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8 Movies Inspired by The Beatles

When The Beatles sang about love and peace, it wasn't just to redeem their artistic values, it was rather to deliver a performance of effortless originality that won them fans and a legacy that remains unmatched even today. Here are 8 movies inspired by The Beatles that hold a much deeper meaning even today.
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Movies inspired by the Beatles
If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that's a problem. Peace and love are eternal.
― John Lennon

They influenced, inspired, and initiated. They rebelled, resolved, and reunited. Such was their music that it resonated for every seeker of a soulful serenity. The Beatles need no introduction. Needless to say, these fabulous four have been catalysts for creating a cultural phenomenon with the whole world taking a note of their perspective.

The Beatles not only made music, but were also in a constant search for a life more meaningful and thoughtful. Seeking peace, sometimes meditating, or sometimes stumbling upon reckless love, they made their journey to be the greatest musicians that the world would ever know. Their much intriguing lives have been talked about, filmed about, and documented about. However, what remains a greater ode is the number of artwork these four inspired. Here's a list of movies that The Beatles become an inspiration for in ways both, subtle and unsubtle.

ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II
SUSAN WINSLOW
NOVEMBER 12, 1976

Lost in the list of movies revolving around The Beatles, the 1976 All This and World War II is a rather peculiar film. Put together with newsreel footage of World War II, this film uses lyrical compositions of The Beatles as a near perfect narrative. This film is neither a historical take of the events, nor a documentary. It is in fact an anti-war film that may have been inspired by the simple, yet thought-provoking lyrics of the British band. This is one of the movies that put members of The Beatles in the backseat and only let its music play for all the world and the war it had witnessed.

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND
ROBERT ZEMECKIS
APRIL 21, 1978

Every couple of years, we stumble upon films that transcend its conventional purpose of entertainment with a hope to achieve something more ambitious. The 1978 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' was a film that was inspired by one such phenomenon (and not just a film) of that generation that gripped the world by the storm. It was a film that hoped to document, to reflect, and capture the madness called the Beatlemania. Inspired by the magic that this rock 'n' roll band conjured for millions of fans―who were divided over continents, castes, and creeds―this film brings in quite an interesting paradox in the film. The plot revolves around The Beatles arriving on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, which earned them worldwide recognition. The film tirelessly captures the enthusiastic energy of the fans, their hysteria, their blind, unconditional love, and most importantly, the unerasable influence that The Beatles had and were to leave behind in the years to come. However, we never see the fabulous four. But we don't miss them either because Robert Zemeckis ensures that the likenesses of The Beatles is carefully sneaked and inserted in every scene. Be it their music which becomes a narrative backdrop or their merchandises, we never really miss The Beatles in this one.

SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
MICHAEL SCHULTZ
JULY 24, 1978

This 1978 movie starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees drew a lot of flak from both, the audience and the critics. The movie revolves around a plot of four musicians who form a band overcoming the obstacles and the terrible influences of the music industry. However, their trials and tribulations don't end just yet. They have to save their town from the evil forces that intend to steal the four prized musical instruments that assure peace and love to the world at large. The movie carefully incorporates a corpus of Beatles songs. However, what really inspired Robert Stigwood (producer) to make this movie remains a question even until this day! All that can be said about this film is, it sure did not turn out to be a 'Gone with the Wind' of this generation as expected.

SECRETS (ONE CRAZY NIGHT)
MICHAEL PATTINSON
DECEMBER 3, 1992

The name itself touches a nerve somewhere, doesn't it? After all, we all have secrets. The 1992 Australian film, Secrets is something between 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and 'The Breakfast Club' (which is not a Beatles-related film). Circa 1964, the film shows what happens over a crazy night when five teenagers, headed for The Beatles concert, get trapped in the basement of the hotel. Despite their wildly different cliques, these teenagers bond over sharing secrets. We do not see Beatles, except in the form of archival footage of the Melbourne visit. Their songs contribute as any other Beatles-inspired movie, but do very little to make an impact. This movie wasn't an original plot, and maybe that is why it lost on all counts. However, what the underlying theme of the movie states is that yes, The Beatles did unite a wide spectrum of people coming from different backgrounds. Whether it was called Beatlemania or the sheer power of music, it is true that every Beatles fan sought a connection with the other despite what lay hidden beneath their apparent persona.

I AM SAM
JESSIE NELSON
DECEMBER 28, 2001

All You Need Is Love has been a theme for many artistic projects ever since the song was first sung. I Am Sam is no exception to this inspiration. It's a movie that discusses the complex nature of human behavior pertaining to love, parenting, intelligence, and a survival instinct. Sam Dawson, a developmentally disabled and autistic individual, fathers a child. With an IQ of that of a 7-year-old, he faces the flak of the society and is questioned about his scope to raise a child all by himself. The battle that ensues and what makes Sam our hero is much left to the musical mystery of The Beatles. The foursome are the focal point of Sam's life. They are his anchor during stormy nights, his deposit of happiness in times of deficit made by sadness, they become his inspiration that fill up the void despair makes, and The Beatles become his voice in the court of law to win back his Lucy Diamond Dawson, the only love he has ever come to know. The audience becomes a witness of The Beatlemania once again, but bottled in a perspective. In this case, we see a more deeper subject, dealt with the solution: 'all you need is love.' For a true Beatles fan, it is hard to tell who the real hero is, Sam or The Beatles.

THE RUTLES 2: CAN'T BUY ME LUNCH
ERIC IDLE
2002

While its first counterpart aimed at mockumenting the life of legendary Beatles, the second one aimed at showing how it shaped the future generation. Rutles 2 is a retelling of its predecessor's story; however, it lacks the charm, the originality, and the presentation of the first part. The movie comes across as a halfhearted attempt at rehashing the old Beatlemania that was mockumented, but fails to do any justice. The inspiration for this film remains the career of The Rutles (fictionalized band representing The Beatles), but it hardly can ever evoke an emotion.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
JULIE TAYMOR
SEPTEMBER 14, 2007

As the opening scene shows an unaccompanied dreamer sing 'Girl', we make a quick conclusion of how this movie must make it to the list of movies inspired by Beatles. This musical extravaganza is a bold, beautiful, and an enchanting drama intertwined with the legacy that The Beatles left behind. We see a remarkable influence of this band on Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe." Right from the names of the characters to the depiction of their emotions, there is an underlying current of the beloved boy band. The movie is rather an illustration to the songs that The Beatles created, often connecting a mood to the right song. The movie also gives you new perspectives on the certain songs. For instance, you realize that 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' could be a sad song too. 'Across the Universe' is a fresh piece of magic realism that retrieves what was sung 40 years ago and reminds you that all of it still holds true.

NOWHERE BOY
SAM TAYLOR-WOOD
DECEMBER 26, 2009

As musicians, The Beatles have made an incredible contribution to the world of cinema. The intriguing lives of the four musicians, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, have been filmed and documented by many. However, Lennon stands out as the prominent figure who became the epicenter of some epic storytelling in the years to come. Inspired by 'Julia', a song that Lennon wrote for his mother, the movie intends to look into this legendary musician's past. The unrequited mother's love, the forlorn yearning for a family, the strange arrangements of raising John, and eventually an anger that consumed him are the themes that this movie explores. The movie shows the intricate relationships that John's biological mother, aunt Mimi, uncle George, and his biological father shared that drove this young man to seek refuge in music. This movie subtly arrives at a possibility that if Julia was there for John, maybe he would not have been there for us. Thus, remains our wonderment towards a question: do all we need is really love?

The bottom line of every Beatles-inspired film remains the need to connect with world, a need to satisfy the longing for love, and above all, seek peace within. Although the movies pick different storylines to show this, they eventually come back to this premise. Be it struggle or a celebration, even years later, Lennon stands correct―all you need is love, and love is all you need. And this has been the premise of every endeavor we have ever sought.
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Published: May 5, 2014
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