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The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Film Will Be Available for the First Time in Over 50 Years

In May 1970, Let It Be premiered, and not a single Beatle showed up. The film was a bleak portrayal of the world’s greatest band falling apart, released just weeks after Paul McCartney officially announced their split. It’s been largely unavailable for decades, but all of that will change on May 8, when the film arrives on Disney+.

Arriving on the streaming platform 54 years to the month that it hit theaters, Let It Be was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and restored by Peter Jackson — who recently combed through 60 hours of footage to create the now-classic docuseries Get Back. In 2020, Jackson told us that he was initially wary of the project (“I thought, ‘I should be excited, but I just dread what I’m about to see’”), but he soon realized there was a treasure trove of happier moments to unearth (“It’s not really a breakup film in the slightest”).

Hogg, who defended his film to Rolling Stone in 2021, said in a statement that the longtime negative perception of the movie derives from the fact that it dropped directly after their breakup. “The people went to see Let It Be with sadness in their hearts, thinking, ‘I’ll never see the Beatles together again. I will never have that joy again,’ and it very much darkened the perception of the film,” he said. “But, in fact, how often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs? And then you get to the roof, and you see their excitement, camaraderie, and sheer joy in playing together again as a group and know, as we do now, that it was the final time, and we view it with the full understanding of who they were and still are and a little poignancy. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with Get Back, using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

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“I’ve always thought that Let It Be is needed to complete the Get Back story,” added Jackson. “Over three parts, we showed Michael and the Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and Let It Be is that documentary — the movie they released in 1970. I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: Let It Be is the climax of Get Back, while Get Back provides a vital missing context for Let It Be. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was unfailingly helpful and gracious while I made Get Back, and it’s only right that his original movie has the last word …looking and sounding far better than it did in 1970.”

The news of Let It Be arrives days after the release of Ringo Starr‘s new single “February Sky” and Beyoncé’s rendition of “Black Bird,” which McCartney said he was “so happy” about. Earlier this year, Sony Pictures announced that Sam Mendes will direct four films centered on each band member, slated for release in 2027.

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