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The Beatles

The Compleat Beatles [Video]

The Compleat Beatles [Video] cover

The Compleat Beatles is a textbook example of how a rock documentary -- a "rockumentary," if you will -- should be assembled. Treating its subject with reverence without being stuffy, and crammed with details without being overly long, The Compleat Beatles tells the Liverpool quartet's story succinctly and clearly, hitting every major point from Stu Sutcliffe to Yoko Ono. Visually, the movie is a collage of film clips, television appearances and photographs, all tied together with stock footage, new interviews with key players like producer George Martin, and narration from Malcolm McDowell. Even after the Beatles issued their own video version of their story with the long-awaited (and just plain long) Anthology, The Compleat Beatles stands as the definitive film version of their story because it tells the story simply and passionately. It's quite possibly the finest rock documentary ever made.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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