Good Ol' Freda (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Good Ol' Freda
Brian Epstein needed someone to run the nascent Official Beatles Fan Club. Freda, just 17, got the job.
In this charming insider account, Kelly traces her history with the band from the very early days until after their split.
[A] delightful documentary ...
While the tales of the band's spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial.
[Gives] insight into a rare, innocent time in rock history when a scrap of pillowcase that cradled a mop-top singer or an autographed photo were all fans needed to feel close to their idols.
Audience Reviews for Good Ol' Freda
If you like The Beatles' music, there are plenty of chances to hear it here. This is a behind the scenes history of The Beatles from the point of view of Freda Kelly, secretary for the four lads from Liverpool and editor of their fan magazine. I'm a fan of The Beatles, but there are obviously much bigger fans. There are several cool stories about the families of the boys and how close Freda became to them all, however when she starts going through her mementos in the attic (newspaper and hair clippings), I began to wish the doc was a bit shorter. Even the archival photo and film begins to get a little repetitive. Freda of the 60s is painted as a thoroughly modern, take charge kind of girl. Freda today doesn't seem to regret anything, but she seems like a completely different person from her younger self. The story is unfortunate how she is one of countless women who gave up a career to raise a family and her children barely know anything about this earlier part of her life in proximity to fame. Now they and we have this document.
A very cute film about a very ordinary behind the scenes support for the Beatles who was quite extraordinary in her own way. One glaring note is the lack of a mention from a McCartney or a Starr. Surely they could have devoted sometime to talk about the life of a woman that they relied on to such a large degree.
Freda Kelly was the Beatles' secretary. A shy, humble girl who's admirably loyal to the band's privacy. Hence, this documentary is deadly uneventful. Even at just 86 minutes, the film seems too long, and Kelly's endless shrugs, giggles and blushes soon turn tedious. The stress on soundbites from forgotten Merseybeat musicians over thoughts from, say, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Martin is another glaring problem. The score cuts corners by featuring just a handful of Beatles songs and filling the void with earlier songs that the group covered.
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