The Beatles' original Let It Be movie has been restored by Peter Jackson

Let It Be poster
(Image credit: Apple Corps)

Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film about The Beatles, Let t Be, which was originally released in 1970 and provided the footage for Peter Jackson's mammoth Get Back film, has been restored by Jackson, and will be available on Disney+ from May 8. It'll be the first time in more than 50 years that the original film has been officially available for public consumption.

Let It Be’ was ready to go in October/November 1969, but it didn’t come out until April 1970," says Lindsay-Hogg. "One month before its release, The Beatles officially broke up. And so the people went to see Let It Be with sadness in their hearts, thinking, ‘I’ll never see The Beatles together again. I will never have that joy again,’ and it very much darkened the perception of the film. But, in fact, how often do you get to see artists of this stature working together to make what they hear in their heads into songs? 

"And then you get to the roof and you see their excitement, camaraderie and sheer joy in playing together again as a group and know, as we do now, that it was the final time, and we view it with full understanding of who they were and still are and a little poignancy. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with Get Back, using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously."

"I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, Let It Be, has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades,” says Jackson. "I was so lucky to have access to Michael’s outtakes for Get Back, and I’ve always thought that Let It Be is needed to complete the Get Back story. 

"Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and Let It Be is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970. I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: Let It Be is the climax of Get Back, while Get Back provides a vital missing context for Let It Be

"Michael Lindsay-Hogg was unfailingly helpful and gracious while I made Get Back, and it’s only right that his original movie has the last word... looking and sounding far better than it did in 1970.”

Jackson's Get Back contained nearly eight hours of footage shot by Lindsay-Hogg in January 1969, as Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr attempted to record 14 new songs in less than three weeks.

Disney Plus

Disney Plus gives you access to Let It Be and the entire Disney vault. That doesn't just mean kids classics, but also newer hits like Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian and scores of classic movies from Alien to The French Connection, Deadpool and more. In the US you can get the most value with the $13.99 bundle that throws in Hulu and ESPN Plus.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.