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Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, and Nonfiction Storytelling

Eight Days A Week -The Beatles – The Touring Years Review by James R (Jim) Martin

beatles-8-dayposterJust when you thought you knew everything about the Beatles along comes Ron Howard with a new traditional documentary film focusing on the Beatles in the beginning, getting underway, then moving on to the years of touring the world, reaching crowds so large they needed super big venues like Shea Stadium  housing 50,000 fans at a time on some occasions.

Eight Days A Week asks why, and looks at how the Beatles became such a huge sensation and success. Many possibilities are explored using actual footage of the young Beatles, combined with performance, studio sessions, film clips with behind the scenes from Help, Hard Days Night, and coverage of events, as the Beatles phenomenon grows. Some interviews appear to have been recorded back in the sixties and pulled from archival sources, although there are also good contemporary interviews in the film with Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and others.

Ron Howard as director of Eight Days A Week created a well made traditional compilation documentary built with restored archival footage, paced and edited to keep a an audience occupied and entertained.  He allows the good-natured personalities of the young musicians known as the Beatles to emerge during the film. They are band members and friends. It becomes clear that part of the success of the Beatles is their enthusiasm and passion for their music. They love what they do, but do not take themselves too seriously. Contrary to how it may have seemed when they became famous they had put in time slogging away in England and Germany learning performance and writing songs. Brian Epstein’s critical role as the first manager of the Beatles is also apparent in the documentary. George Martin’s  producing the music is another important part of the success of the group that is highlighted in Eight Days A Week.

 One really amazing reality covered in the documentary is the reaction of teenage fans to the Beatles. In particular young girls, who scream, applaud, cry, become ecstatic, overwhelmed and unconscious at the sight of the Beatles. A head shake by John, Paul, Ringo or George can induce rapture in fans from across the world.

It was the early sixties; perhaps these teenage fans needed the joy and happiness the Beatles’ projected in their performances. Their early songs of “boy meets girl” and love have become classics. The unassuming, unpretentious performance of the Beatles is something to appreciate in this well made documentary.

Eight Days A Week is an excellent documentary for anyone, beginning with those who experienced those days, to others who are just discovering the Beatles and their timeless and now classic music. Eight Days A Week is enjoyable and informative.  Highly recommend! Great if you can see it in a theater with good audio. The theatrical release includes thirty minutes of coverage from the Shea Stadium performance in 1962. The sound is a lot better than if you were there, since it was originally played through the stadium PA system!

 

Review by James R (Jim) Martin

Trailer

 

Image result for hulu eight days a week the touring years
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Brian Grazer Ron Howard Scott Pascucci Nigel Sinclair
Written by Mark Monroe

 

LINKS

 

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – Now Streaming Only on Hulu‎

 

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