The Beatles’ Farewell Movie ‘Let It Be’ Arrives on Disney+: Review

Chuck Arnold


For years, decades even, it was like, “Don’t let it be.”

But for the first time, the Beatles’ 1970 documentary “Let It Be” — which had not previously been available on DVD, Blu-ray or anything other than VHS — is finally available to stream on Disney+ this week.

Was it worth waiting 54 years?

Well, yes – and no.

While 2021’s “The Beatles: Get Back” was eight hours long, “Let It Be” is only 80 minutes long. Ethan A. Russell

Some context is needed here first: If you’ve watched “The Beatles: Get Back” — the three-part, eight-hour docuseries from Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson that also premiered on Disney + In 2021 – You’ve seen a lot of this already.

And you saw it in the kind of comprehensive detail — from the same footage Jackson used of “Let It Be” director Michael Lindsay-Hogg — where you could probably break down the level of absurdity in Paul McCartney’s fake beard.

But fortunately – whether you’ve actually watched the sometimes boring “The Return” or not – that’s only 80 minutes for eight hours of your time.

For anyone but the oldest Beatleman, it’s math.

But here’s the real difference: While “Get Back” captured every bit of shades of Liverpool, Side Eye and Yoko Ono rock, this song “Let It Be” is more about music produced in the slow fade-out of the Fab Four.

In January 1969, The Beatles arrived on the roof of the Apple Corps building for their last live show. Ethan A. Russell

For most of this film — which documents the Beatles writing songs for their final album, “Let It Be” from the 1970s, in January 1969 — it’s just as if you were a little four-winged insect on the wall of those songs. Sessions at Apple Corps headquarters in London.

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Rehearsing, songwriting, and just jamming — even with all the mounting tension that is actually more between McCartney and George Harrison than Sir Paul and John Lennon (for all those who still blame Ono for the Beatles’ breakup) — it’s a magical, mysterious behind-the-scenes tour of what many consider Greatest band ever.

When McCartney and Lennon have such easy harmony and camaraderie “two of us” — with the latter whistling awkwardly in the outro — it’s as if the dynamic duo were meant to be forever.

The Beatles’ documentary “Let It Be” chronicles the making of their final album, “Let It Be,” in the 1970s. Ethan A. Russell

And when McCartney sits at the piano, in an unfiltered close-up, to give his speech “Let it be” – written by him, though he is credited in his partnership with Lennon – the raw emotion and earnestness are real, as they all surrender to the grandeur of the music.

Although there would ultimately be no “answer” for the Beatles – who would officially break up by the time their final album was released in May 1970 – at that point, they left the music alone.

This is a nice thing to see.

But the real beauty of “Let It Be” happens in its final verse. That’s when the devastated Beatles hit the roof of Apple Corps for their first live performance since 1966.

The Beatles documentary “Let It Be” is now available to stream, after 54 years, on Disney+. APPLE FILMS LIMITED

“Go back to where you once belonged,” McCartney sang, those words sinking in as a crowd of people gathered in London, many of them looking up from the street – while looking very elegant.

I mean, even the Bobbies do the styling.

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Later, “Do not let me down” It turns into a final, desperate plea to save their band of brothers.

But “Let It Be” ends appropriately with a bit of Lennon sarcasm: “I hope we passed the test.”

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George Harrison

John Lennon


Music documentaries


New on Disney Plus

Paul McCartney

Peter Jackson

the Beatles

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