14 Movies Beatles Fans Need To See, From 'A Hard Day's Night' To 'Yesterday'
The new film Yesterday does the unthinkable: It shows a world without The Beatles. After suffering an accident during a global blackout, struggling songwriter Jack Malik awakes to find he's the only person on the planet who remembers The Beatles. It's definitely a new idea for a film, but it's far from the first movie about The Beatles. The Fab Four have been a fixture on the silver screen — either in person or in the form of their songs — from nearly the time they played their first chords together. But which movies should Beatles fans watch?
The list below compiles 14 of the best movies to feature The Beatles. Some of these films star John, Paul, George, and Ringo as actors, some feature their music, and others are documentaries that give fans a look at what they were like in real life. But they all have one thing in common, and that is the tendency to give their viewers a serious case of Beatlemania. There's a reason why a band that last recorded an album in 1969 is still having major studio films made about their music 50 years later, and that's because nothing compares to The Beatles. Their music endures like no other, and the 14 films below will help you to see why that is.
1. 'A Hard Day's Night'
The first film starring The Beatles, A Hard Days Night is widely considered a classic today — and not just for Beatles fans. Capturing the Fab Four at the height of their fame in 1964, the film showcases the wit and whimsy of these still-very young lads from Liverpool, making for a very entertaining movie.
The Beatles' second film is considerably sloppier than its predecessor, but it's still fun. The loose style of A Hard Day's Night is replaced by a more structured (and far stranger) plot revolving around a mystical ring and the nefarious forces trying to retrieve it from Ringo's finger.
3. 'Yellow Submarine'
This animated classic from 1968 is well-remembered for its iconic psychedelic animation, and you should definitely watch if for no other reason than to understand the Blue Meanies reference in Endgame.
4. 'Magical Mystery Tour'
According to many critics of the day, this is the point where The Beatles bit off more than they could chew. Increasingly fueled by drug use, The Beatles attempt some slap dash sketch comedy in this 1967 TV special, with mixed results. But at least the music's great.
5. 'Let It Be'
The final of the original five Beatles films, this documentary shows the band on its last legs as the group records what would be their last album, Let It Be.
6. 'Across The Universe'
This 2007 musical written around the music of The Beatles received mixed reviews upon release, but fans of the band will still likely enjoy hearing the cast's inventive new takes on the familiar songs.
7. 'Eight Days A Week'
Released in 2016, this documentary from Ron Howard takes a look at The Beatles' touring years. The band stopped performing live in 1966, deciding to focus exclusively on studio recordings, and this well-done doc does a great job of explaining why.
8. 'The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash'
This 1978 parody film chronicles the career of the world's biggest rock band, The Rutles, who share just a few similarities to The Beatles.
9. 'The Beatles Anthology'
This extensive multipart TV documentary from the '90s helped to reignite Beatlemania in the decade by releasing loads of never-released material and reuniting the three remaining Beatles for a couple of new tunes.
10. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand'
Before going on to create Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale teamed for this comedy about a group of Beatles fans in 1964 who set out to try and meet their heroes.
11. 'I Am Sam'
This 2001 drama stars Sean Penn as a mentally-disabled man and giant Beatles fan who has to fight to regain custody of his young daughter. The movie features covers of a number of Beatles songs by artists like Eddie Vedder, Sarah McLachlan, and Ben Folds.
12. 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story'
This Judd Apatow-produced parody of music biopics features just one scene with The Beatles, but the entire movie is worth watching.
13. 'Two Of Us'
This TV movie dramatizes an actual event that took place on April 24, 1976. During that night's episode of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels offered The Beatles $3,000 on air to reunite (as a joke). What Michaels didn't know is that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were hanging out together in New York at the time, watching the show, and they almost took him up on his offer.
Can you imagine a world without The Beatles? This film dares to go there.
Yesterday is just the latest in a long line of films about The Beatles, and given the breadth of the band's influence, it won't be the last.