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Unseen Beatles (2007)

John Lennon , Paul McCartney  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Unseen Beatles + The Beatles Explosion + Beatles: From Liverpool to San Francisco
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000SQFC4K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,702 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Extended interviews
  • Photo gallery
  • Rare footage of the Beatles in Jersey

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Unseen Beatles (DVD)

There are a couple of surprises in store for amateur historians of Beatlemania on The Unseen Beatles, particularly home-movie footage by a fan who attended the band's famously final concert in San Francisco's Candlestick Park, 1966. The images seen here don't show the Beatles playing so much as they underscore how primitive the group's concert preparations were for such a sizable performance space. Received wisdom throughout many decades since the Beatles played live is that the disgruntled group couldn't hear itself over the screaming masses. The Unseen Beatles suggests, alternatively, that the band's management and general touring operation were well behind the demands of shows held in large arenas and stadiums.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of Beatles lore will recall that the group decided in 1966 to stop its many years of relentless touring with a final swing through America, focusing thereafter on increasingly experimental and accomplished work in the studio. The Unseen Beatles revisits the trail of life-threatening disasters that led them to give up the road for good, drawing on interviews with the Fab Four's associates (road manager Tony Bramwell, press officer Tony Barrow) and gathering a wealth of archival and personal film material. Various and familiar harrowing incidents--including stifling security measures in Japan to protect the Beatles from assassins and the group's nightmarish experience in the Philippines after enraging Imelda Marcos--are impressionistically recounted here. Perhaps more unique to Beatles fans is this BBC documentary's assertion that manager Brian Epstein could have handled touring resources better and been more creative about putting on safe, musically satisfying concerts attended by tens of thousands of people.

At times, the 50-minute The Unseen Beatles is too ambitious for its own good. Inadequate profiles of the personalities of John, Paul, George, and Ringo suggest how the Beatles grew apart as men. But in a show focused on the end of the band as a live act, The Unseen Beatles doesn't say enough about how the group's decision to end touring was fueled in part by individual needs for domestic life and to privately engage in intellectual, artistic, and religious pursuits. The program's musical score, including some of the most funereal sounds of Chopin and Mozart, is truly bizarre (occasional snatches of a generic Merseybeat sound are more appropriate). Famous faces from the Beatles' career--such as A Hard Day's Night director Richard Lester--linger on screen without even brief identification or acknowledgement. But despite these minor problems, The Unseen Beatles has a significant contribution to make toward understanding why the Beatles altered their priorities mid-career and freed themselves to make the likes of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Beatlemania March 12, 2008
"The Unseen Beatles" is a fascinating look at the group's chaotic touring history during 1963-66. After viewing this BBC documentary, one understands why the Fab Four spent their remaining years as a studio band. Featuring several first-person accounts and some rare footage (including home movies from the final concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park), the overall film reveals a darker, more harrowing portrait of Beatlemania - the flip side of "A Hard Day's Night."
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only if You're an Obsessive Beatle Fan October 27, 2007
If you simply must buy anything with the words "The Beatles" on it because you're an obsessive Beatle fan, then buy The Unseen Beatles. Otherwise, don't waste your time and money.

There is indeed some "rare and previously unseen footage" in this DVD, but it struck me that it was "previously unseen" because whoever took it or considered it for air time realized it didn't inform or entertain very much. It didn't add anything new to our knowledge of The Beatles, their history or artistic significance.

As one of the aforementioned obsessive Beatle fans, I didn't learn anything new or gain any further insights into them. "The Beatles Anthology" video would tell this story (plus the story of the rest of their career) just as well or better, and from The Beatles' perspective.

For a more objective, outsider's perspective, I recommend two excellent books: the very enjoyable "Shout" by Philip Norman, and "The Beatles: The Biography" by Bob Spitz, which is well-researched, unflaggingly honest, and thoroughly detailed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Unseen Beatles December 2, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are a true Beatles Fan you will like this.
It has some great black and white footage and some really cute scences with the "Fab Four".
It is not the Best DVD on the lads I have ever seen and trust me I have lots of them in my Beatles collection of VHS and DVD's, but it is worth having. it is done well and it is very Clear. I really liked adding it to my Collection.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unseen Beatles March 23, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Included exerpts from the last half of "The Beatles from Liverpool"... so it does have some pre-released footage. But it was very good.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable for the Beatle Fan Who Has Everything December 5, 2007
This dvd is obviously taken from a BBC documentary that was aired on British television, earlier this year, or late last year. I don't understand one reviewer's assesment that this footage has been seen, and the unseen footage was never shown because it has no entertainment value. That is ridiculous. If you are a Beatles fan you will enjoy seeing the rare home movies included in this small compilation. It is only 65 minutes long, and the price is right. It is a nice addition to your collection if you are so inclined to collect these things. And what fan of the group would not love to have little movies of Paul and John, hamming it up, by the pool. Also, there are home movies made by a fan who attended their last concert at Candlestick Park in 1966. An interesting snippit of time is captured, as you watch people setting up for the concert. Also, there are extended interviews with people associated with the group, like Tony Bramwell, Larry Kane, and Allen Williams. Although they don't say anything earth shatteringly, new, it is still very interesting because they touch on things that have always been intriguing anyway. Allen Williams in particular is not his usual sour grapes, woe is me, self. He actually seems to acknowledge how lucky he was to have known the group, and worked with them, and he also gives interesting observations. Tony Bramwell says, and has said before, that the Beatles had no responsibility. Their's was a carefree existance. This seems to miss the point, because although they didn't have to be at a nine to five job, they did have to be somewhere all the time, and the demands placed on them, especially the two songwriters, were 100 times more stressful than what a regular joe would experience. The fact that they were so proffessional at such a tender age, adds to their appeal. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars a good get to know them dvd January 9, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
it is part of my collection of beatles' info on who they really were/are. very informative. sometimes a little shocking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Unseen Beatles May 23, 2013
By Peace
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a good DVD for all Beatle fans. It really gave a closer look of what they were going through back then.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Was fun to see some of the interviews could not always understand what was said but loved their funny answers. Thought there might be some concert footage was disappointed there was none.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent review on the Fab Four. Love the history behind the greatest band ever.
Published 18 days ago by pkfloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars love the beatles.
I have so many beatles stuff. it was the magical time of my life. brings me back to such happy days.
Published 22 months ago by J wong
3.0 out of 5 stars Get The *Anthology DVD Set* Instead!
Although there isn't anything really bad about THE UNSEEN BEATLES DVD, I have to give a three-star (it's OK) rating. Read more
Published on November 23, 2011 by Alex Honda
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles' Swan Song Concert
I have long awaited seeing this footage of the Beatles' Swan Song Concert in San Francisco and this film was well worth the wait. Read more
Published on May 3, 2008 by BeatleBangs1964
1.0 out of 5 stars Technical difficulties
I purchased this item here, then another from Newbury Comics, then another from Target. None of them worked.
Published on February 28, 2008 by J. Parker
1.0 out of 5 stars Damaged product
DVD will not work. Returned twice with the same result. I purchsed it at a competitor and it was the same result.
Published on February 25, 2008 by Irving Faqua
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have DVD!
This DVD is a must have for any Beatles fan. A lot of never before seen footage. DVD arrived in a short time and in excellent condition.
Published on January 6, 2008 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars MINE WOULDN'T PLAY, EITHER
Hey Dennis Carter, you're not alone! I got this DVD and it will not play
at all (the first out of the 200+ DVD's I own). Read more
Published on January 2, 2008 by NYC Music Lover
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