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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was fourty years ago today .........!!!
At the risk of showing my age, if you really want a nostalgic whiff of Beatlemania that depicts what it was really like at the time then this will beat hands down all the other contenders (yes I accept the full Anthology set will satisfy the historic completist but this is the brief time snapshot that is worth it's weight in gold in showing their initial impact and why...
Published on 29 Feb. 2004 by Siriam

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing for a fan
I bought this after seeing what looked like a nice Beatles feature package. I expected a documentary featuring the band's writing, recording and some unique insight but this is far from it.
What we have here is the epitamy of fly on the wall documentary making with a 'use everything' attitude employed and no direction from the guys behind the cameras. We see the guys...
Published on 23 Dec. 2012 by AE Rowe


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was fourty years ago today .........!!!, 29 Feb. 2004
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
At the risk of showing my age, if you really want a nostalgic whiff of Beatlemania that depicts what it was really like at the time then this will beat hands down all the other contenders (yes I accept the full Anthology set will satisfy the historic completist but this is the brief time snapshot that is worth it's weight in gold in showing their initial impact and why the Beatles meant so much to so many people in the mid-1960s).
Given the paucity of few UK complete visual recordings (e.g. no London Palladium or Royal Variety Show tapes kept)or UK documentaries, we must be forever grateful to whoever at UK Granada TV had the great insight to guess that in hitting the US for just over one week with the platform of the Ed Sullivan shows (NY and Miami)and an intervening live show in Washington DC would deliver a unique artefact of Beatlemania. On top of that to then decide to use the Maysles Brothers with their "hands on" cinema verite style to make these historic recordings was a truly inspired choice (proven yet again in their later "Gimme Shelter" documentary of the Rolling Stones in the late 1960s).
While the recordings of certain parts of this DVD may be topped in quality elsewhere in other recent releases, having seen this documentary several times in torrid "old TV" tapes format across the 1980s in UK cinemas this DVD is a very good quality version given access to the original tapes. The additional footage of deleted scenes plus Albert Maysle commenting on what it was like really like in making the film, underlines that this is an amazing record with a level of access to the Beatles that was never repeated plus captures beautifully how fully they conquered the USA in 1964, without realising at the time what they had achieved.
Interesting other observations having watched the DVD several times are how much all four Beatles were in strong personal empathy ( especially Ringo as the lynchpin of a lot of their dry humour which so enraptured them to the Americans and against the backdrop of the prior sacking of Pete Best)plus the growing absence of Lennon (based on the film footage shown here)who seems already to have started to inhabit his own space.
A priceless visual documentary record!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fly on the wall account of Beatlemania US style!, 10 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
An interesting historical documentary showing that the Beatles in reality were very close to the personalities "given to them" by directer Dick Lester in a Hard Days Night - John (aloof, cocky and cool)Paul (pretty, clever and a little full of himself) George (the baby, wide eyed and innocent) and Ringo (charming,jokey and happy to be along for the ride).
Included are their first 3 performances on Ed Sullivan - 70 million for their first show!!!! I'm A Celebrity eat your heart out!! - and the Washington Coloseum show where the Beatles themselves had to keep constructing their own podium so that all sides of the audience could see them. The footage of this show is average to say the least! Included is a 50 minute "Making Of" extra where the director outlines how the documentary was made and there is also his commentary throughout the main film.
Although good I can't imagine it would interest anyone other than Beatle completists or contemporary historians. I certainly wouldn't buy it if you have the Anthology VHS/DVD and the recent Ed Sullivan DVD as you'll have the bulk of it already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles - The First US Visit, 12 Feb. 2014
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
With the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles First US visit this year, I thought it was a good idea to re-watch this fun documentary, filmed by the renowned documentary filmmaking team, Albert and David Maysles in February, 1964. Apparently, they were called by Granada television to ask if they would consider making a film shortly before the Beatles landed. Albert Maysles had never heard of The Beatles; luckily, his brother had, so they agreed to make the film.

This really captures the excitement of Beatlemania, when it was a joy to be having success in America (a task no other British act had ever really succeeded in) and before the crowds, noise and general mayhem had not become something to be avoided. You feel that the screaming crowds were a huge surprise to the band - John Lennon comments with amazement that he wasn't aware, "anyone knew we were coming!" as the kids run alongside the car. Their tolerance, and willingness to act up in front of the cameras, leads to some enjoyable and intimate scenes. As Albert Maysles says, when interviewed in "The Making Of the First US Visit", an extra documentary - included in this disc - their access was virtually unlimited. The Maysles brothers accompanied the band in New York, to Washington DC and Miami Beach.

This documentary includes clips of the bands concert in Washington, of the Ed Sullivan Show performances, of the band at the Peppermint Lounge (poor George would clearly have preferred to have gone to bed, but is out voted by the others, keen to see something of New York now they are there), on the train travelling to Washington, messing about in hotel rooms, having photo ops in Central Park and, always, both on show and on the run from the crowds. There is no voice over in the documentary - allowing the footage to speak for itself. However, in The Making of...., Albert Maysles offers many comments on his favourite parts of the film, there is extra footage - including the scrum of the British Ambassadors Ball, which so upset John Lennon - and it is nice to hear his thoughts about that time, when the Americans welcomed the Beatles with open arms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous time for fab four, 27 Jan. 2011
By 
R. J. Harding (south croydon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
In 1963 The Beatles took the UK by storm;Beatlemania started with She Loves You.In February 1964 not many thought they would succeed in the USA(I did!)and this film documentary follows them as they toured the USA and includes essential live footage from the Ed Sullivan Show(s).It's video footage is ahead of it's time,and predates the famous 'Don't Look Back'film featuring Dylan.McCartney is the one most aware of the camera,John and George less so,and Ringo displays his humour(he ended up being the most popular one in The States on this tour).Essential buying,an historic document of the end of pop and the beginning of rock music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure nostalgia, 10 Sept. 2011
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W. J. Rudge "Billy Rib" (Wolverhampton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I happened to catch most of the movie on TV last year and kicked myself for not recording it. I was delighted to find it available via Amazon and it is a must for anyone who has memories of Beatlemania like mine. The sheer excitement of the times is here to be relived and the lads themselves come across as truly loveable, witty and humourous characters. The bonus feature is just that, a real bonus. I'd recommend this to anyone who counts himself a fan of the early Beatles. Why not talk your kids or grandkids through it ? One day there'll be no one left who was there.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential!, 25 April 2008
This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
It is said that the Beatles were quite shocked when they first saw Bob Dylan's "Don't Look Back", as they had expected it to be something like A Hard Days Night, rather than a true, naked and revealing documentary.

This DVD is in many ways the Don't Look Back-version of A Hard days night. Of course, the most private details are not here, but it probably comes very close to actually documenting the Beatles' on tour from the inside (for the first, and perhaps only time).
Very much like Michael Brauns "Love me do"-book (for those who remember that).

As the original film was marginalized by A Hard Days Night (there has been much said about this), the DVD release should give the makers the credit they deserve.

Essential Beatles stuff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought after watching it on TV, 30 Jan. 2010
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C. S. Grant (London & Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
As per the title, this DVD had been around a few years and I was under the impression that this would be a re-working of Anthology bits and pieces. How wrong I was. This is a fascinating watchable "documentary". The Beatles are seen up closer than you will ever see them. For the dedicated Beatle fan, this DVD is a must. The natural humour of the lads, as they were then, shines out. There are a few TV performances of songs not seen too often by us Brits, so another good reason that makes this essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant account of U.S. visit., 30 July 2014
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Brilliant film documentary account of the Beatles' first U.S. visit. Well worth buying this. Exciting stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
thanks, very good
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Beatlemaniacs!, 28 April 2008
By 
Chris Battye (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beatles - The First U.S Visit [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is the best documentary of the best band of all time. This access all areas fly-on-the-wall film captures sounds and pictures other documentary makers can only dream about. Albert and David Maysles' documentary is fantastic and fascinating in equal measure. A must for Beatlemaniacs!
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