Paul McCartney flies to France to film “Magical Mystery Tour”

Monday, October 30, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
Nice, France

Related master release

Related film

Magical Mystery Tour (TV Special)

1967 • For The Beatles • Directed by The Beatles

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Production of The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” TV special took place throughout September 1967, with some additional scenes filmed in late October / early November. The first leg of filming occurred from September 11 to 15 in and around Newquay. On September 18, filming resumed with the crew choosing the Raymond Revuebar strip club in London’s Soho district as the location for the day’s shoot. From September 19 to 24, the Beatles relocated to West Malling Air Station in Maidstone, Kent, where they filmed interior and exterior shots for the project.

On September 25, they immediately began the arduous process of editing “Magical Mystery Tour“. Despite initially believing that the editing process would take only a week, it took a total of 11 weeks to complete. During the editing process, they realized that some additional scenes were needed to enhance the film. These scenes were filmed on October 29, October 31, and November 3.

On this day, October 30, Paul McCartney, Mal Evans and cameraman Aubrey Dewar travelled to Nice to film a fresh sequence for the song “The Fool On The Hill.” Departing without his passport, Paul managed to convince immigration authorities to let him travel based on their recognition of his identity. The scene for “The Fool On The Hill” was filmed the following day.

One day I received a phone call in my office on the Beatles’ private line. It was Paul and it sounded like long distance. “Where are you?” I asked him.

“I’m in Nice, France,” Paul told me, “with a camera crew. We found the perfect hill, but we haven’t brought the right lenses. Do you think you could have them shipped out to us, along with some money?”

I was baffled. “Nice? Perfect hill? What are you talking about? How can you be in France? I have your passport.”

Paul explained that he wanted to include a scene in Magical Mystery Tour of him sitting on a picturesque hill singing a song he had written called “The Fool on the Hill.” He took off for France without telling anybody and bluffed his way past the English authorities at Heathrow, saying his passport was waiting for him in France. In Nice he told the French officials the passport was arriving later by messenger, and they agreed to allow the celebrated visitor into the country by special dispensation until his passport caught up with him. By the time Paul and the crew returned to London, it had cost £4000 just for the one shot of him sitting on the hill in Nice.

Peter Brown – From “The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles“, 2002

From Here, there and everywhere (, March 20, 2005:

According to Mal, this trip, as did many, took place on an impulse; without luggage or papers. Paul sailed through immigration with no passport, but they were refused entry to the hotel restaurant because they didn’t look the part. They headed off to a nightclub. “We had dinner in my room… The only money we had between us had been spent on clothes, on the understanding that money was to be forwarded from England by the Beatles office. After the first round of drinks… we arranged with the manager for us to get credit.

The next day, Mal and Paul returned to the club. “We took advantage of our credit standing, as money had still not arrived from England. News about Paul’s visit to the club the previous night had spread, and the place was jammed. Now Paul, being a generous sort of person, had built up quite a bar bill, when the real manager of the club arrived demanding that we pay immediately. On explaining who Paul was and what had happened, he answered, ‘You either pay the bill, or I call the police.’ It certainly looked like we were going to get thrown in jail. It was ironical, sitting in a club with a millionaire, unable to pay the bill.” Eventually the hotel manager agreed to cover the money.

From The Beatles History ( and from Meet the Beatles for Real: The Fool with a passport – October 30, 1967 – Just like Ringo in June 1964, Paul traveled without a passport and got away with it due to being a Beatle. When he and Mal (and someone else that I can’t recall off the top of my head) traveled to Nice, France, to film “The Fool on the Hill” for Magical Mystery Tour, Paul didn’t bring anything with him. No money. No passport. And he told the people at customs something along the lines of “You know who I am. Why do you need to see a passport with my photo on it?” True enough. He was let it and filmed “Fool on the Hill,” secretly exposing himself to everyone in the process, but that is a story for another time.

Paul forgets his passport

Beatle Paul McCartney arrived in Nice by air from London yesterday and whisked through Customs although he had left his passport behind.

McCartney arrived with his manager, Mal Evans, and a cameraman for a two-day stay to shoot part of a film for television. McCartney said he had forgotten his passport in his haste to leave.

From The Guardian Journal – October 31, 1967
From The Guardian Journal – October 31, 1967

Paul McCartney loses passport

Beatle Paul McCartney searched his London flat today looking for his passport. Eventually, still without it, he rushed to Heathrow airport to catch a flight to Nice. After signing forms, he was allowed to board his aircraft.

From Daily Mail – October 30, 1967
From Daily Mail – October 30, 1967

It’s been a hard day’s flight

Beatle Paul McCartney searched his London flat yesterday, looking for his passport.

Eventually, still without it, he rushed to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight to Nice only to find that it had been delayed for one and a quarter hours.

Paul, looking inconspicuous in a long, dark grey overcoat, then had to explain about his passport to Customs men. After signing several forms, he was allowed into the departure lounge to wait for his flight with two film men who were travelling with him.

Paul said, as he walked to his aircraft, that clearance had been given for him to get into Nice without the passport. He will be in Nice for a couple of days making a film called Magical Mystery Tour.

From Liverpool Daily Post – October 31, 1967
From Liverpool Daily Post – October 31, 1967

Paul gives Customs thumbs up

Jennefer Fonseka from Ceylon takes Paul McCartney’s picture shortly after he arrived in Nice for a four day visit to France. Paul gives the thumbs-up sign after passing through customs without his passport, which he had lost.

From Liverpool Daily Post, November 2, 1967
From Liverpool Daily Post, November 2, 1967

Last updated on April 17, 2024

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