50 years after The Beatles became household names, there are literally dozens of Beatles movies - both official and unofficial - and people are still making movies and writing books about The Fab Four. Here are a couple selections currently available to watch on Netflix that Zumic recommends:
Nowhere Boy (2010)
In 2010, this biopic based on the childhood of John Lennon was released to mostly positive reviews, but little fanfare. Having seen it in a movie theater with my mother, I can tell you that it was one of the most powerful and emotional experiences I've ever had while watching a film. Nowhere Boy tells the complex and heartbreaking story of Lennon's family life, as well as how he met and grew close with George Harrison and Paul McCartney while the teenagers formed a skiffle band called The Quarrymen.
In some ways, Nowhere Boy is a teen coming of age story that has so many twists and turns that it would be hard to believe if it wasn't true. Movies that attempt to tell real life stories that take place over many years are difficult, but director Sam Taylor-Wood does an overall excellent job of telling the facts while also taking some artistic license. Aaron Taylor-Johnson excels in the difficult role of playing John Lennon, and captures the young rebel with a goofy charm and sharp wit. Anne-Marie Duff won several awards as supporting actress, playing John Lennon's mother.
After you see this movie, songs like "Mother," "Julia," "In Spite of all the Danger," and of course "Nowhere Man" will take on an even deeper meaning than they may have before. The movie is a must-watch for Beatles fans.
Good Ol' Freda (2013)
If you're into music documentaries, Good Ol' Freda is the type of film that will show you The Beatles in a whole new light. The movie is focused around Freda Kelly, the band's secretary who also ran their fan club - an important and difficult job in the days before electronic social media. With fantastic archival photos and videos of the early days of the band and figures like their manager Brian Epstein, the movie does a fabulous job of combining an intimate insider perspective of Beatlemania alongside a wider historical perspective of life in the 1960s.
Good Ol' Freda is paced well, with just the right amount of humor to keep things interesting. Director Ryan White captures the grind over the years that The Beatles and their staff were put through, as the demands of the world's biggest rock band kept growing. Freda was around the whole time, and she has some interesting stories to tell.
Honorable mention goes to Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin'. Paul McCartney is one of many figures interviewed in this exceptional documentary about Jimi Hendrix done in conjunction with the PBS series, American Masters. Click here to watch Hear My Train A Comin' on Netflix now.
There are also lots of great Beatles titles available on Netflix as DVDs. I highly recommend checking out The Beatles Anthology series, The Beatles - The First U.S. Visit, Imagine: John Lennon, A Hard Day's Night, Yellow Submarine, and the often overlooked biopic about The Beatles in Germany, Backbeat.
*Netflix is available in certain countries. Streaming membership required. More information at www.netflix.com