|Let It Be: The Film was given a cinematic release in 1970 but has since been largely buried.|
It might be a forlorn hope but today, the Beatles official YouTube account released a series of clips from the film. The film, sources say, has been remastered and cleaned up, could it be finally time for it to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray?
Why won't Apple release it? Well, various reasons have been given over the years as to why the film has never seen an official video release but the one major factor is that the Beatles themselves weren't/aren't too fond of the film anyway due to it not being a particularly happy time and the film caught that unhappiness for posterity. When the film was released, none of the band attended the premieres around the world. Also, some of the stuff in the out-takes is still considered controversial and still had the potential to raise old issues that are long forgotten in the Beatle camp.
The film was originally conceived of as a sort of "The Beatles 'Get Back' to their roots" project by Paul McCartney after the recording sessions for the White Album didn't go smoothly and resulted in some friction. Paul had an idea of shooting a TV Documentary of the band rehearsing and then giving a live performance of the new songs that would be recorded for album release. A pretty straightforward idea and a good one but John, George and even Ringo's hearts weren't in it.
The TV broadcast idea was dropped and the project became a feature film with the Beatles rehearsing at Twickenham Studios on a sound stage with Paul coming up with ideas as they went along: A tour was brought up by Paul which the others torpedoed swiftly, even Ringo put his foot down saying he wasn't going abroad. Then, with the original idea for a concert still in effect, Paul floated ideas for a venue for it. Locations such as the Roundhouse in London were suggested and then more unusual ones like a disused flour mill and a cruise ship were discussed.
With filming and discussions becoming disjointed, the Beatles started squabbling again, resulting in George abruptly announcing he was leaving the band and he would see them round the clubs. Filming quickly relocated to 3 Savile Row, Apple HQ, where George was coaxed back. The film took a turn for the better with the Beatles appearing to get along better and an idea was had to end the film with a concert on the roof of 3 Savile Row.
The Rooftop Concert marked the last time the Beatles performed live as a group and has gone down in history better than the film did. The film itself, as Paul notes in the Anthology, actually showed how the break-up of a group works and that's what ended up happening on film. A sad time for the Beatles and their fans which understandably neither Paul nor Ringo probably want to re-live with a release of the film, no matter how much of the arguments and bitterness are edited out.
But for fans like me, and maybe you too, it's history. The fall of the Roman Empire, the break-up of the Beatles. It's history and extremely interesting history at that so hopefully Apple will Let It Be and release the film!