Reviews: Act Naturally

Lyons, John F., Donnelly, Mark, Hernandez, Stephanie, Kapurch, Katie, Easton, Bethany and Rohr, Nicolette (2023) Reviews: Act Naturally. Journal of Beatles Studies, 2023 (Spring). pp. 183-214.

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Bethany Easton, Lecturer in Project Management, University of Cumbria, reviews the book 'Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film' by Steve Matteo (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2023 ISBN: 9781493059010, 350 pp.).

With an impressive and ever-expanding number of films on the Beatles, it is only natural that authors are producing texts that examine this particular element of the group’s history. Steve Matteo delves into this area in Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film, in which he explores the Beatles’ various escapades in the film world, from A Hard Day’s Night (dir. Richard Lester, 1964) to Peter Jackson’s (2021) The Beatles: Get Back. Matteo details his aim from the outset: to offer Beatles fans an engaging but informative text exploring the Beatles on film through a mix of images, description and fact. Each chapter details exact dates, locations and events: "April 7th featured shooting the pub cellar sequence where Ringo is confronted by Raja the Bengal tiger, who turns into a pussycat whenever he hears the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, commonly known as ‘Ode to Joy’. (138)". Although Matteo self-describes as not being ‘a film scholar’ (vi), his work indicates the contrary, as he presents his meticulously researched findings throughout. This level of detail goes beyond solely exploring the Beatles. There is an enormous amount of historical cinematic context that preceded and surrounded the group’s film work, including the ‘new British film wave: realist films, social problem films, and what came to be known as “kitchen sink” films’ (11). As the author notes, ‘This book is as much a celebration of the films of the Beatles, as it is a championing of the British films of the 1960s in general’ (vi).

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Journal of Beatles Studies
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
ISSN: 2754-7019
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Project Management
Additional Information: This article was published open access under a CC BY licence:
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2023 11:24
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 15:31


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