The Beatles solo cinema projects. Some not-so-fab films (part 2)

9th September 2022

The solo cinematic careers of John, Paul and George were covered in Part 1, which may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2022/08/31/the-beatles-solo-cinema-projects-some-not-so-fab-films-part-1/

So now it’s Ringo’s turn, and he co-starred alongside Richard Burton, and Peter Sellers among others. Furthermore, two-time Oscar winner Marlon Brando was in one of the films so they should have been magical … unfortunately that is not the case.

Let’s start with the source material, novels by Terry Southern.

Southern had published these books in 1958 and 1959 respectively, then in the 60s he worked on such iconic films as ‘Dr Strangelove,’ ‘The Collector’ and ‘Easy Rider.’

Writer Terry Southern

‘Candy’ is said to be based on Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ but I think the film, described as a sex farce, owes more to de Sade.

A blonde-haired, blue-eyed innocent teenage girl is sexually manipulated and exploited throughout the film. Ringo only appears in one sequence (with a brief appearance at the end of the movie) playing a gardener, speaking broken English with some kind of accent. He is later identified as being Mexican though he sounds pure Merseyside.

Brando appears as a guru, and actually displays some excellent comic timing. Just a pity the material is rather weak, laboured and very dated.

Candy star Ewa Aulin with Marlon Brando

The film, however, was quite a commercial hit although reviews were mixed. Today it has acquired cult status and is very much a late 60s period piece, the look, the sound and social mores.

‘Candy’ was released in the US on 17th December 1968, and the soundtrack features The Byrds and Steppenwolf.

A year later, Ringo’s second solo film was released. In ‘The Magic Christian,’ he has a co-starring role alongside Peter Sellers (who had memorably played three roles in Kubrick’s ‘Dr Strangelove’).

The film is a satire on wealth and greed, and a condemnation of capitalism. Sellers plays a man of immense wealth, who sees Ringo’s character as the son he never had, and subsequently adopts him.

Ringo with 60s icon Raquel Welch

The film is a series of set-pieces where Sellers shows what people will do for money; a Shakespearean actor is bribed to strip during the famous soliloquy in ‘Hamlet,’ a traffic warden is asked to eat a parking ticket, and the climax shows respectable businesspeople diving into a tank of unmentionable content to retrieve paper money. This film does not go in for subtlety.

Again, the film is packed with familiar faces from film and British TV, and again, as with ‘Candy,’ it’s not a film I would rush to re-watch.

Finally, there is another Beatles connection in this film. The main song is ‘Come and Get It,’ performed by Badfinger but written by Paul McCartney.

Speaking of The Beatles, they spent January of 1969 rehearsing for a proposed TV special or live concert. This was captured in the documentary film ‘Let It Be,’ released in May 1970 by which time the band had broken up.

But the music remains … forever.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.