The Beatles discuss their third film project

Monday, December 13, 1965


After The Beatles’ final UK concert in Cardiff, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein met at NEMS Enterprises’ offices in London, to discuss the group’s third film project.

Under recommendation by producer Walter Shenson, Brian had recently acquired the film rights for Richard Condon’s book, “A Talent For Loving“. However, the group could not agree on the script, and the project was ultimately rejected. “A Talent for Loving” was eventually made into a film in 1969, directed by Richard Quine and starring Richard Widmark and Cesar Romero.

The Beatles were supposed to start filming their third film at the beginning of 1966. As the project was cancelled, The Beatles had a break of about three months in early 1966. The quest to find a suitable script for the third film, a contractual obligation with United Artists, continued throughout 1966.

In the 16th century an Aztec priest has cut off his own hand and used the bloody stump to lay a curse upon a blasphemous Spanish conquistador and all his direct descendants. The curse: that once any of the descendants, whether male or female, have tasted physical love, even in the form of a single kiss, they will spend the rest of their lives as being nearly sexually insatiable. Three centuries later the beautiful young virginal daughter of a fabulously wealthy Texas rancher and gambler is its latest victim. An elaborate set of contests and races is arranged to choose which of two cowboys will win her hand in marriage.

Plot of “A Talent For Loving” by Richard Condon – From Wikipedia

GEORGE: You probably read about “A Talent For Loving”. At one stage we thought it would be great to base a film on that story. But it gets very complicated and we all agreed we needed a more straightforward plot.

PAUL: That doesn’t mean we decided to rule out the idea of doing a Western. It would be a comic-type Western, of course. And if we don’t do a Western this time I think it’s something we should keep in mind for the future. There are all kinds of great comedy situations you can work into a cowboy story.

GEORGE: Anyway, unless some kind of miracle happens-a script-type miracle, that is- we’ve ruled out “A Talent for Loving” and Walter Shenson has been searching for new script suggestions.

From interview for The Beatles Monthly Book, February 1966

Last updated on December 22, 2023

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