Though it's undeniably entertaining (how could a two- hour compilation of clips featuring the Fab Four not
be?), THE COMPLEAT BEATLES rarely gets beneath the surface of its subject.
Malcolm McDowell narrates newsreel and film clips, augmented by still photos and audio recordings, that trace the history of the Beatles. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (nee Richard Starkey) grew up in Liverpool, "a provincial seaport from which nothing came."
Influenced by American R&B and early rock-and-roll recordings brought home by sailors, the Beatles in their earliest (pre-Ringo) were performing together as early as 1960. They honed their ...