“Let It Be” film reissue announced

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Related master release

Related film

Let It Be

1970 • For The Beatles • Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg

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From “LET IT BE” – AT LAST | The Beatles, April 16, 2024:

Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s Original 1970 Film About The Beatles, Meticulously Restored by Peter Jackson’s Team at Park Road Post Production to Launch Exclusively on Disney+ May 8, 2024

BURBANK, Calif. (April 16) – Today, Disney+ announced that “Let It Be,” director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s original 1970 film about The Beatles, will launch exclusively on Disney+ May 8, 2024. This is the first time the film is available in over 50 years. 

First released in May 1970 amidst the swirl of The Beatles’ breakup, “Let It Be” now takes its rightful place in the band’s history. Once viewed through a darker lens, the film is now brought to light through its restoration and in the context of revelations brought forth in Peter Jackson’s multiple Emmy Award®-winning docuseries, “The Beatles: Get Back.” Released on Disney+ in 2021, the docuseries showcases the iconic foursome’s warmth and camaraderie, capturing a pivotal moment in music history. 

“Let It Be” contains footage not featured in the “Get Back” docuseries, bringing viewers into the studio and onto Apple Corps’ London rooftop in January 1969 as The Beatles, joined by Billy Preston, write and record their GRAMMY Award®-winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award®-winning title song, and perform live for the final time as a group. With the release of “The Beatles: Get Back,” fan clamour for the original “Let It Be” film reached a fever pitch. With Lindsay-Hogg’s full support, Apple Corps asked Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production to dive into a meticulous restoration of the film from the original 16mm negative, which included lovingly remastering the sound using the same MAL de-mix technology that was applied to the “Get Back” docuseries. 

Michael Lindsay-Hogg says, “’Let It Be’ was ready to go in October/November 1969, but it didn’t come out until April 1970. One month before its release, The Beatles officially broke up. And so the people went to see ‘Let It Be’ with sadness in their hearts, thinking, ‘I’ll never see The Beatles together again. I will never have that joy again,’ and it very much darkened the perception of the film. But, in fact, how often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs. And then you get to the roof and you see their excitement, camaraderie and sheer joy in playing together again as a group and know, as we do now, that it was the final time, and we view it with full understanding of who they were and still are and a little poignancy. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with ‘Get Back,’using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.” 

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, ‘Let It Be,’ has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades,” says Peter Jackson. “I was so lucky to have access to Michael’s outtakes for ‘Get Back,’ and I’ve always thought that ‘Let It Be’ is needed to complete the ‘Get Back’ story. Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and ‘Let It Be’ is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970. I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: ‘Let It Be’ is the climax of ‘Get Back,’ while ‘Get Back’ provides a vital missing context for ‘Let It Be.’ Michael Lindsay-Hogg was unfailingly helpful and gracious while I made ‘Get Back,’ and it’s only right that his original movie has the last word…looking and sounding far better than it did in 1970.”

“Let It Be,” directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, stars John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, with a special appearance by Billy Preston. The film was produced by Neil Aspinall with The Beatles acting as executive producers. The director of photography was Anthony B Richmond.

“Let It Be” will debut exclusively on Disney+ May 8, 2024.

From The Beatles – April 16, 2024
From The Beatles – April 16, 2024
From The Beatles – April 15, 2024

You have been working for decades to revive “Let It Be.” What finally changed?

Peter was the catalyst. He and I met in December 2018, before he really started on “Get Back,” and he said, “Tell me the story of ‘Let It Be’ — you know, what’s happened since you made it, because I’ve seen it pretty recently and I think that movie should come out.” So a year or two went by, and he told me that he had a very good relationship with Paul and Ringo and also with Sean Lennon and Olivia Harrison, George’s widow, as well as with Jonathan Clyde, who produced “Get Back” for Apple. So he started to advocate for “Let It Be” to come out. He and Clyde got a budget for the restoration work, and slowly it moved through Apple.

Is “Let It Be” just a short version of “Get Back”?

Peter very much didn’t want “Get Back” to look like he just pulled it from “Let It Be,” so if he wanted to show a scene that was in my film, he would show it from different angles and reconstruct it differently. There are scenes in “Let It Be” that aren’t in “Get Back.” They’re very different, although obviously they have many great similarities. […]

How much does the digital restoration change the look and sound of “Let It Be”?

When Peter first showed me some restored images of the film, one was of a couple of the Beatles from the back, and their hair in the original looked very clumped. Then he said, “Now let me show you what we’ve been working on.” It was the same shot, but you could see the individual strands of hair. The new version is a 21st century version of a 20th century movie. It is certainly brighter and livelier than what ended up on videotape. It looks now like it was intended to look in 1969 or 1970, although at my request, Peter did give it a more filmic look than “Get Back,” which had a slightly more modern and digital look. […]

Michael Lindsay-Hogg – Interview with New York Times, April 16, 2024

Last updated on May 7, 2024


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