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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...but Freda still a teenager,
I can't really improve on the previous review re the DVD itself, so I won't try. But just 3 things about Freda Kelly herself. 1. Loyalty is one thing, but I think in one instance she's confusing loyalty per se with false judgement to keep the job she loves (won't say what....don't want to post a spoiler) 2. I heard her on the radio being ecstatic about the fact that she'd been given permission to use 4 original Beatle tracks in the film. Blummin heck.....after all she's done, the Fabs should have treated her to a colossal bonus years ago....not too late to dip into the coffers now. I'm a Beatles fan ( & jealous as anything), but I hope I've gone through this stage. 3. I think she's overly coy on one occasion on the grounds of privacy (again, won't say when)....but, obviously, it's her right.
But, in general, good on you, Freda......I hope Macca & Ritchie give you a long overdue treat
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dedicated and honest,
a touching and honest account of life as the fan club secretary for over 10 years . if you want a " kiss and tell story " this dvd is not for you. its all about the excitment of the start of the beatles , the story in fredas own words of what she did and her relationship with all the beatles and brian epstein . with no spin , just her account of those fabulous 10 years . someone who never milked the fame and the money , she just did it as she was a fan . even after the beatles fan club was wound up , she spent almost 3 years answering the remainder of the fans letters . what dedication . if brian epstein was the 5th beatle , freda you must have been the 6th ! . with so many books /dvds/ etc , its nice to see one written from the heart . a must get for all beatle fans . tribute from ringo was nice , but none from paul ??
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dignified, Moving and Honest View of the Beatles,
They don't make girls like Freda Kelly any more, and when Brian Epstein asked her to work for him with the very young Beatles, and then promoted her to be the Beatles Fan Club secretary, he was choosing a diamond. If you want to know what it was really like in the Beatles' Liverpool days this is the film for you. Both funny and moving, it tells a story of a different time and a terrific and scrupulously loyal young woman. Brilliant.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Ol' Freda,
Freda Kelly was the Beatles secretary throughout the Sixties and knew them from the early years in Liverpool up until the breakup. An intensely private person, Freda spent her time working for Brian Epstein and the Beatles and was - and has remained - loyal to them. She has never written a book, or shared her memories with the fans before, but I am delighted that she now been interviewed in this special DVD. Whether insisting that Ringo slept on a pillowcase sent by a fan, sacking staff after discovering that they were sending their own hair to fans and passing it off as Paul's, getting on the Magical Mystery Tour bus or getting to know their families and friends, she was involved in everything.
Although she still preserves both her integrity and the Beatles privacy, she shares so many of her wonderful stories and memories with charm and self deprecation. She takes us from the excitement of the early days until the sadness of the breakup and she was there through it all. She is, as she admits herself, a fan and so she understands what the Beatles mean to other fans. They were so lucky to have had her and we are grateful that she has shared her stories with us at last.
I have seen that other reviews, most notably on .com, suggested there were lots of extras with this DVD. However, my copy only had the film, which was shown on television recently. It is possible the BlueRay edition has extra footage, but just be aware that this version does not. Although this is, essentially, just a low budget documentary, it is essential watching for Beatles fans everywhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to Freda!,
This film got some warm-up showings at Austin Texas' annual South by Southwest (SXSW) in March of 2013. It was met with rave reviews and from there was shown nationwide at the annual Fests for Beatles Fans. I saw it and love it!
Like the Scorcese documentary "Living In The Material World" and the Cirque du Soleil's "Love" tribute to the Beatles, the two surviving Beatles and their spouses as well as their bandmates' widows were approached and "Good Ol' Freda" got the nod from all directly involved. Ryan White who directed this stellar work did his homework and did it well. Nobody can argue with the high level of research that went into making this film.
What distinguishes this film from the myriad of films about the Beatles including documentaries is that it is not the cliche exposé that so many purporting to be documentaries are. Freda Kelly, the Beatles' secretary has lived privately and quietly and has only just come forward with her observations about her job. Freda is a very likable and sincere person and when she speaks, she really has something to say. Her children and grandson are also in the film and they all were in deep respect for this humble woman who chose not to cash in on the Beatles' name to fame.
Viewers get a fresh look at the Beatles as well as enjoying a damn good soundtrack. Freda shares photos of members of the Beatles' familes that had previously been unpublished. She was friends with Elsie Gleave Starkey, who viewed her as the daughter she wished she had and the sister she wished her son Ritchie (Ringo) had. I loved these accounts; one that was especially delightful was when she met the Harrisons and George's father Harry wanted to teach her how to do ballroom dancing. (Makes you think of their son George singing "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" in 1964.) Harry and Louise Harrison taught ballroom dancing for years and in the book "Living in the Material World," there is a picture of Harry and Louise going out dancing. There is a lovely picture of Harry dancing with Freda in this film. I had a bit of a giggle at that. Freda describes Harry and Louise much as George's first wife did - short in stature and delightfully Liverpudlian. The Harrisons were known to be extremely cordial and appreciative of their fans and made no bones about their appreciation for Freda's work with and for the Beatles.
"Good Ol' Freda" treats viewers to an array of lovely images. I especially loved the ones of Freda herself, then and currently taking walks by old stomping grounds and landmarks throughout Liverpool. As an added treat, Tony Barrow, who was the Beatles' press secretary was interviewed along with others who traveled that Long & Winding Road throughout the Beatles' careers.
Freda, solid and dependable was not one to act a fool and go wild over the Beatles. She kept a level head and a professional demeanor and took her job seriously and did it well. She became the "go-to" person where the Beatles were concerned; Pat Kinzer Mancuso even mentions Freda Kelly in her book, Do You Want to Know a Secret?: The Story of the Official George Harrison Fan Club. Freda was a regular guest in the Beatles' homes; she remained a welcome guest in the houses of Harrison and Starkey for years.
George Harrison's sister Louise has said on numerous interviews in recent years (you can catch her on LouTube) that most Britons are humble and not apt to bang on their own drum. That certainly is true on Freda's case. She has refused to write a tell all memoir after years of being asked to to so. Ten years after the Beatles came to America, she parted with her massive Beatles' collection. Darn shame, really. The collection alone would have been worth keeping.
Freda Kelly has rightfully earned a place of high respect. She has wisely chosen not to engage in "Devil's Radio," as George Harrison would have said. George, described by Louise from the time he was a very young boy was one who detested gossip and this was never more true than when he recorded the above mentioned song. Freda is a Godsend; by NOT downgrading anybody or telling titillating tales out of school, she has set a good tone and good example. This has reflected well on her and makes her all the more somebody you can respect. She is a far cry from Francie Schwartz!
Freda's own immediate family were not aware of her job and her contacts with the Beatles for many years. Her daughter Rachel was impressed with what she learned from watching the film as it was, as she said, mostly new and fresh information for her. Freda has shielded her family from the public eye and her current disclosures have sparked interests, which is natural. At no time does she compromise her standards.
The 1965 John Lennon classic is very a propos in re this film. "Some are dead and some are living/in my life, I've loved them all." The senior Harrisons, John's Aunt Mimi who raised him; Julia Stanley Lennon and Freddie ("that Alf Lennon" as the Stanley Sisters called him), Elsie Starkey Graves and Harry Graves, Richard Starkey Sr. and Mary and Jim McCartney as well as John Lennon and George Harrison are sadly no longer with us. The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein died in 1967. The deaths of these key players make the 1965 classic "In My Life" all the more poignant and fitting for this film.
As for Freda, her willingness to come forward now after nearly half a century has enriched and touched many lives. That would certainly include those of viewers and hard core inveterate Beatles' fans as well as the Beatles themselves. Freda is even given a nod on the boys' Christmas albums. Kudos to Rachel Kelly Norris and her son who, as the newer generations encouraged Freda to reconsider coming forward and sharing her experiences during the Swinging Sixties, a time of Ford Falcons and wonderful music.
Ringo Starr, the Beatle whose mother bonded with Freda thanks her during the credits and Paul McCartney, the other living Beatle supported this film. Angie McCartney, Paul's stepmother agreed to do a short interview and Paul's younger brother Michael agreed to supply some early photographs for the film as well.
In just under an hour and a half, you will go on the Magical Mystery Tour of your life and one you will never forget or regret. This is a film I cannot recommend highly enough and it is a must have for all Beatles' fans and for all who are interested in the Beatles. Freda is a vital key player and without her help and input, who knows how history would have played out. Thanks to Freda, we can now give her the kudos she richly deserves.
4.0 out of 5 stars good but not for the hard of hearing,
enjoyed this documentary film as we learnt some new things about the Beatles. Only down side was there were no subtitles and this is a real problem as both myself and my husband are very hard of hearing. I think it would be a good idea if it was indicated on the product description if there are subtitles or not.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any Beatles collection,
If you only buy one DVD about the history of The Beatles, make sure it is this one. Told with the intregriity of someone who was there and has been quite for far too long, it is the most honest account of their history that you will ever come accross. A must for any fan of the group and anyone interested in the sixties.
5.0 out of 5 stars temporary secretary,
Not-so-temporary. Freda lasted longer than The Beatles. Don't miss her story. No fancy production, no fireworks, no scandals, no inflated tall stories, no scores to settle or axes to grind. Just the real life of a fan who became a friend, helper and indispensable employee, and who has decided it is time to clear out the memories from her loft. A real star. Discreet, kind, loyal, tough, thoroughly admirable. Go Freda!
5.0 out of 5 stars Freda is delightful and her story fascinating.,
This review is from: Good Ol Freda [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)
My main purpose in reviewing this production is to pass on the knowledge that the Blu-Ray version is most definitely region locked to the USA (A). Be careful if you consider ordering it and don't (as I do) have the means to play it!
The film is great. Freda comes across as truly lovely and someone I'd be enthused to meet. Her story is engaging and nicely presented and I really enjoyed it. A lot of the archive photography, especially from the early days in Liverpool, is exceptional and the music (mostly non-Beatles) appropriate. After watching this I immediately ordered a DVD copy to send to a friend.
Thanks for telling your story Freda, if you're half as nice as you appear then you are blessed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and a testament to human goodness.,
Freada Kelly is genuine person. A benchmark of goodness and a true friend, not once giving up her principals of being a true friend. The world needs more Freda's.
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Good Ol Freda [Blu-ray]  [US Import] by George Harrison (Blu-ray - 2013)