The Bizarre, Bonkers Movie That The Beatles Almost Made

Recently, Peter Jackson announced a new Beatles movie comprised of newly uncovered footage of the Fab Four -- or for all we know, lifelike CGI footage featuring four Andy Serkises. 

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

All of which got us thinking about other Beatles movies; of course, there was A Hard Day's NightHelp! and the psychedelic bus wreck that was Magical Mystery Tour. But even more interesting is the movie The Beatles decided not to make ...

In 1967, acclaimed, radically scandalous playwright Joe Orton was hired by the producer behind The Beatles' first two films to come up with a screenplay for their next big-screen vehicle. The result was Up Against It, which, unlike their early cinematic work, was set in an "alternate reality version of 1960s Britain where women occupy all the positions of power." If that wasn't odd enough, the virulently misogynistic story finds the lads from Liverpool dressing up in drag and assassinating the Prime Minister. The Beatles also "blow up a Great War cenotaph" and "serve in a brutal English civil war fought between male and female forces." Plus, "Paul McCartney would spend 10 years in jail" -- sadly though, not for that goddamn Christmas song.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The story ended with the band entering into a "polygamous marriage" but, more unfortunately, was also full of sexual assault "both committed by and against the Beatles" that was "repeatedly played for laughs." According to Paul McCartney, it wasn't the shocking subject matter that led to the script's rejection; it was purely because, unlike Orton, The Beatles "weren't gay and that was really all there was to it," adding: "The Beatles weren't gay" in case anyone didn't get the message.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Up Against It went on to have a life of its own; it was eventually published and adapted into both a Todd Rundgren musical and a BBC radio drama.

Forget Yesterday, give us a movie about the alternate reality where the most popular band on the planet actually made this crazy flick.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: John B Hewitt / Shutterstock.com

To turn on reply notifications, click here

15 Comments

Load Comments