The Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour' Gets New Release on Blu-Ray and DVD

The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

On October 8, The Beatles will release a Blu-Ray and DVD of their long out-of-print Magical Mystery Tour (1967), the psychedelic film they wrote and directed famed for scenes with John Lennon singing dream-like classics such as “I am the Walrus”, and pure pop hits like “All You Need Is Love.”

In September 1967, The Beatles, their families, and the film's crew and cast (including British comic actors Victor Spinetti, Derek Royle and the legendarily odd Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) hit the highway to make their third film. Magical Mystery Tour was always an eyeful, a psilocybin bus trip conceived by Paul McCartney with a loosely-knit narrative based on the band’s collective imagination, which at that time, states the bassist, was “quite vivid”.  Along with drummer Ringo Starr acting as the film’s lead, he doubled as its director of photography under his given name, “Richard Starkey.”

Three months later, Magical Mystery Tour was broadcast by BBC1. It was shown in black and white, although it was shot in color. The hippie flick’s trippy vision actually scared U.K. viewers and television executives to the point that it never got a world-wide release.

Since that time, it has been a rarity at midnight movie screenings and repertory cinemas.  Now though, Magical Mystery Tour is on Blu-Ray and DVD and gets the full-blown visual re-mastering treatment with a super-sound mix and additional footage. There are new visual edits of songs such as George Harrison's “Blue Jay Way” featuring clips not seen in the original movie, and a version of “Hello Goodbye” filmed by the BBC in the Beatles' editing suite and aired on Top of the Pops.  

The deluxe boxed edition of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour
In addition to the single versions of Magical Mystery Tour, there is a special 10”x10” deluxe boxed edition that contains the DVD and Blu-ray, a 60-page book of production photographs, and a faithful mono reproduction of the vinyl EPs with the film’s six then-new Beatles songs, originally issued in the UK to complement the film’s 1967 release.

Magical Mystery Tour will be available worldwide on October 8th (October 9th in North America). Beginning September 27th, screenings will take place in selected theaters - check for listings on the Beatles' website. Now, where’s that Blu-Ray of Let it Be, gents?

A scene from The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour
Photos ©The Beatles, all rights reserved

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 8:00 AM