Let It Be from BBC

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There’s a new DVD transfer of the Let It Be movie “going the rounds” in collectors’ circles. It’s sourced from a video cassette taped from the last screening of the film on BBC in the UK (BBC2 Saturday 8th May 1982, 3:10-4:27pm), and the tape has not been viewed since it was recorded. Here’s a comparison of various versions:

Sourced from the official laser disc (USA)

Sourced from an official VHS (Germany)

Sourced from the BBC 1982 screening

Composite:The bigger picture is the german version, blue frame=laser disc, green frame = BBC.

So far, it looks like the german version is the winner, it keeps the colours and is in the correct 16mm aspect ratio. Too bad it has those german subtitles. The laser disc is from the cinema print, which was blown up to 35 mm (it was filmed with 16 mm movie cameras), resulting in a cropped picture. The BBC version is not bad, it looks good on a big widescreen TV because it has a bigger picture size: 931 x 570 pixels as opposed to the other two, 640 x 480 and 618 x 480, respectively. It’s a bit more subdued in the colour department, but looks quite lifelike. The thing with how much of the image we’re supposed to see is that we would have to second-guess what director Michael Lindsay-Hogg envisioned for the film.
Visit the excellent Beatles Movies site for more info on The Beatles’ movies.

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1 Response

  1. wogew says:

    ” In June 2008, plans for a DVD version of Let It Be were canceled at the request of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. An unnamed source told the Daily Express UK newspaper that while Paul and Ringo were planning to release it, both had second thoughts. The source goes on to say “The Beatles are still a massive global brand and it’s felt it won’t be helped if the public sees the darker side of the story. Neither Paul nor Ringo would feel comfortable publicizing a film showing The Beatles getting on each other’s nerves.” “

    “The dissension in the band is mostly missing from the film, but Let It Be does include a nasty argument between McCartney and Harrison and a scene where McCartney pours out his ideas for the band’s future to Lennon, only to be met with silence.”

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