Magical Mystery Tour
Magical Mystery Tour, starring The Beatles, was a special that aired on BBC TV on Boxing Day in 1967. It was poorly received by critics and audiences, but is now considered somewhat of a cult classic.
There was no script for the film, only a (mostly handwritten) collection of ideas, sketches, and situations, which McCartney called the "Scrupt"  . The basic plot involves a group of people on a British bus tour, focusing mostly on Mr. Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) and his aunt, Mrs. Jessie Starkey (Jessie Robbins). Other group members on the bus include the "tour director" Jolly Jimmy Johnson (Derek Royle), the tour hostess Miss Wendy Winters (Mandy Weet), Buster Bloodvessel (Ivor Cutler), and cameos by the other members of The Beatles.
During the tour, Richard and his aunt fight constantly. Meanwhile, Mrs. Starkey begins to fall in love with Buster Bloodvessel, who displays eccentric and disturbing behavior. The tour involves several strange activities, such as an impromptu race where each tour group member grabs a different type of transportation (some start running, a few jump into cars, a group of people have a long bike they can pedal). The tour also goes through a long crawl tunnel which leads to a set-up projector theatre, and involves a strange scene where the group walks through what appears to be a UK Army recruiter's office. The film culminates with the group splitting up to see strip shows.
Musical interludes include the band performing "I Am the Walrus" wearing animal masks.
The film was first shown in the UK as a made-for-television film on the BBC, shown in black-and-white on BBC1 and then in colour on BBC2. It was shown at Christmas time 1967 on NBC in the United States in color. It was rereleased in the United States in 1976, when New Line Cinema acquired the rights for limited theatrical distribution, and it was shown on U.S. television in the 1980s in syndication. The original reception in 1967 had been so poor that no one had properly archived a negative, and the re-release version had to be copied from poor quality prints. By the end of the 1980s, MPI (via rights holder Apple Corps) had released the movie on video. A DVD release followed later.
The British public's reaction to the film was scathing. Hunter Davies, the band's biographer, said: "It was the first time in memory that an artist felt obliged to make a public apology for his work". Paul spoke to the press: "We don't say it was a good film. It was our first attempt. If we goofed, then we goofed. It was a challenge and it didn't come off. We'll know better next time."