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Roll Up For A Restored and Remastered Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour DVD/Blu-ray on October 9th

Image courtesy of Apple Films LTD

In 1967, in the wake of the extraordinary impact of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and the satellite broadcast of All You Need Is Love, The Beatles devised, wrote and directed their third film, Magical Mystery Tour, a dreamlike story of a coach day trip to the seaside.

That September, The Fab Four loaded a film crew onto a bus along with friends, family and cast and headed west out of London to make their third film, this time conceived and directed by The Beatles themselves.
In the extras Ringo describes the spark of brilliance that fire-balled into the film;

“Paul said ‘Look I’ve got this idea’ and we said ‘great!’ and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top – that’s where we started.”

In another extra interview Paul remembers trying to sell the idea to his colleagues;

“It wasn’t the kind of thing where you could say ‘ladies and gentlemen, what you are about to see is the product of our imaginations and believe me, at this point they are quite vivid!’ “

Apple Films LTD

The film follows a loose narrative and showcased six new songs:  “Magical Mystery Tour,” “The Fool On The Hill,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Flying,” “Blue Jay Way,” and “Your Mother Should Know.”

Magical Mystery Tour also featured a fabulous supporting cast of character actors and performers, including Ivor Cutler, Victor Spinetti, Jessie Robins, Nat Jackley, Derek Royle, and the inimitable Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

It premiered December 26th (Boxing Day in The United Kingdom)  on UK television in black and white, even though the 53 minute film was shot in colour.

After the broadcast, the film immediately attracted widespread controversy as middle England and the establishment media erupted with indignation in reviews and headlines;

“How dare they?” “They’re not film directors! Who do they think they are?” “Where were the four loveable moptops of Help! and A Hard Day’s Night?” “Those Beatles are out of control!”

Because of this adverse reaction, the film never had a US broadcast and received very limited distribution in the rest of the World.

Apple Films LTD

Now, Apple Films have fully restored the long out-of-print, classic feature film for an October 9th North American release on DVD and Blu-ray, with a remixed 5.1 and stereo soundtrack with special features.

Magical Mystery Tour will be available in DVD and Blu-ray packages, and in a special, 10”x10” boxed deluxe edition.  The deluxe edition includes both the DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a 60-page book with background information, photographs and documentation from the production, and a faithful reproduction of the mono double 7” vinyl EP of the film’s six new Beatles songs, originally issued in the UK to complement the film’s 1967 release.

The restoration of Magical Mystery Tour has been overseen by Paul Rutan Jr. of Eque Inc., the same company that handled the much acclaimed restoration of Yellow Submarine.  The soundtrack work was done at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.

All of the packages contain a host of special features, packed with unseen footage.  There are newly-filmed interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and other members of the film’s cast and crew, as well as a director’s audio commentary recorded by Paul. They’ve also released this revamp of the original theatrical trailer. You can order your copy and a load of other cool Magical Mystery Tour merchandise from The Beatles’ Store.

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