beatles friend and personal assistant Tony Bramwell said, "Beatles Stories is a Magical Mystery Tour de Force!!" Academy award-winning director, Cameron Crowe said of Beatles Stories : This film is fantastic, so from the heart and so wildly revealing. An epic and timeless masterwork. Wherever you are on the spectrum of Beatles fan - from passionate to casual - you'll love Beatles Stories. As the group themselves might say, A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Seth Swirsky is not a professional filmmaker (and some of the camera work here shows that), but this is heck of a fascinating documentary project. Swirsky is a musician and a songwriter, with songs recorded by Taylor Dayne, Tina Turner, Al Green and Celine Dion, as well as themes for major motion pictures. But, after playing a gig in Hamburg and hearing stories from locals about the Beatles, he decided to contact a slew of well-known folks who interacted with the Fab Four during their career. How is got access to nearly 60 (mostly) celebrities like Sir George Martin, Graham Nash, Ben Kingley (actually a performing musician before turning to acting), Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, still amazes me! But I'm glad he did. The 85-minute film contains about 53 of these interviews - most lasting just a minute or two and a few were done by phone - with appropriate archival footage of the period to embelish them. Some of the stories are well know, but many aren't. And the connections with the Beatles run from the old-style comedy couple who shared the stage on the Ed Sullivan Show for the Beatles' debut to the guy who got the last autograph from John Lennon before he was murdered.

The bonus features ad much to the fun as there are 30 minutes of "bonus interviews" for folks not featured in the theatrical version. And there is a nearly-25-minute extended interview with Norman "Hurricane" Smith, the Beatles first recording engineer.

The project to film all these interviews (and get access to the interviewees - many recorded backstage at performances - took nearly seven years. I can't even imagine Swirsky's travel expenses! But, I think we should all be glad he did it. These stories are now "on record" (no pun intended) and available for future generations/

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific stories that add to the Beatles' legacy October 2, 2012
This documentary contains dozens of interviews with everyone from Ben Kingsley and Jon Voight to people you've never heard of, like one of the original "Apple Scruffs" (girls who used to hang around outside Apple Records offices hoping to talk to a Beatle).

Director Seth Swirsky wanted to capture as many stories about Beatle encounters as possible. Most of the interviews collected in the 85 minute movie last for only a few minutes before moving onto the next story. It results in a lot of variety. Some of the stories have been told before, but most of them will be unfamiliar to even the most devoted Beatlemaniacs. Some of the people he talked to (George Martin, Norman Smith - Beatles engineer, Joey Molland of Badfinger, Denny Laine of Wings) had professional associations with the Beatles or an ex-Beatle. But others - like The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs, who happened to bump into Ringo at a party - tell starstruck stories of chance encounters.

If you watch the whole movie and still want more, the DVD has you covered - 30 minutes of extra interviews. Swirsky reveals his methods on the director's commentary. He's a successful songwriter himself, having written songs for the likes of Taylor Dayne and Smokey Robinson (who appears in the documentary). This is his first film and it's admittedly a little rough around the edges, but ultimately an emotionally engrossing trip for Beatles fans.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very entertaining September 29, 2012
This DVD is really terrific. As you watch it each story is better than the last. The different stories are very interesting from Graham Nash to Henry Winkler to Sir Ben Kingsley to Art Garfunkel.
The worst part of the DVD is that it ends.
I would recommend this to anyone.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For All Fans! Great Stories! October 10, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Seth Swirsky is a musician that has long admired The Beatles. From his formative years he was a Beatles fan drawing pictures of the group and keeping a diary on his fandom, The Beatles even influenced his choice of career, musician. In emulation of The Beatles he was able to play the Cavern Club and people he met on that trip started sharing their Beatles stories with him. They were personal and mostly stories of chance meetings or how The Beatles changed their lives and Swirsky realized no one would probably hear these stories. He decided to capture those stories for posterity.

Swirsky started filming the people as they told their Beatles stories and he started to solicit interviews from The Beatles contemporaries and a lot of them responded and were interviewed. Swirsky's "Beatles Stories" captures the stories of Beatles assistant's, fans, neighbors, business associates, former girlfriends and some of the more famous who had encounters with The Beatles. Some of the more famous interviewee's include Henry Winkler, Jon Voight, Brian Wilson (who had a grand rivalry with The Beatles), George Martin, just to name a few.

A lot of the stories are very personal stories and are quite heartfelt accounts of encounters with The Beatles, it's especially interesting to see the celebrities interviewed who become fans in the telling of their meeting with The Beatles, some of the cooler ones are Henry Winkler, and Susanna Hoffs (who still seems to get starstruck at the telling of the story).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars but most of the stories were pretty boring. It starts out with Lennon...
I appreciated the filmmaker's sincerity and enthusiasm, but most of the stories were pretty boring. It starts out with Lennon borrowing change for the coke machine when playing the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars who looks a bit like Ringo Starr
Swirsky knocks it out of the park with his documentary. Beatles fans (and is there somehow anyone on the planet somewhere who is not? Read more
Published 1 month ago by DKat89
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars all the way! Great film!
Saw the title and thought "No, not another rehash of already seen clips and photos with a Beatles like soundtrack" etc, etc. Read more
Published 1 month ago by monsenor
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Great product, just what I was looking for
Published 3 months ago by nicole lytle
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles Stories dvd
As a Beatles fan, I was highly interested in and entertained by this dvd. Many who have come into contact with the Beatles had much to say. Love it!
Published 3 months ago by Lynn Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Good purchase.
Excellent transaction. Excellent condition. Perfect all around. A great item at a fantastic price. Words cannot describe my experience on Amazon as of late. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Loralie Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate recollections of The Beatles shared for the first time.
I thought I'd heard almost every story about my favourite group, The Beatles. I spent years hunting down rare outtakes and unofficial recordings. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stowe Beasley
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for those wanting more historical information on the Beatles...
This is a great video with nmerous interviews with those who knew the Beatles and those who crossed paths just one time. Very entertaining and eye-opening.
Published 7 months ago by Margaret Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars BEATLES
Published 8 months ago by evelynjackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!
As an avid Beatles fan and collector I have all of the DVDs one could want. So why add more? This one is an exception, it has great little moments with so many people who had... Read more
Published 8 months ago by edit chick
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