This year we celebrate the 45th birthday of the U.S. release of The Beatles’ psychedelic, experimental film, Magical Mystery Tour. The band’s third movie, Tour was released in theaters in America, but it was actually a made-for-television project when it debuted on sets across Britain on Boxing Day, December 26, 1967.
The best Beatles flicks are A Hard Day’s Night and Yellow Submarine, but despite the fact that Tour was mostly unscripted and panned by critics, it’s not without its patchouli-and-paisley charms four-and-a-half decades on.
Here’s the Wiki from The Beatles’ filmography page:
The Magical Mystery Tour film was essentially McCartney’s idea, which was thought up as he returned from a trip to the U.S. in the late spring of 1967, and was loosely inspired by press coverage McCartney had read about Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters’ LSD-fuelled American bus odyssey. McCartney felt inspired to take this idea and blend it with the peculiarly English working class tradition of charabanc mystery tours, in which children took chaperoned bus rides through the English countryside, destination unknown. The film was critically dismissed when it was aired on the BBC’s premier television network, BBC-1, on Boxing Day — a day primarily for traditional “cosy, family entertainment”. While the film has historical importance as an early advance into the music video age, at the time many viewers found it plotless and confusing. Compounding this culture clash was the fact that the film was made in colour and made use of colour filters for some of the scenes – particularly in a sequence for “Blue Jay Way” – but in December 1967 practically no-one in the UK owned a colour receiver, the service only having started a few months earlier.