Seen It at Sound Unseen: the Brian Epstein Story

Categories: Film Review
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Man two rows behind me, browsing this film's description in the Sound Unseen guide: "140 minutes? Jesus!"


You said it, guy. Two and a half hours is long for a band bio, not to mention a band manager bio. The film originally aired on the BBC in two one-hour parts and, being that this was the director's cut, we got an extra 20 minutes. But even though it was long, the doc was good enough that it suffered only a couple walk-outs. The film connects the dots from a Liverpool boy who dreamed of becoming a dress designer to a young furniture retailer interested in presentation and design to the man who put the Beatles in cute suits. But despite his overwhelming success at cracking the American charts, the Jewish and gay Epstein felt like an outcast until the day he died from an accidental sleeping pill OD in 1967. The film hints at persecution (beatings and blackmail) but fills up on glowing memories from Paul McCartney, George Martin, and Marianne Faithfull. More detailed accounts of the discrimination he faced would've been nice.

Okay, I'll admit it. Even if the movie had sucked, I was determined to stick around long enough to find out whether John Lennon really let Epstein give him a handjob. Alas, there was no explicit story about Brian's paws on John's junk but McCartney seems to think the rumors were false. In fact, he insinuates that if Epstein were going to hit on any of them, he probably would've been the lucky boy. And he's totally serious.



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