Product Background and history: This documentary was initially released as a PBS documentary in the United States, and then on VHS, Betamax, CED and Laserdisc that same year on the MGM/UA Home Video label. The 1982 Laserdisc was released in both Analogue and Stereo versions, as well as being released in Japan and England (in PAL format) in 1983.
The remastered laserdisc of “The Compleat Beatles” that MGM/UA reissued in 1994 by far is the best looking and sounding version of this video available. The picture quality and sound is much better IMO than the original analog pressing. It didn’t stay in print for very long either because Apple pulled it from the marketplace in 1995 right before the “Beatles Anthology” series aired. PLEASE NOTE: This DVD Remaster is from the “Remastered Edition LaserDisc” release from 1994 and is in stereo not the Analogue version.
The film did very well, and in 1984 Delilah Films and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer arranged for it to be released theatrically in the U.S. by a small distributor named Teleculture. This contributed to its continuing to be a best seller on VHS. Some years later, when Paul McCartney was preparing The Beatles Anthology, he bought the negative and all the rights to the film from Delilah to get it off of the market and clear the way for his production. That, according to the film’s director Patrick Montgomery, is why it is not available on DVD or any newer formats and “probably never will be.”….well that is true until NOW!
Released exclusively on the long since discontinued and deleted formats of VHS (only in UK and Australia) and Japanese LaserDisc exclusively, the following has NEVER been released on DVD until NOW!
This REMASTERED DVD is sourced directly from the original high quality LaserDisc to DVD for the first time ever! Quality is unmatched as it transferred from the long since deleted LaserDisc from OVER THIRTY EIGHT years ago. Another original offer from your team at MVR!
Another original offer from your team at MVR!
Description: Released in 1982, is a two-hour documentary chronicling the career of the Beatles. Although it has since been supplanted by the longer and more in-depth documentary Beatles Anthology, The Compleat Beatles was for many years largely regarded as the definitive film about the Beatles. The word “compleat” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the intentional misspelling of “Beetles” and a reference to the famous book on fishing, The Compleat Angler.
Narrated by actor Malcolm McDowell, it includes extensive interviews with a number of sources close to the Beatles. Some of the people interviewed are producer George Martin, their first manager Allan Williams, Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooler, music writer Bill Harry, and musicians Gerry Marsden, Billy J. Kramer, Marianne Faithfull, Billy Preston, Lenny Kaye, and Tony Sheridan.
The film also includes archival footage of interviews with members of the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein. Authors Nicholas Schaffner and Wilfrid Mellers are among the commentators who offer their views on the band’s career. The Compleat Beatles also features early concert footage, behind-the-scenes background on the making of their albums, and candid footage of their often obsessed, hysterical fans.
Directed by Patrick Montgomery, the film was produced by Delilah Films/Electronic Arts Pictures and released theatrically by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists in 1984.
DVD Menu divides content as “Side 1” and “Side 2” to mimic the content style of the original LaserDisc
Features the following Songs by The Beatles
Rock and Roll Music
Rock and Roll Music (studio version)
All My Loving
A Taste of Honey
Some Other Guy
Hippy, Hippy Shake
Long Tall Sally
Please, Please Me
I Saw Her Standing There
She Loves You
Long Tall Sally (reprise)
Twist and Shout
Twist and Shout (reprise)
It Won’t Be Long
All My Loving
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
From Me to You
A Hard Day’s Night
I’m Happy Just to Dance With You
I Saw Her Standing There
I’m A Loser
Things We Said Today
Ticket to Ride
You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
If I Needed Someone
She’s A Woman
Tomorrow Never Knows
Strawberry Fields Forever
A Day In the Life
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds
All You Need Is Love
Love You To
Magical Mystery Tour
Love You To (reprise)
Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?
I’ve Got A Feeling
I’m So Tired
Let It Be
Other Music includes:
Bill Haley: See You Later Alligator ~ Rock Around the Clock
Chuck Berry: Rock and Roll Music
Lonnie Donegan: Jack of Diamonds ~ Rock Island Line
Gerry Marsden: Jambalaya ~ Living Doll
Eddie Dixon: Be Bop A Lula ~ Raunchy ~ Twenty F l i g h t Rock
Frankie Avalon: Venus
Cliff Richard: Living Doll
Tony Sheridan: I Like Love ~ My Bonnie
(Various): We Love You Beatles ~ When the Saints Go Marching In ~ She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain ~ Jingle Bells ~ Rock Night Club Them
Patrick Christle (verified owner) –
I have been looking for “The Compleat Beatles” documentary on DVD at a reasonable price for a long time. This offering fills the bill, and I am happy. This is about as good as it is going to get since the source material has been purchased and suppressed by The Beatles themselves.
Stegra (verified owner) –
I originally purchased The Complete Beatles video on Betamax tape. A couple decades ago the machine became obsolete and the tape vanished (no good to anyone with a VHS machine). Ever since DVDs took over the video format I have always looked out for this documentary, seemingly in vain. Then almost a month ago I thought I’d give it another try and came across a mention of it (newly re-mastered from laser disc in 2019) at/by MVR. Not to miss that opportunity, ordered it. Prolonged delivery to Australia due to Covid-19 drew out my anticipation. It just arrived, I played it and it was well worth the wait, better than the old tape viewed on a 22 inch CRT screen, now on a 40 inch full HD LED. Even the old black and white footage seems clearer than I remember. I really do prefer this account of The Beatles journey, to others made more recently. Thank you MVR!
Stay safe! Steve.
James Ryan (verified owner) –
I was looking for “The Complete Beatles” on DVD, as I already had the VHS copy from years back and wanted to update it for my collection. Having received MVR’s remastered version, I’m very happy with it and loved the cleaner sound you have captured. Thank you, James Ryan
Alexhakker (verified owner) –
First: I was very surprised that The Compleat Beatles was released again on DVD.
Two years ago I ordered a copy from another American company, but that one was absolutely rubbish! I had to throw it away! Waste of money.
But certainly not this version of this DVD that I ordered from MVR! It is in an excellent state and plays without any disruption.
Second: I was also surprised with the speed of delivery from the USA! I received it within 5 days and I live in The Netherlands.
MVR: excellent job and consider me a regular client. I am a musician so I will tell my colleagues about MVR!
Alexander Hakker, The Netherlands
mwozniak1 (verified owner) –
The Compleat Beatles is an excellent documentary on the history of the Beatles. This Laser Disc remaster to DVD is far better quality than the old VHS version of the film I bought years ago, or any of the clips found on YouTube for that matter! Video is much more crisp and the audio is vastly improved. The DVD came nicely packaged and arrived only three days after I ordered it. Good service. Well done. Thanks. Mike
John Troidl (verified owner) –
Without question, this is the best this title is ever going to look. I had owned this film on VHS and hadn’t thought about it in years. I assumed by now it was out on Blu-Ray, then discovered that the Beatles had bought the rights so it could not be re-released. I considered their Beatles Anthology, but at 10 hours it just seemed too long.
I am highly pleased with this DVD version of this rare documentary from MVR. I have had bad experiences buying DVD dubs of VHS tapes, but this is entirely different. The image and sound are first rate. You can’t go wrong with this purchase. I only wish more out of print titles could receive releases like this. Thanks so much MVR! John T.
William Otto (verified owner) –
Great DVD of the original LaserDisc at a great price. Just watched it and it was better than the VHS version that I originally owned. Great price and fast shipping. Would definitely recommend MVR to others.
Bob French (verified owner) –
It was nice to finally be able to watch “The Complete Beatles” on DVD in the best quality I have even seen. At two hours, it makes a much easier watch.
Tobin Mummert (verified owner) –
A classic documentary from 1982. It’s like a short version of The Beatles Anthology which came out in the 1990s.
And tells you of The Beatles beginnings up to their unfortunate end. Although on one DVD with both black and white footage and in color, the black-and-white footage, the colorful age is very good.
If you are a Beatles fan and we just like a nice short condensed story of their career, this is the DVD to own.
J. Mac (verified owner) –
I first saw this on VHS way back in the early ‘80s. Suffice to say, the picture and audio has undergone a significant upgrade thanks to MVR’s remastering process. In some ways I prefer this doc to the Beatles Anthology, mainly because it is objective and not influenced by the surviving members of the group. And the narrator’s voice is so incredibly soothing. This DVD is a must own for any true Beatles fan.
KEN LINT (verified owner) –
Very nice reproduction of a classic documentary now finally on DVD.