The Beatles' Influence On Popular Culture - Film


  • The film I Wanna Hold Your Hand is about "Beatlemania" and is a fictionalised account of the day of the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
  • The rock musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1978, featured Beatles covers by the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Earth, Wind & Fire and many other musical and non-musical celebrities. It went on to be a critical and commercial disaster.
  • The 2007 film Across the Universe is a musical that takes place during the 60s. 33 Beatles compositions were performed in the film along with names of characters referenced in their music and multiple small allusions to The Beatles are scatted throughout the film.
  • The 1996 film That Thing You Do! tells the story of a fictional one-hit wonder rock band and makes many (indirect) references to The Beatles' career.
  • The 1978 television film All You Need Is Cash (based on a single sketch from a mid-1970s sketch series called Rutland Weekend Television) traces the career of a British rock group called The Rutles in mockumentary style.
  • The film Ferris Bueller's Day Off features at least two references to the Beatles: Ferris (Matthew Broderick) states his admiration of John Lennon's quote "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me," and later sneaks onto a parade float and lip-synchs to "Twist and Shout", to positive reception from the crowd.
  • The film This Is Spinal Tap also pokes mild fun at the Beatles. In a flashback to the band's early days as a skiffle group (which The Beatles actually had roots in), they sing a song in the same style as older songs. They are also dressed similarly, with a grey, collarless suit and white collared shirts. Their album "Smell The Glove" has a plain black cover, parodying the Beatles' "White Album".
  • In the 2007 comedy film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, fictional Dewey Cox meets The Beatles who are purposefully portrayed satirically by Jack Black as Paul McCartney, Paul Rudd as John Lennon, Jason Schwartzman as Ringo Starr, and Justin Long as George Harrison.
  • In Winning London, a film starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the twins and their love interests can be seen walking down Abbey Road in one of the earlier scenes.
  • In the film Top Secret!, a horse trots off singing "A Hard Day's Night."
  • In the 2007 movie Superbad, the character Seth (Jonah Hill) says to Evan (Michael Cera) that looking into offscreen character Matt Muir's eyes was "like the first time he heard the Beatles".
  • In the 2008 movie Yes Man, Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) sings "Can't Buy Me Love" when he sneaks into the Hollywood Bowl with Allison (Zooey Deschanel), He soon also mentions the murder of John Lennon and yells "I've got blisters on my fingers!" after playing the guitar to save a man from jumping off a building.
  • In the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Benjamin and Daisy watch The Beatles perform "Twist and Shout" on The Ed Sullivan Show.
  • In the 2001 film I Am Sam, Sam's daughter is named after the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Lucy's idyllic early years are accompanied by "Across the Universe". At the Halloween party, "I'm Looking Through You" drives home the point that Sam is "not the same" as other adults. We see Sam and Rita's relationship grow to "Golden Slumbers". Sam's lawyer's name comes from The Beatles' song "Lovely Rita", a point made by Lucy. At the end of the film, "Two of Us" is used.
  • In the 2009 film (500) Days of Summer, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) claims "Octopus's Garden" is the greatest Beatles song, much to Tom Hansen's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) surprise. Summer also says Ringo is her favourite Beatle, despite Tom's claim that "no one likes Ringo".
  • The 2008 film I'm Not There features a segment in the mid-1960s in which singer Jude Quinn (a fictionalised version of Bob Dylan, played by Cate Blanchett) visits London and is briefly seen fraternising with the Beatles, who are portrayed playing on a hill at fast speed and with high-pitched voices. They are later seen in the background running away from a crowd of fans, à la A Hard Day's Night.
  • In the 2009 anime film Summer Wars, the two guardians of Oz (the virtual world) are called John and Yoko.
  • The 2000 Icelandic film Angels of the Universe, which focuses on schizophrenia and is mainly set in a psychiatric hospital, features one character, Óli, who believes himself to have written most Beatles songs and to have transmitted them to The Beatles via telepathy, even after the split of the band. "Hey Jude" is being "composed" by Óli in one scene of the film.
  • In the 2008 comedy The Rocker, Fish, Rainn Wilson, mentions the Lennon–McCartney partnership when describing Curtis (Teddy Geiger); Fish tells the band that the Beatles did not ask their mums and dads to play Shea Stadium which Matt retorts with, "they were adults"; and the record producer mentions John Lennon rolling over in his grave. The producer also sees Curtis's mom kissing Fish and says, "Well hello Yoko". Pete Best also makes a cameo appearance.
  • In he 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually the song "All You Need is Love" is sung. The Beatles are mentioned during the Prime Minister's speech. Ringo Starr and his wife are mentioned. Sam has a sign on his door that say says, 'Ringo Rules' during his story of learning the drums.

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