The Compleat Beatles, released in 1984, is a two-hour documentary, chronicling the career of the "Fab Four." Though it has since been supplanted by the longer and more in-depth documentary Beatles Anthology, The Compleat Beatles was for many years largely regarded as the definitive source of information on the Beatles.
Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, it included extensive interviews with a number of sources close to the Beatles, including producer George Martin, their first manager Allan Williams, music writer Bill Harry, and musicians Gerry Marsden, Billy J. Kramer, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Preston, and Tony Sheridan, as well as 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 and released by MGM/UA. It enjoyed a brief theatrical release in 1984.
Quotations from the film
"It wasn't their music which sold them to me, it was their charm. They were a charming people."--George Martin.
“They generally wrote their own songs…they would play them, one to the other…It was very much a competition, and a very healthy one.”--George Martin
“At the moment they were being given a philosophy in which they could live their lives as individuals, at that very second, (manager Brian Epstein) died. The one who wanted them to be as a group.”--Marianne Faithfull
Narration in the film
"The weary faces on the cover of the next British LP, Beatles for Sale, showed that Beatlemania was taking its toll."
"Magical Mystery Tour…was their first venture following Brian’s death. Largely a project of Paul’s, the idea was to travel the English countryside in a bus filled with friends, actors and circus freaks, and to film whatever happened. Unfortunately, nothing did."
"It had to be stoically accepted that the Beatles were, in the end, a phenomenon of the Sixties; the Seventies, and beyond, were only to feel their influence."
"“Hey Jude” was their first release from the newly formed Apple Corps. The song was seven minutes long, double the length of most singles. Radio stations usually refused to play a song that lasted more than three minutes, but once again The Beatles were the exception to the rule. “Hey Jude” became The Beatles’ largest selling single of all."