Ringo Starr has said there is “not a lot of joy” in The Beatles documentary Let It Be, ahead of its imminent re-release. 

Earlier this month, NME exclusively announced that Disney+ were to release a restored version of the 1970 film on May 8

Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Let It Be was first released in cinemas 54 years ago and has been difficult to obtain since – prompting considerable bootlegging. It features footage of the Fab Four while they were writing and recording their 12th and final studio album of the same name in January 1969 at London’s Twickenham Film Studios. 

Later in the film, the band moves to the headquarters of their company Apple Corps on Savile Row for further rehearsals and the iconic rooftop concert – the four Beatles’ last performance together as a group. 

The Beatles’ famous rooftop concert at Apple HQ in 1969. CREDIT: The Walt Disney Company

In a new interview with Associated Press, Starr has given his view on the restored version of the doc. “I think Peter Jackson has done an incredible job,” he said. “For me, not a lot of joy in it. It’s from the point of view of the director, and that was up to him. We found 56 hours of unused tape, we found it and Peter Jackson put his heart and soul into it and it works really well. It’s great because you’ll get another chance to see us on the roof.” 

As he did for the 2022 docuseries Get Back, which features extra archive material from the Let It Be shoot, acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson has used state-of-the-art digital technology to restore the 55-year-old film reels to crisp, modern quality. 


“Over the years, the original [film] print probably hasn’t been looked after that well and it didn’t look that good anymore,” Lindsay-Hogg told NME. “When Peter got involved [for Get Back] – and thank God he did – he had to do restoration on the original footage that was used in Let It Be [as well as the archive material]. And so when the idea of [re-releasing] Let It Be came up again [after Get Back was released], a lot of the work had already been done.” 

Starr has shared similar sentiments about the film in the past. In 2021, he said: “I didn’t feel any joy in the original documentary, it was all focused on one moment which went down between two of the lads [McCartney and Harrison]. The rooftop concert was also only about seven to eight minutes long. With Peter’s [documentary] it’s 43 minutes long.” 

The new cut of the film remains the same as the original, though Lindsay-Hogg and his director of photography, Anthony Richmond, wanted Let It Be to retain some of its “filmic” charm after restoration work – and asked Jackson to change the presentation slightly from how it looked in Get Back

“Peter had chosen a more digital look which looked almost contemporaneous,” said Lindsay-Hogg. There is also a new introduction which consists of a conversation between Jackson and Lindsay-Hogg about the project. 


‘Let It Be’ streams on Disney+ from May 8