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The Beatles: All You Need Is Love

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All You Need Is Love (also known as The Beatles) is a 1978 television film that traces (in mockumentary style) the career of a fictitious British rock group called The Beatles. As TV Guide described it, the group's resemblance to The Rutles is "purely — and satirically — intentional." The film is a near shot-for-shot parody of the Melvin Hall documentary about The Rutles, All You Need Is Cash.

William Campbell parodying Melvin Hall

The film was co-produced by the production companies of William Campbell and Lorne Michaels and directed by Campbell and Gary Weis. It was first broadcast on 22 March 1978 on NBC, earning the lowest ratings of any show on American Prime time network television that week. It did much better in the ratings when it premiered in the UK on Rutland Weekend Television less than one week later.

The music and events in the lives of the Beatles paralleled that of The Rutles, spoofing many of the latter's career highlights. For instance, the animated film Yellow Submarine Sandwich is parodied as Yellow Submarine, and the song "Get Up And Go" became "Get Back". Songs from the film were released on an accompanying soundtrack album.

Notably, John Lennon, who is seen here as a parody of Ron Nasty, briefly appeared in the Tragical History Tour film as a background piano player. Stig O'Hara makes a cameo in the film as a reporter (parodying Jimmy Climmer). When Ron Nasty was asked about what he thought of his impersonator in the final issue of Rutles Forever, he stated:

“You know, flattery is the real thing of impersonation. Or the other way round. I forget who it was who said that...”
―Ron Nasty on John Lennon

The band has become heavily popular in Rutles' fan-circles, with each of the fictional members even being cleverly hidden on the front of the fan-made cover-album Rutles Highway Revisited, as well as a wiki dedicated to expanding the Beatles universe, taking cues from The Rutles' history as well as the real lives of the actual people behind the project.


The Beatles were:


  • Bryan Finson as Derek Taylor, Apple Corp. Press Agent & Lawyer (based on Eric Manchester)
  • Stig O'Hara as Carl Charlson
  • Bianca Jagger as Linda McCartney (based on Martini McQuickly)
  • Ron Julophi as Allen Klein, the most feared promoter in the world (based on Ron Decline)
  • Fred Macdoyed as Dick Rowe, ex record producer who turned down The Beatles (an on-the-nose parody of Brian Thigh)
  • Murray Kaufman as Murray The "K" (based on Bill Murray the K)
  • Berence Taylor as Brian Epstein (based on Leggy Mountbatten)
  • Ray Rolfe as Maharishi Yogi (based on Arthur Sultan)
  • Courtney Baylor as Mrs. Quennie Epstein (based on Iris Mountbatten) and Yoko Ono (based on Chastity Hitler)
  • Ognir Laugher as as Dick James, partially based on Dick Jaws.
  • Dank Williams as record producer George Martin, a partial parody of Archie Macaw
  • Jeannette Charles as a Queen of the United Kingdom
  • Mick Jagger as Himself
  • Paul Simon as Himself
  • Roger McGough as Himself


The Beatles released two albums to tie-in to their films. An issue of Wax Paper from 1978 claimed that these albums sold very well, nothing that it made the quartet "very decent living." [1]

The track listings are featured below, alongside the Rutles' songs they were emulating.

The Beatles (Soundtrack) - 1978[]


  1. I Saw Her Standing There ("Goose-Step Mama")
  2. Twist and Shout ("Number One")
  3. She Loves You ("Baby Let Me Be")
  4. I Want To Hold Your Hand ("Hold My Hand")
  5. Roll Over Beethoven ("Blue Suede Schubert")
  6. A Hard Day's Night ("I Must Be in Love")
  7. If I Fell ("With a Girl Like You")
  8. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You ("Between Us")
  9. Don't Pass Me By ("Living in Hope")
  10. Help! ("Ouch!")
  11. I'm Looking Through You ("It's Looking Good")
  12. Penny Lane ("Doubleback Alley")
  13. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds ("Good Times Roll")
  14. Within You Without You ("Nevertheless")
  15. All You Need Is Love ("Love Life")
  16. I am the Walrus ("Piggy in the Middle")
  17. Martha My Dear ("Another Day")
  18. A Day In The Life ("Cheese and Onions")
  19. Get Back ("Get Up and Go")
  20. Dear Prudence ("Let's Be Natural")

Anthology - 1996[]


  1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ("Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band")
  2. With a Little Help from My Friends ("Rendezvous")
  3. Fool On The Hill ("Questionnaire")
  4. Back in the USSR ("We've Arrived! (And to Prove It We're Here)")
  5. Things We Said Today (Acoustic ballads from A Hard Day's Rut-era, especially "Lonely-Phobia")
  6. Glass Onion (resembles "Unfinished Words")
  7. I Me Mine ("Hey Mister!")
  8. Octopus's Garden (A pastiche of "Easy Listening")
  9. You're Going to Lose That Girl ("Now She's Left You")
  10. Getting Better (Arranged in the style of "The Knicker Elastic King")
  11. And I Love Her ("I Love You")
  12. Come Together (Arranged in the style of "Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik")
  13. Tomorrow Never Knows (Arranged in the style of "Joe Public")
  14. Hey Jude ("Shangri-La")
  15. Free As A Bird (directly pastiching "Don't Know Why")
  16. When I'm 64 (an answer song to "Back in '64")

Additionally, these bonus tracks were included in the Japanese and UK releases:

  1. Her Majesty ("Lullaby")
  2. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (a German version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" off the 1978 album, spoofing the French-language cover of "Baby Let Me Be")
  3. I'm Looking Through You (Take 1)
  4. Honey Pie ("My Little Ukulele")
  5. Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 (A Bob Dylan cover, with half-remembered lyrics, hinting at Der Rat Keller performances such as "Under My Skin")
  6. The Long One (a medley of previous Beatle songs, similar to "Rut-a-Lot")