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Movie Date: The Beatles On Screen

We talk with the co-hosts of The Takeaway's film podcast about the Beatles on screen -- and in soundtracks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A screenshot from the Beatles film "Help!" (YouTube)

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ very first live television performance here in the U.S. However, today we thought we’d take a look at the Beatles – not on the small screen, but on the big screen. We talk with Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman, co-hosts of The Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast, about the Beatles' impact on film. 

Rafer Guzman, on "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!":

I think they really have a great chemistry and a great rapport together. Even though they're kind of, a little bit following a script, a little bit ad-libbing, they all have a real charisma and a real chemistry that I think comes off the screen. Even George, the quiet one, gets a few lines in here and there. But I think they're actually quite good as themselves. 


Rafer Guzman on "Help!": 

I think "Help!" actually was their attempt to be something more of a movie -- it had an actual plot.... There's some bad guys -- Leo McKern plays one of the bad guys, Eleanor Bron, great British comedienne -- are trying to get Ringo, and I think they're going to hold some kind of crazy sacrifice... it's a ridiculous plot, and I think critics liked it a little bit less than "Hard Day's Night," perhaps for that reason. 


Kristen Meinzer on the use of the Beatles' music in soundtracks: 

Usually the reason why you have a whole soundtrack of remakes versus a whole soundtrack of Beatles songs is... it's not easy to get the rights to those songs. But Sean Penn tried to get the rights to all the songs for his movie I Am Sam, back in 2001.... He didn't want to have covers, but in the end he had to because he couldn't get the rights -- and the covers I think turned out beautifully. They're just fantastic. One of my favorite songs is by Rufus Wainwright. He does a version of "Across the Universe" that is just so stunningly, achingly beautiful. 


Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer

Comments [2]


...deduction;-->what we've witnessed here,is really the birth of the concept/style leading up to MTV/---all of HELP spawned the Monkees,**i.e. which when cable tv started} was flagged as ""the death of the entire medium,""- but undeniably, --it is still the best marketing skill that was ever out

Feb. 12 2014 10:20 PM
dan edelstein from Greenwich, CT

I worked on Wes Anderson's film Darjeeling Limited as a sound editor. Initially, the film had three Beatle songs, but only 3 of the 4 people who decide if Beatle music can be used ok'd the songs for the film. Unfortunately, they were replaced by songs by the Kinks. I love The Kinks, but the film wasn't nearly as powerful without the Beatles. I can't remember which songs exactly were used in the temp mix, except for I Just Saw a Face (over the opening title sequence). There was one over the funeral for the drowned Indian child which was extremely moving. (Sorry, can't remember which one - old age strikes again.)

Feb. 12 2014 09:23 PM

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