The Magical Mystery Tour is coming to take you away on October 9 when The Beatles’ 1967 feature film arrives on DVD and Blu-ray in a completely restored new edition! Initially aired on BBC1 television in December, 1967, The Beatles starred in the film opposite a motley crew of performers including Ivor Cutler, Victor Spinetti, Jessie Robins, Nat Jackley, Derek Royle, and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will sport a fully remixed soundtrack (5.1 and stereo) as well as special features such as three new edits of song performances, commentary from Paul McCartney, and scenes that were cut out of the original film including footage with the band Traffic. A special, boxed deluxe edition will also be available, and, for the first time ever, there will be a limited theatrical release from September 27th. This Apple Films release follows the recent, acclaimed restoration of Yellow Submarine which was released in the DVD and BD formats earlier this year.
“Paul said ‘Look I’ve got this idea’ and we said ‘great!’ and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top – that’s where we started,” Ringo Starr recalled of the film that follows one Richard Starkey and his recently widowed Auntie Jessie (Jessie Robins) on a British tour bus. Ringo and Auntie Jesse are joined by tour director Jolly Jimmy Johnson (Derek Royle), hostess Miss Wendy Winters (Mandy Weet), conductor Buster Bloodvessel (Ivor Cutler), and of course, the other Beatles, who portray whimsical magicians alongside pal and road manager Mal Evans. Victor Spinetti, who also appeared in A Hard Day’s Night and Help! with the Fabs, appeared as an army drill sergeant in one scene in the loosely-plotted, largely unscripted adventure.
Of course, the central attraction of any Beatles film was bound to be the music, and Magical Mystery Tour featured group composition “Flying” and of course, title song “Magical Mystery Tour” in addition to “The Fool on the Hill,” “Your Mother Should Know,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Blue Jay Way” and more. Those six songs were originally released in the U.K. on a double-EP soundtrack. (The film itself offers a few more instrumental pieces, and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band even got into the act performing “Death Cab for Cutie.”) Capitol Records added a few non-album singles to create a Magical Mystery Tour LP that is today a part of the standardized Beatles catalogue. Both the EP and American LP preceded the television airing of the film.
Hit the jump for more, including the complete list of special features and pre-order links!
The October release marks Magical Mystery Tour’s first appearance on Blu-ray. It was available in the past on a DVD released in 1997. Special features on the DVD and BD are as follows:
- Director’s Commentary by Paul McCartney
- The Making of Magical Mystery Tour (19m 05s) – Features interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with other cast members and crew. Includes unseen footage.
- Ringo the actor (2m 30s) – Ringo reflecting on his role in the film.
- Meet The Supporting Cast (11m 27s) – A feature on the background and careers of Nat Jackley, Jessie Robins, Ivor Cutler, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Victor Spinetti, George Claydon, and Derek Royle.
- “Your Mother Should Know” (2m 35s) – newly-edited with footage not in the original film
- “Blue Jay Way” (3m 53s) – newly-edited with footage not in the original film
- “The Fool On The Hill” (3m 05s) – newly-edited with footage not in the original film
- Hello Goodbye (3m 24s), as featured in Top of the Pops 1967 – The Beatles allowed the BBC to film them in the edit suite where they were working on Magical Mystery Tour. This was then turned into a promo by the BBC, who shot their own additional footage. It was then broadcast on Top of the Pops to mark the “Hello Goodbye” single going to No. 1 in December 1967.
- Nat’s Dream (2m 50s) – A scene directed by John featuring Nat Jackley and not included in the original film.
- Ivor Cutler – “I’m Going in a Field” (2m 35s) – Ivor performs “I’m Going in a Field” in a field. This scene was not included in the original film.
- Traffic – “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” (1m 53s) – The filming of Traffic acting out their 1967 hit single “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” was commissioned by The Beatles for possible inclusion in Magical Mystery Tour but was not used in the final edit.
The limited edition deluxe edition is housed in a 10” x 10” box. It includes the film on both DVD and Blu-ray, and all special features listed above, plus a 60 page book with background information, photographs and documentation from the production. Lastly, this set includes a reproduction of the mono double 7″ vinyl EP of the films six new songs. (By contrast, the standard editions will include an 8-page booklet.)
The standard DVD and BD editions, as well as the deluxe box set, are due in North America on October 9, with international releases arriving one day earlier on October 8. A selection of Magical Mystery merchandise is available at The Beatles’ website.
You can order each version below!