“I realized that kids everywhere go for the same stuff; and seeing as we’d done so well in England, there’s no reason why we couldn’t do it in America too.” – John LennonThe First U.S. Visit is a unique documentary which follows The Beatles on their first American tour in 1964. Filmed by the pioneering Maysles Brothers, the documentary gives an intimate and innovate insight into the tour in a style which became the benchmark for rock and roll cinematography. This is an amazing Beatles film, a must-watch for any fan and a personal favourite of mine. It is easy to see how this may have influenced A Hard Day’s Night and shows just how close to real life their first movie was. It includes wonderful ‘making of’ footage, with audio commentary by Albert Maysles, which is well worth watching in addition to the feature. This has everything. Everything. Screaming fangirls (and guys). Press conferences with stupid questions. Wild shimmying at The Peppermint Lounge. Behind the scenes footage of the Central Park photo shoot (another personal favourite). Too many beehive hairstyles to count. Girls mobbing cars. Paul McCartney being cute and handsome. The Beatles in a train, signing autographs. Paul McCartney being gorgeous…wait, did I already say that? Oh, and a girl who say “Oh Darn!” in such a high-pitched squeal that at one point I think only dogs would be able to hear it.
This is The Beatles on camera, off duty and off guard.