Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Movie Review: Desperately Seeking Paul McCartney

I watched this film on Netflicks over the weekend and since it falls into the wonderful category of "Beatles fan" information, I thought I would pass along what I thought of it.

Ruth (Anson) Sowby was a teenage reporter for ABC news in the 1960's.   She interviewed famous people (like Bob Hope) and politicians and such for ABC news.   She was very cute and the footage they showed of her doing this proved that she wasn't bad at her job whatsoever.    She was allowed into a Beatles L.A. press conference at the Capitol Towers and interviewed them.

And there is where I found a BIG mistake in this film.   It isn't something that changes the story in anyway.   But I was shocked that no one corrected it or even says it online.   All throughout the film Ruth claims that she interviewed Paul at the 1965 press conference.    And some wonderful rare footage of the Beatles from 1965 leaving the airplane (can tell by John's Rubber Soul jacket) and a snippet of the Beatles performing in 1965 at the Hollywood Bowl (can tell by the "Shea" jackets) is shown.  And then they cut to the footage of Ruth talking to Paul McCartney.   And it is obviously from the 1966 press conference.   In the background, you see Ringo wearing a polka-dot shirt and Paul is wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with stripes.  And Paul is leaning on a long table.  In 1966 there was one long table where the guys were sitting and in 1965 they each had their own podium-type things in front of them.    I am a little obsessive about Beatle years, I know.   But I think it annoyed me throughout the whole thing because they kept saying 1965 and it was so obvious to me that it was 1966.  I wonder if Ruth interviewed the Beatles in 1965 AND in 1966.   But anyhow...

They show this clip of Ruth interviewing Paul (who obviously is her favorite Beatle).  I am not sure if  she interviewed the rest of the boys or not, but this is how this part of the interview went:

Ruth:  Paul any definate plans to marry this year? (although it also sort of sounds like she could have said Jane Asher)

Paul:  No -- unless you'll marry me now.

Ruth:  (who you can see her drop her reporter poise and turn into fan girl for a moment) yes I will!  (Then she hugs Paul.)

 As we have seen on this blog, Paul was asked that question a lot, especially during the 1966 tour.  If you recall, he tells fans just a few days earlier in New York that he "probably" will be marrying Jane Asher this year (I would guess that is why Ruth asked his this question).   And as we also have seen, Paul was a huge flirt with all of the young girls during the press conferences and might have had motives  behind his flirtatious ways.    Somehow I doubt young Ruth really took Paul seriously as proposing to her, but can you image yourself as a Paul fan having Paul ask you to marry you now?  Eeek!

Fast forward to an adult Ruth in 2007, who has this wonderful memory of meeting Paul and has this desire to meet him again.   She wonders if he remembers her.  She wonders why he said that to her.   And she basically just wants to talk to Paul again.   So she pitches her idea of making a film about her life as a journalist and interviewing the people that she interviewed in the 1960's today to see what impact being on the ABC news made on them.   However, most everyone has passed away by now, so she just focuses on her favorite subject:  Paul!

Now here is where the whole film gets a little strange.  I am not sure how fake this all was.   Everyone but Ruth and some of her friends seemed extremely scripted and to be acting.   This was supposed to be a "Reality" type program where camera followed her around.  But it all just seemed so fake to me.   Then I read online that this film was called "Mockumentary" by some people.   I totally could have done without all of the drama type stuff with the producers and junk.   But Ruth really seemed genuine and one of US.

That is what the outside didn't understand.  Ruth is a Beatles fan.   She calls Paul McCartney, "Paul" as if she and him are buddies.   Yeah....Beatle fans do that.   Beatle fans are wonderful, special people who are a bit over the top at times.   So what?  

They try to make Ruth out to look foolish for reasons that I don't think are foolish at all.   They call her a stalker because she tries to finds Paul's home in L.A.   I do not see her being a stalker whatsoever.  They make fun of her for taking a photo of Paul and Linda and cutting out Linda's head and pasting in her own.   Ummmm.....a lot of us do that!   That isn't crazy.   It is silly and fun.   Not crazy.

I do not understand why Ruth didn't hop on a plane and go to London.  She would have had much better film footage and maybe better luck all around at Cavendish, MPL offices at Soho or Abbey Road Studios.   I wanted to grab her by the hand and say, "Come on Ruth.  I understand you.   We are going to London girlfriend and we are going to try our best to track down Paul.  Let's go!"

So....I hope Ruth finds this because she is tracking who online is talking about her film and joins us here in "Meet the Beatles for Real" because she will be among friends who are Desperately Seeking Paul (and Ringo) as much as she is.


  1. It's really sad that the movie mocked her. Other Beatle fans understand though. And what a neat encounter with Paul!

  2. So Funny that my photos are used it has my stramp on them but yet they don't even give me the credits. I took these photos.

  3. I am not sure really how to respond to this. I bought this photos off ebay a few years ago. I was happy to find that I had photos in my files of Ruth talking to Paul McCartney. Do you know Ruth? How did you get into a Beatles press conference?

    I think I know who you are Anonymous. If you are the person I believe to be, then you are the person they often taken photos that I share (which aren't mine to give permission to) and put them on your page. You also take the words that are my own and use them as captions. It is always a little odd to see my words on others people's pages and have viewers believe that someone else said them. But oh well.

    I also believe that you share photos without giving photo credit to the copyright holder or photographer.

    I admit that I am bad in this area. I get so excited about sharing Beatles photos that I don't want to stop and figure out who took the photo. Bad habit that could get me in trouble, I know. I am trying to fix this issue and give credit when I can. I still believe that Beatles photos are for sharing. If you have photos and do not share them...what good are they going to do when you are gone?

  4. Oh...I also run into the issue of two different people claiming that they took a certain photo. How can someone prove that they are the one that took it and someone else didn't? This actually has turned into a big issue in the Beatle photo trading world.

  5. Original negatives! That's really the only way to "prove" ownership of old photos. If you do not have the negatives, then an original print is the best. But if you have neither, good luck trying to prove ownership.
    Sara, thanks for sharing what's out there. If you try to credit where it's possible I don't see any harm in what you're doing. You're not trying to profit from your activities.

  6. dear sara, i am behind you 100%, you do your best to credit photos, and i will always try to help you if i see a photo taken by someone i know. as you know, there are people posting my photos on facebook, blogs, tumblrs, etc. claiming they are theirs, even pasting their watermark all over them. i couldn't do that to someone else, but i guess it's the way you were brought up, your principles, etc. thanks for all the time and effort you put into bringing us so much joy with this blog. regards from a cold and rainy rio de janeiro.