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July 15, 2016

The Beatles and World War II

New updated version of classic film and soundtrack released today

posted by Mike Walton

All This and World War II was a 1976 musical documentary that juxtaposes Beatles songs, performed by a number of musicians including Rod, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s.

20th Century Fox asked Susan Winslow to direct with a budget of $1.3 million. Winslow had previously participated as a researcher in the crew that produced Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (directed by Philippe Mora) which married 1930s newsreel and mostly Warner Bros. movie footage to gramophone songs of the period.

The musical director was Lou Reizner, who also produced the soundtrack album.

The original intention of the filmmakers was to use actual Beatles music in the film. The decision to use other artists covering Beatles music was made by the film's producers after they realised additional money could be made through a soundtrack album. The decision was a sound one, as the soundtrack actually generated more revenue than the film.

The album reached number 23 on the UK album charts, with a total of seven weeks on the chart. Elton John’s rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", when previously released as a single in 1974, had been a number one hit. Rod's version of "Get Back" was subsequently released and became a UK hit single peaking at #11. Ambrosia’s cover version of "Magical Mystery Tour" was released and became a US hit single reaching #39 on the Billboard Charts.

The film has never been officially released on home video or DVD, But a new updated version of the film called The Beatles and World War II, featuring much of the same music set to a newly created movie that includes some different vintage clips, has been released as a DVD/two-CD set today July 15.

The new version of the movie was edited by veteran director Tony Palmer, “The 2016 film is a completely new experience, much of it in HD,” Palmer explains “Yes, we have used some of the original tracks, but added a lot of new archive footage, some never seen before. In addition, I have often used totally different music.”

The director also points out that while the movie features footage of such World War II-era figures as Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Joe Kennedy and Adolf Hitler, it also references modern events and topics such as “war-torn Syria and the massive problem of immigration along the way.”

Palmer maintains that new version is a far more complex film than the original and he hopes it will give everyone pause for thought about the troubled world in which we live.

The Beatles and World War II features a DVD combined with a double-CD soundtrack album.

Track listing for the CD is as follows;

CD 1
“The Fool on the Hill” — Helen Reddy
“Yesterday” — David Essex
“The Long and Winding Road”” — Leo Sayer
“I Am the Walrus” — Leo Sayer
“Come Together ” — Tina Turner
“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” — Frankie Laine
“She’s Leaving Home” — Bryan Ferry
“Let It Be” — Leo Sayer
“Getting Better” — Status Quo
“Help!” — Henry Gross
“Nowhere Man” — Jeff Lynne
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” — Elton John

CD 2
“With a Little Help from My Friends” — Jeff Lynne
“Because — Lynsey de Paul
“Get Back” — Rod Stewart
“We Can Work It Out” — The Four Seasons
“A Day in the Life” — Frankie Valli
“Michelle” — Richard Cocciante
“When I’m Sixty-Four” — Keith Moon
“Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” — The Bee Gees
“Strawberry Fields Forever” — Peter Gabriel
“Hey Jude” — The Brothers Johnson
“The Fool on the Hill” — John Williams

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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