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The Beatles Movies, Reverse Ranked — Plus, a Look at Their Solo Films

Sure, the Fab Four are known for their music, but did you know they did movies, too?

The Beatles are renowned not only for their groundbreaking music, but also for their ventures into the world of cinema. As a group and as individuals, they left their mark in the movie world.

From their iconic early films capturing the frenzy of Beatlemania to their individual forays into acting and producing, each cinematic endeavor offers a unique glimpse into the multifaceted talents of the Fab Four.

Here we look at the history of The Beatles’ cinematic legacy, both collectively and individually.

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The Beatles Movies, Together

6. Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Beatles Movies

Magical Mystery Tour as one of the Beatles Movies

In 1967, The Beatles embarked on a psychedelic journey with Magical Mystery Tour. Departing from conventional narrative structures, the film takes viewers on a surreal bus trip through the English countryside, blending reality with fantasy.

Directed by the band members themselves, Magical Mystery Tour features a series of vignettes, musical performances, and experimental sequences. While initially met with mixed reviews, the film has since gained cult status for its avant-garde approach and innovative visuals, reflecting the artistic experimentation of the era.

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5. Let It Be (1970)

Let It Be

Let It Be offers a candid glimpse into the final days of The Beatles as a band. Filmed during the tumultuous recording sessions for their album of the same name, the documentary captures the creative process, interpersonal dynamics, and eventual dissolution of the group.

Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the film portrays both moments of musical brilliance and moments of tension and discord among the band members. Despite the underlying tensions, Let It Be stands as a testament to The Beatles’ enduring musical legacy and the bittersweet conclusion of an era.

4. Yellow Submarine (1968): Beatles Movies

Yellow Submarine as one of the Beatles Movies

If there’s a film that captures the psychedelic era of the 1960s that gave us Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it would have to be the animated Yellow Submarine. Although The Beatles themselves had nothing to do with the film beyond supplying songs and making a cameo appearance at the end, it certainly captures their essence.

The plot has Captain Fred traveling from Pepperland to recruit The Beatles to help free the music-loving people there from the reign of the Blue Meanies. Most amazing thing of all? It was produced by the people behind The Beatles Saturday morning cartoon that launched in 1965 — this was definitely a step up.

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3. Help! (1965)


Continuing their collaboration with director Richard Lester, The Beatles starred in Help! in 1965. Departing from the documentary-style of their previous film, Help! takes on a surreal spy comedy adventure.

The plot revolves around Ringo Starr obtaining a sacrificial ring that he cannot remove, leading the band on a globe-trotting quest to escape a religious cult and thwart their nefarious plans. Packed with witty humor, zany antics, and vibrant musical performances, Help! showcases The Beatles’ evolving creativity and infectious energy.

2. The Beatles: Get Back (2021): Beatles Movies

The Beatles Get Back as one of the Beatles Movies

Decades after its initial production, Get Back offers a fresh perspective on The Beatles’ final studio album, Let It Be. Directed by Peter Jackson, the documentary utilizes previously unseen footage from the original recording sessions, providing an intimate portrayal of the band’s creative process. This docuseries is almost eight hours, so it’s broken up into three episodes, each episode between two and three hours.

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1. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

A Hard Day's Night

Directed by Richard Lester, A Hard Day’s Night marked The Beatles’ cinematic debut in 1964. This black-and-white musical comedy portrays a fictionalized day in the life of the band during the height of Beatlemania.

The film captures the frenzy surrounding the group as they navigate through various comedic situations while preparing for a live television performance. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr portray exaggerated versions of themselves, showcasing their natural charisma and comedic timing.

The film features iconic songs such as “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “She Loves You,” making it a quintessential Beatles experience.

The Beatles Movies: Solo Ventures

Beyond their collective endeavors, each member of The Beatles pursued individual projects in the world of cinema. While The Beatles’ collective cinematic journey is well-documented, their individual forays into the world of film are equally interesting.

As solo artists, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr each embarked on their own cinematic journey, exploring diverse roles as actors, producers, and directors. From anti-war satires to musical extravaganzas, their solo films offer a compelling glimpse into their post-Beatles careers.

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John Lennon: How I Won the War (1967):

How I Won the War as one of the Beatles Movies

Directed by Richard Lester, How I Won the War starred John Lennon. Set during World War II, the film is a satirical anti-war comedy that follows the misadventures of a British army unit led by an incompetent officer, played by Michael Crawford. Lennon portrays the character Gripweed, a soldier with a penchant for philosophical musings and unconventional behavior. With its dark humor and absurdist tone, How I Won the War offers a biting critique of the futility and absurdity of war.

Ringo Starr: Candy (1968)


Ringo Starr showcased his acting talents in Candy, a 1968 comedy-drama directed by Christian Marquand. Based on the novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, the film follows the title character, Candy (played by Ewa Aulin), on a series of misadventures and encounters with various eccentric characters. The film has a strong cast including Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, and Walter Matthau. Starr portrays Emmanuel, a Mexican gardener entangled in Candy’s whimsical journey.

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George Harrison: HandMade Films, 1973 to 1991

George Harrison and Madonna on Shanghai Surprise as one of the Beatles Movies

In 1973, actor Peter Sellers (best known as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther film series) introduced George Harrison to American attorney Dennis O’Brien, and together they formed production company HandMade Films. Their first effort was 1978’s Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Harrison, as part of Handmade, would serve as executive producer of 22 other movies, among them Time Bandits (1981), Sean Penn and Madonna’s Shanghai Surprise (1986) and How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989).

Paul McCartney: Wings Over America (1979)

Wings Over America Tour
1976Evening Standard / Stringer/ Getty

Wings Over America captures Paul McCartney on his iconic 1976 North American tour. Directed by Ron Furmanek, the concert film showcases electrifying performances of classic hits such as “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Live and Let Die,” and “Band on the Run.” Filmed over multiple nights in various cities, the documentary captures the energy and excitement of McCartney’s live performances, reaffirming his status as a legendary performer and songwriter.

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Ringo Starr: Caveman (1981)


In Caveman, released in 1981 and directed by Carl Gottlieb, Ringo Starr ventures into the prehistoric era for a comedic romp through the Stone Age. Starr plays the role of Atouk, a bumbling caveman who embarks on a quest for love and survival after being banished from his tribe. Alongside co-stars Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long, Starr navigates a world filled with slapstick humor, primitive rituals, and dinosaur encounters.

Paul McCartney: Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)

Give My Regards to Broad Street as one of the Beatles Movies

Directed by Peter Webb, Give My Regards to Broad Street is a musical drama starring Paul McCartney as himself. The film follows McCartney’s frantic search for missing master tapes of his latest album, Give My Regards to Broad Street, leading to a series of flashbacks and musical performances. The film combines elements of mystery, romance, and musical spectacle, showcasing McCartney’s versatility as a performer and actor.

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