The Beatles: Get Back Review

Sawyer Ramsay ’24

Contributor

On Thursday, November 25, 2021, The Beatles documentary Get Back became available for the first time on Disney plus. The series lasted three days, containing one episode per day, and was complete by November 27. 

The series is a compilation of footage and audio recordings taken just before the breakup of the band as they prepared for their final performance.

The film was directed and produced by Peter Jackson who came across over sixty hours of never-before-seen footage and over one hundred and fifty hours of audio recordings. Peter Jackson restored and edited this footage down into an eight-hour total series containing three episodes that range from two to three hours.  

In the first episode, the band is given an incredible challenge, they must write and record fourteen songs in the span of a couple weeks before performing them live. They practice in a studio in Twickenham, and they come up with song ideas and start to plan their show, which was originally planned to take place in Africa in an outdoor theatre. 

However, at the end of the first episode the band faces a problem as their guitarist George Harrison left the band, leaving them with three members. In the second episode, the band struggles to get their guitar player back and when they do, the live show is pushed back one more week to allow for preparation. They move to the apple corps recording studio in London to record as Twickenham was not good acoustically. 

In the third episode, The Beatles record their songs and practice them for the show which they had to relocate due to time. They play their final concert on top of the apple corps recording studio. They play an outstanding performance until they are forced to stop playing by the police as their music was literally stopping traffic. 

Get Back was one of my favourite documentaries that I had ever seen. The footage was very interesting and was restored well. I really enjoyed how this documentary highlighted all the joy the band was having while they were writing, practicing, and performing these songs. In the Let It Be documentary from 1970, The Beatles’ breakup was portrayed as a time that the band could not get along with each other.

With all this new footage, it is clear that the band was still very close at the time of their breakup. They were constantly joking, laughing, and even singing songs in funny voices. It was very interesting to see how well The Beatles could handle all that pressure and work together to write and record some incredibly good songs in such a short time.

The only thing that I think could have been improved was the editing of on-screen text and other things like that as it did not seem to blend in well. In general, this was an amazing series that truly shows how genius The Beatles are, and how passionate they are about music. It is surely worth the eight-hour watch time. 

Photo Credit: IMDb