What's Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

What's Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A Reviews

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November 27, 2009
I got this docu under the title "The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit" but I'm fairly certain this is the same docu as that. The film is exactly what it says: a fly on the wall account of The Beatles arrival and stay in NYC in Feb. '64 when they infamously appeared on Ed Sullivan and includes footage of their Washington DC concert and train ride down to Miami.

If you at all like The Beatles watch this documentary. A valuable piece of music history exists on this film you get to see the boys uninhibited and unscripted and guess what? They are just as funny, adorable, and awesome as you think. There image was not created as some at the time assumed- they were their image and sold that.

Included are improvised bits between the boys, light-hearted jabs at the shock of how many commercials were on American TV, partying at the famous Peppermint Lounge (where the Twist was invented) utter disdain for the DJ Murray the K who attached himself onto their entourage somehow (who seems oblivious that the boys think he's an idiot), crazy fans (including some sweet little kids that Ringo very nicely and patiently talks to) and even a glimpse at infamous manager Brian Epstein in action.

If you ever wonder why Beatlemania swept the nation with such vigor watch this documentary because gosh darn you will understand, they brought the fun and merriment back to rock and roll.

Also of note: at one point the boys are hanging around in the hotel and Lennon is fooling around with an instrument and plays the first few notes of Strawberry Fields. Three years before he recorded it.
½ August 29, 2009
A nice direct cinema work from the Maysles bros., although they should have snipped some of the musical numbers that appear more than once.
August 2, 2009
It doesn't have the sociopolitical bite of Gimme Shelter, but this is also a fine document of a revolutionary cultural moment: when it seemed possible that the shrill screaming of wide-eyed teens would transform America. Maybe they did, but it's hard not to be reminded of the conclusion to Gimme Shelter when watching this. What happened to that naive revolutionary energy?
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