Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Beatles Eight Days a Week - The touring years

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Not recommended under 12 due to disturbing scenes, coarse language, smoking, and drug references.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for The Beatles Eight Days a Week - The touring years
  • a review of The Beatles Eight Days a Week - The touring years completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 September 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 12 Not recommended due to disturbing scenes, coarse language, smoking, and drug references

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: The Beatles Eight Days a Week - The touring years
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language
Length 138 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film is a documentary featuring the Beatles’ touring years between 1963 and 1966. We learn how the band’s four members - Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison - met and formed the band, and what their musical influences were. The film follows the band from their historic 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and their tour of 166 concerts across 15 countries around the world.

Through interviews of film and music superstars including Elvis Costello, Eddie Izzard, Whoopi Goldberg, John Savage, Howard Goodall and Larry Kane, we learn what the Beatles meant to the public and the impact that ‘Beatlemania’ had on the culture of the day.  The film also shows the toll that touring and fame took on the band members.  

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Popular music; the culture of the 1960s, fame and being famous

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains some violence related to crowd hysteria and occasional racial violence and tensions. Examples include:

  • Young people men and women rush the four Beatles and crush them with their bodies.
  • We hear how one woman put her hand through a glass door in an attempt to get to members of the Beatles and see images of the broken glass.
  • Dozens of policemen link arms forming a human barrier to keep back crowds of surging people.   
  • We hear reference to several young activists having gone missing in America’s southern states during civil unrest and then hear how they had been murdered and their bodies had been found in a car dumped in a lake.
  • There are scenes depicting racial unrest in America during the 1960s references made to race segregation in school and concerts.  There are also scenes of police snipers and reference to twenty people being shot dead during race related riots.
  • People are angered by comments made by members of the group and people burn Beatles records on giant bonfires. The Beatles are threatened with violence.
  • Reference is made to a bomb scare related to a Beatles concert.   

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

The film contains scenes of mass hysteria with young woman hysterically crying and screaming. Young women collapse and are carried out of concerts by police, ambulance attendants and the general public.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some mild sexual references in this movie, including:

  • While young women in a crowd are being interviewed one shouts out that she loves one of the Beatles while another shouts out that Ringo has a sexy nose and eye lashes.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and mild sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Women lying on a beach wearing bikinis.
  • A young woman grabs one of the Beatles and hugs him. 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Throughout the film the Beatles smoke cigarettes. Many of the people being interviewed also smoke, as well as numerous members of the general public.
  • One person being interviewed makes reference to the Beatles smoking marijuana.
  • Paul McCartney talks about being “slightly stoned” during the filming of the Beatles film, Help

Coarse language

The film contains occasional coarse language; Examples include:

  • “They were fucking awesome”; “Fuck you...”   
  • “Oh my god”

In a nutshell

The Beatles Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years is a documentary that tells the story of the Beatles’ touring years from 1963-1966. The film features some never-before-seen footage of the Beatles that die-hard fans will want to see, as well as remastered sound and visuals. As an extra bonus, the version released for cinema contains thirty minutes of digitally remastered footage of the Beatles’ famous 1963 concert at Shea Stadium New York where they performed to over 55,000 people.

Some scenes of mass hysteria and racial unrest may disturb younger children, and parents may be concerned about some of the coarse language, scenes of smoking and drug references. The film is therefore not recommended for children under 12.   

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