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"When a man buys a ticket to a magical mystery tour, he knows what to expect."
The film starts out as Mr. Richard Starkey, who is constantly bickering with his aunt, purchases a ticket to the titular mystery tour. Once on the tour bus... stuff happens, allegedly at the whim of "four or five magicians," and in the end everyone goes to a strip club.
Basically, The Beatles and a bus full of other people drove around for two weeks, wrote the script on the way, filmed things on a whim and hoped something magical would happen. It didn't work. Legend has it that many of the incidents and complications that plagued the shoot were more interesting than the film itself.
It was envisioned for theaters, but instead aired on BBC 1 on December 26, 1967. This hurt the film because that particular channel wasn't airing in color yet. (Even if it had appeared on BBC 2, which was airing in color, very few viewers owned color sets.) It was especially bad for the "Flying" sequence, which was simply filmed abstract color-shapes...
- Artistic Stimulation
- BLAM Episode
- Breakaway Pop Hit: the soundtrack album in general, which got released long before the film in America; it was also much better received and is much more well-known than the film itself. "Magical Mystery Tour," "I Am the Walrus," and "The Fool on the Hill" in particular.
- Concept Video
- Creator Breakdown: Of a sort; the movie was rushed into production in response to the death of Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, and was intended of a way of taking their minds off things and establishing some group solidarity in the uncertain aftermath of his death.
- Dance Party Ending: After the aforementioned striptease.
- The Danza: Ringo Starr's birth name is Richard Starkey.
- Dream Sequence: Several, including one that involves John Lennon serving a woman spaghetti with a shovel, based on an actual dream John Lennon had had.
- Fan Service: Why else would everyone go to a strip club at the end?
- Force Feeding
- Hilarity Ensues
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Although released on DVD in 2003, it's near impossible to find; the picture quality is also terrible. Allegedly, it's to receive the same re-mastering treatment that Help! did.
- Narrator: John Lennon narrates, for reasons best known to himself.
- People in Rubber Suits
- Performance Video
- Punny Name: Buster Bloodvessel
- Random Events Plot
- Scenery Porn: The "Fool on the Hill" sequence.
- Throw It In: This movie is made of this.
- What Could Have Been: Oh, lordy...
- The bus was actually supposed to shown flying during the "Flying" sequence
- The "four or five wizards" were supposed to feature more frequently
- Ever wonder why the footage kind of freezes at the end of the "Blue Jay Way" sequence? Originally, George was going to be hit by the bus...
- Jimi Hendrix was to appear in the film, but it clashed with his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival (ironically, he'd been invited to play at Monterey at the suggestion of Paul McCartney).
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: As noted above.