The surviving Beatles and Yoko Ono all agree that the film doesn’t put the band in a good light due to the tensions they were going through at the time. Indeed, many say that instead of a documentary on working together and making good music, it is an account of a band falling apart. For this reason Let It Be has had little support for an official DVD or Blu-Ray release over the last 40 years.
Only now there is a version of the movie that goes beyond a simple tape-dub and actually rehabilitates the film altogether with frame-by-frame clean up of the dirt and scratches apparent on surviving copies, color correction and enhanced sound. The film has also been professionally extended to include new footage gleaned from various sources such as the original Nagra reels (some 90 hours of raw tape footage of The Beatles working together in January 1969), and excerpts from The Beatles Anthology series. The additional footage is incorporated well into the original film and extends the duration from 80 minutes to just under 2 hours. Aptly titled Let It Be - The Deluxe 35mm Extended Cut, this version of the film also includes the promo videos for both “The Ballad Of John and Yoko” and “Something.”
Many fans regard the Let It Be film as a downer because the band wasn’t getting along at the time. We see Paul in a spat with George, we see John looking bored and we even hear instruments out of tune at times. My personal opinion is that there are good moments too. Some of the rehearsals are quite interesting to hear as embryonic and raw versions of “Let It Be,” “Two Of Us,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “Dig A Pony,” “The Long And Winding Road,” I Me Mine,” etc. Last but not least, the rooftop concert is absolutely fantastic. As Ringo himself has often stated, when The Beatles actually picked up their instruments to play together, all the bullshit went out the window and the results were good.
The added footage on this extended version of the film sheds much more light on those tensions surrounding the group. We hear what was said when George angrily quit the band and what the other Beatles said about Yoko behind John’s back. We also hear how the band agreed to play on the roof as a compromise to Paul’s original idea for a planned concert in an exotic location such as a Roman amphitheater in Tunisia. While not ALL of the additional material in the extended cut is in a negative light, you can look at it as a true and unadulterated version of the film that doesn’t take out the nasty stuff previously considered unsuitable for public consumption. For die-hard fans that want the whole truth, this is a must see and a must hear.
Color/region 0/16.9 widescreen/dolby digital.