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The Compleat Beatles
videocassette cover
Directed byPatrick Montgomery
Written byDavid Silver
Produced byPatrick Montgomery,
Stephanie Bennett
StarringJohn Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
George Martin
Marianne Faithfull
Bruce Johnston
Billy J. Kramer
Gerry Marsden
Billy Preston
Lenny Kaye
Tony Sheridan
Narrated byMalcolm McDowell
Music byThe Beatles
Distributed byMGM
Release date
  • May 28, 1982 (1982-05-28)
Running time
119 min.

The Compleat Beatles, released in 1982,[1] is a two-hour documentary chronicling the career of the Beatles.[2]

Narrated by actor Malcolm McDowell,[1] it includes extensive interviews with a number of sources close to the Beatles. Some of the people interviewed are producer George Martin,[3] their first manager Allan Williams,[3] Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooler, music writer Bill Harry,[3] and musicians Gerry Marsden,[2] Billy J. Kramer, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Preston, Lenny Kaye, and Tony Sheridan. The film also includes archival footage of interviews with members of the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein. Authors Nicholas Schaffner and Wilfrid Mellers are among the commentators who offer their views on the band's career. The Compleat Beatles also features early concert footage, behind-the-scenes background on the making of their albums, and candid footage of their often obsessed, hysterical fans.

Directed by Patrick Montgomery, the film was produced by Delilah Films/Electronic Arts Pictures and released theatrically by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists in 1984.

Video releases

The Compleat Beatles was initially released as a PBS documentary in the United States, and then on VHS, Betamax, CED and Laserdisc that same year on the MGM/UA Home Video label. The 1982 Laserdisc was released in both Analogue and Stereo versions, as well as being released in Japan and England (in PAL format) in 1983.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Compleat Beatles (1982)". BFI.
  2. ^ a b Fleming, Colin (August 23, 2017). "'The Compleat Beatles': 10 Takeaways From Great, Overlooked Fab Four Doc". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ a b c Harrington, Richard (1984-02-15). "Incompleat 'Beatles'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-04-26.
  4. ^ "LaserDisc Database - Search - Compleat Beatles".