Tuesday, December 26, 2017

50 years ago -- Magical Mystery Tour

50 years ago, December 26, 1967 our friends in the U.K got the chance to watch the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour on television for the first time.    It was broadcasted in black and white and got terrible reviews.    Today many people say that the reason for the bad reviews was because it wasn't shown in color (or colour as they would put it) and therefore, the viewers didn't get to experience the film as it was supposed to be enjoyed.   

Other people claim that Magical Mystery Tour was a film that was "ahead of its time."    To me, I guess it is WAY ahead of its time because it has been 50 years and I still think it is a terrible film.    Don't get me wrong.   I like the "music videos" for I am the Walrus, Your Mother Should Know, Blue Jay Way, Fool on the Hill.   There are a few little bits in there that are cute or funny.    You can't help but love Little Nicola's interactions with John and George.    Ringo and his "auntie" crack me up.   But....once you got a creeper John slopping nasty looking stuff onto a plate, a censored stripper and a million people crowding into a tiny tent --- you lost me.    I am just thankful that I purchased the film in the era of the VHS and after the first few viewings, I was able to fast forward to the song.   

As much as I don't understand Magical Mystery Tour and even have been known to call it "boring,"  I enjoy the music and the photographs from that time.    When you look at the timeline, you will notice that Brian Epstein hadn't been gone for even a month when they started filming, and this silly film was one of the last things the four of them really did as a GROUP of four guys. 

And so -- I bring to you photo of MMT in black and white.  Just as they were seen 50 years ago today.


  1. "I guess it is WAY ahead of its time because it has been 50 years and I still think it is a terrible film." Nice line. I agree, good for the embedded 'music vids' and for the kernel of a great concept. PM's a bit defensive about this film since it was his idea; an honest film: close to PM's penchant for bus rides to stay grounded and to any working class Scouser's experience of the sharabang holiday trip. But haplessly too close for comfort to the Sixties, which lost the plot by the end of '67, so I'd say it was OF its time, on the nose, and so the trip went nowhere. Had the Sixties provided some place to go, the coach would have made it, but the decade fell short and so did the century.
    So they got off the coach and went to India, the equivalent of bailing out of the decade by parachute.
    But there's genuine working class roots in MM TOUR: and the closest they got to that in India was Ringo's supply of Heinz Beans.

  2. agree with you Sara ; also when it first was shown I loved being able to see the lads on screen again & the music but didn't care for the rest of it and still don't

  3. I see how Paul still defends this movie to this day. He will mention Steven Spielberg as a fan of the movie. Paul? Please don't mention Spielberg and Magical Mystery Tour in the same sentence. Then he tries to argue that it is the only time that we get to see John Lennon/The Beatles performing I Am The Walrus. Come on Paul! I love the Beatles but this was the worst project that they were ever involved in. Yes, the music segments were good on their own, but that's it. (MarkZapp)

  4. If you treat it as a series of music videos with experimental home movies in between the music sequences, it works fine. It's the feature film equivalent of the "I Feel Fine" video where the Beatles are eating fish and chips.