The Beatles: Eight Days a Week is a documentary about the Beatles’ touring years between 1963 and 1966. We learn how the band’s four members – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison – met and formed the band. The movie also looks at their musical influences. The movie then follows the band from their historic 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and their tour of 166 concerts across 15 countries around the world.
Through interviews with film and music superstars including Elvis Costello, Eddie Izzard, Whoopi Goldberg, John Savage, Howard Goodall and Larry Kane, we learn what the Beatles meant to the public and the impact that ‘Beatlemania’ had on the culture of the day. The movie also shows the toll that touring and fame took on the band members.
Popular music; 1960s culture; fame
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week contains some violence caused by crowd hysteria. There is also occasional racial violence and tensions. For example:
- Young people rush the four Beatles and crush them with their bodies.
- We hear how one woman put her hand through a glass door to get to members of the Beatles. The scene shows images of the broken glass.
- Dozens of policemen link arms to form a human barrier and keep back crowds of surging people.
- People talk about several young activists who have gone missing in America’s southern states during civil unrest. We hear that they were murdered and their bodies found in a car dumped in a lake.
- Some scenes refer to racial segregation at school and concerts in 1960s America. These scenes also show racial unrest. There are scenes featuring police snipers and a reference to 20 people being shot dead during race-related riots.
- People are angered by comments made by the Beatles, and people burn Beatles records on giant bonfires. The Beatles are threatened with violence.
- There’s a reference to a bomb scare related to a Beatles concert.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week has some mild sexual references. For example, while young women in a crowd are being interviewed, one shouts out that she loves one of the Beatles. Another shouts out that Ringo has a sexy nose and eyelashes.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week shows some use of substances. For example:
- Throughout the movie the Beatles smoke cigarettes. Many of the people being interviewed also smoke, as well as numerous members of the general public.
- One person being interviewed refers to the Beatles smoking marijuana.
- Paul McCartney talks about being ‘slightly stoned’ during the filming of the Beatles movie Help.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some partial nudity and mild sexual activity in The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. For example:
- Women lie on a beach wearing bikinis.
- A young woman grabs one of the Beatles and hugs him.
Nothing of concern
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week has occasional coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years is a documentary about the Beatles’ touring years from 1963 to1966.
The movie features some never-before-seen footage of the Beatles that fans will want to see, as well as remastered sound and visuals. As an extra bonus, the version released for cinema contains 30 minutes of digitally remastered footage of the Beatles’ famous 1963 concert at Shea Stadium New York where they performed to over 55 000 people.
Some scenes of mass hysteria and racial unrest might disturb younger children, and you might be concerned about some of the coarse language, scenes of smoking and drug references. We therefore recommend this movie for children aged over 12 years only.