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Tags: Hollywood | peter jackson | beatles | documentary | disney | footage

Peter Jackson Claims Disney Wanted to Remove Footage of Swearing, Smoking From Beatles Doc

peter jackson stands on red carpet
Writer/director/producer Peter Jackson attends the premiere of New Line Cinema, MGM Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" at Dolby Theatre on Dec. 9, 2014, in Hollywood, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 November 2021 10:01 AM

Peter Jackson has claimed that Disney wanted to edit out scenes from his documentary about the Beatles that contain smoking and swearing.

The director teamed up with members of the British rock group to release the musical documentary "Get Back," which is streaming on Disney+ and has received rave reviews for its intimate look at the band's time rehearsing and recording for their final album.

Jackson sifted through hours of old Beatles footage to put together the three-episode series about the band. The end result has been hailed as a masterpiece but it could have been very different if the streamer had gone ahead and edited out several scenes featuring smoking and explicit language. 

Beatles members Paul McCartney, 79, and Ringo Starr, 81, refused to have the swearing eliminated though, Jackson revealed in an interview with NME.

"Paul [McCartney] describes it as being very raw," Jackson said. "He said to me: 'That is a very accurate portrayal of how we were then.' Ringo [Starr] said: 'It’s truthful.' The truthfulness of it is important to them. They don’t want a whitewash."

Jackson added that the pair did not want the documentary to be "sanitized."

"Disney wanted to remove all the swearing and Ringo, Paul, and Olivia [Harrison] said 'That’s how we spoke. That’s how we talked. That’s how we want the world to see us,'" he said.

During the interview, Jackson admitted he expected McCartney and Starr to have notes on how they wanted the documentary to be edited but the band members didn't want to change anything. 

"Not one request to do anything. One of them said that they watched it and found it one of the most stressful experiences of their entire life. 'But I’m not gonna give you any notes,'" he recalled. 

"Get Back" is a bittersweet documentary. While some parts capture the light-hearted nature of the Beatles, it also gives an in-depth look at what ultimately led to the band's break up, and how they were on the verge of splitting long before it became official — while recording "Let It Be." 

Drawing comparisons with the original 1970 documentary about the band, "Let It Be," film critic Owen Gleiberman writes in a review for Variety that "Get Back" "isn’t all sweetness and light."

"Its first episode is actually much darker than 'Let It Be,'" Gleiberman notes. "In this more complete version, the Beatles know in some part of their collective heart and gut that they’re headed for a breakup (if not now, then soon enough). They make casual reference to it, and the prospect causes them visible distress."

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TheWire
Peter Jackson has claimed that Disney wanted to edit out scenes from his documentary about the Beatles that contain smoking and swearing. The director teamed up with the British rock group...
peter jackson, beatles, documentary, disney, footage
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2021-01-30
Tuesday, 30 November 2021 10:01 AM
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