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'Beatles Anthology Video' Takes Magical History Tour

August 30, 1996|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Beatlemania is still alive and well.

In the fall, the "Beatles Anthology, Vol. III" CD is due in stores. On Saturday at 9 p.m., ABC kicks off a repeat of the Emmy-nominated six-hour "The Beatles Anthology," which scored good ratings when it first aired last November.

However, Fab Four fanatics did complain that the documentary, which featured reflections from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, old interviews with the late John Lennon and rare footage, felt incomplete.

That certainly isn't the case with "The Beatles Anthology Video," which arrives in stores Thursday. The exhaustive eight-volume set ($160) from Turner Home Entertainment is a whopping 10 hours.

Beatlemaniacs will definitely want to save their money for this collection. The video set is chock-full of funny, anecdotal interviews with the Liverpool lads and terrific behind-the-scenes clips. Viewers will be twisting and shouting along with the tons of performance footage from the Beatles' various TV appearances and concerts.

Here's what is in each volume:

Vol. 1, 1940 to March 1963: It chronicles the lads' birth in war-torn Liverpool, their first meeting, the stint in Hamburg, Germany, their Cavern Club days and their first No. 1 tune, "Please, Please Me."

Vol. II, March 1963 to February 1964: With their increasing success, the Beatles leave Liverpool for London and national TV exposure. Their fame spreads through Europe, and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hits No. 1 in America.

Vol. III, February 1964 to July 1964: Beatlemania comes to America as the lads perform on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Returning home, they make their first movie, "A Hard Day's Night."

Vol. IV, August 1964 to August 1965: The Beatles arrive for their second tour of America, are introduced to marijuana and make their second movie, "Help!" Paul wakes up one morning having dreamed the tune of "Yesterday."

Vol. V, August 1965 to July 1966: They play Shea Stadium, meet Elvis, record "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver." George and John are introduced to LSD by a dentist.

Vol. VI, July 1966 to June 1967: They cause a furor in the Philippines when, on a day off, they decline a reception with Imelda Marcos. John causes more problems when he says in an interview that the group is "bigger than Jesus." The group stops touring and records "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Vol. VII, June 1967 to July 1968: They perform "All You Need Is Love" via satellite. Manager Brian Epstein dies. They become involved with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They film and record "Magical Mystery Tour" and begin Apple Corp. John reveals his new partner, Yoko Ono.

Vol. VIII, July 1968 to The End: Tensions rise as they record the White Album, and the group begins to splinter despite the success of "Hey Jude." They record their last record, "Abbey Road."

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Documentary: On Tuesday, National Geographic releases three documentaries (Columbia TriStar, $20 each): "Inside the White House," narrated by Morgan Freeman; "Russia's Last Tsar"; and "30 Years of National Geographic Specials," narrated by Richard Kiley.

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Oldies but Goodies: Arriving Tuesday from FoxVideo Studio Classics is the enjoyable 1950 comedy "The Jackpot" ($20). James Stewart and Barbara Hale star in this satire about a man whose life changes when he wins money on a quiz show.

Warner Home Video's classics line features the Oscar-winning 1966 drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" ($20). Based on Edward Albee's landmark play, the searing drama stars Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and George Segal. Both Taylor and Dennis received Oscars. Mike Nichols directed.

"The Lost Films of Laurel & Hardy: Laurel & Hardy and Friends" (The Nostalgia Archive, $20 each) is a six-volume compilation series of restored Hal Roach shorts. The collection, though, is a mixed bag. Some of the comedies are fun, others haven't weathered the test of time. Besides Laurel and Hardy, the series features comedies starring Our Gang, Glenn Tryon and Edgar Kennedy. To order, call (310) 396-4434.

Warner Home Video has recently released eight entertaining cartoon collections ($13 each): "Carrotblanca: Looney Tunes Goes to the Movies"; "Chariots of Fur: Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote"; "Animaniacs: Spooky Stuff"; "Animaniacs Sing-Along: Mostly in Toon"; "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas"; "Pinky and the Brain: World Domination Tour"; "Tiny Toons: Night Gallery"; and "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special."

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Killer B: Arriving Tuesday is "One Good Turn" (BMG), one bad, predictable revenge flick starring James Remar, Lenny Von Dohlen, Suzy Amis and John Savage.

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Coming Next Week: The cult fantasy "Highlander," which has spawned two sequels and a syndicated TV series, celebrates its 10th anniversary with "Highlander: Director's Cut" (Republic, $20). This letterbox edition features footage never before seen in the U.S., the original theatrical trailer and collector's cards. Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery star; Russell Mulcahy is the director.

Mathieu Kassovitz's "Hate" (PolyGram) is an acclaimed drama focusing on 24 hours in the lives of three young men living in a Parisian public housing project.

Rachel Crawford and Clark Johnson star in "Rude" (A-Pix), a highly stylized drama about three people struggling in the inner city. Directed by Clement Vigo, the film won first prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.

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