Good Ol' Freda (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Good Ol' Freda (2013)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her. History notes that The Beatles were together for 10 years, but Freda worked for them for 11. Many people came in and out of the band's circle as they grew to international stardom, but Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As the Beatles' devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded; she was witness to the evolution - advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges - of the greatest band in history. In GOOD OL' FREDA, Freda tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. One of few films with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the music industry. (c) Magnolia

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Critic Reviews for Good Ol' Freda

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (16)

Brian Epstein needed someone to run the nascent Official Beatles Fan Club. Freda, just 17, got the job.

Full Review… | September 26, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

In this charming insider account, Kelly traces her history with the band from the very early days until after their split.

Full Review… | September 20, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

[A] delightful documentary ...

September 19, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While the tales of the band's spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial.

Full Review… | September 19, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

[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.

Full Review… | September 19, 2013
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Although this music documentary has some historic value, it aims to entertain -- and succeeds, largely because its subject is a natural on camera.

Full Review… | September 19, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Good Ol' Freda

½

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.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

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.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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