The Beatles' 1967 film "Magical Mystery Tour" will be… ((c) Apple Corps Ltd. 2009 )
A newly restored version of The Beatles’ experimental 1967 film “Magical Mystery Tour” is coming to a home video on Oct. 8 with a DVD and Blu-ray release that offers a number of bonus features.
“Magical Mystery Tour” was the third film to feature the Fab Four, but it parted from the comedic tone of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” by embracing the psychedelic mindset that was in vogue at the time.
The film’s narrative was unconventional -- it followed a colorful set of characters on a freewheeling trip to the country -- causing many at the time to question the band’s artistic motives. But the movie yielded six new songs: the title track, “Fool on the Hill,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Your Mother Should Know,” “Blue Jay Way” and the instrumental “Flying.”
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A 10x10-inch deluxe edition will include both the DVD and Blu-ray discs, which will come with a remixed soundtrack in stereo and 5.1 surround sound, plus a 60-page book with background information, photos, production details, director's commentary from Paul McCartney, new interviews with McCartney and Ringo Starr and a reproduction of the original mono 7-inch EP issued in the U.K. to accompany the movie. For the U.S. release, the EP was expanded with six more songs and issued as a standard 12-inch LP.
There also will be a limited theatrical release for “Magical Mystery Tour” starting Sept. 27 in the U.S., where it never was exhibited widely following a considerable negative reaction in England after it aired — in black-and-white — on the BBC.
The film restoration has been handled by Paul Rutan Jr. of Eque Inc. (the company that did the same for "Yellow Submarine") and audio remixing was overseen by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.
“I am glad to see that ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ will get the deluxe treatment it deserves,” Beatles historian and discographer Bruce Spizer told Pop & Hiss on Wednesday by email. “I am looking forward to experiencing the film with top-quality images and sound. While I do not anticipate multiple viewings of the film in its entirety, I’m sure I will watch and listen to the Beatles song performances over and over again. I am excited about hearing the songs in 5.1 on Blu-ray, which offers the best audio available for the home market at this time. The Beatles songs on the Blu-ray version of ‘Yellow Submarine’ sound incredible, so I am sure the same will be true for ‘Magical Mystery Tour.’”
This leaves only “Let It Be” still unavailable in official home video release following the DVD and Blu-ray release earlier this year of the restored animated film “Yellow Submarine.” There’s been considerable talk that director Michael Lindsay-Hogg may allow the film to be released in 2013.
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