Around 15 years after The Beatles split up, Paul McCartney branched out with his art. The Fab Four brought the band to an end in 1970, and by 1984, McCartney was working in Hollywood on his first feature film. He wrote the screenplay for the film Give My Regards to Broad Street, as well as the soundtrack album for the movie. But once it hit cinemas, it was slammed by critics, and McCartney refused to take the feedback lightly.
McCartney was brought onto Channel 4 news to talk about his movie with news reporter Peter Sissons. But before he was given the opportunity to speak, viewers were bombarded with a string of quotes from extremely negative film reviews. During this portion of the news, the star’s movie was described as “the worst film of the year” and “egomania run riot”.
When The Beatles star was given a chance to reply, he hit out: “A lot of what you said was wrong. [The film’s] taken over $1.4million; it’s in the top 20 of the American films; the reviews have been about 50 per cent good and 50 per cent bad, all of which you showed, I noticed.”
He then lashed out at the news anchor directly, saying: “What about equal time, Peter? As an old Liobian I’m totally ashamed of you.”
McCartney was referring to the Liverpool Institute Old Boys’ Association (referred to as Liobians), before pointing out the connection: “I went to school with this man.”
The Hey Jude singer then tried to defend his movie, adding: “I think making a film like this, with music and plot, trying to mix the two, is actually a very difficult genre. And I think people don’t realise how difficult it is to do that. And the people that like it weren’t expecting too much so that the kind of slight plot that it has – my fault, because I wrote it – it really kind of doesn’t get in the way of the music.”
McCartney, who was just 42-years-old at the time, said he “personally” thought the film “was okay”. He continued: “The more you see it, the better it is.”
McCartney was also quizzed over whether he expected the criticisms he received for the movie.
He replied: “I did expect this, and rougher. But I’ve never let it put me off in the past.”
The star spoke about The Beatles album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and how it received negative reviews when it first came out. Despite this, it has become one of the band’s best-loved albums of all time.
He added that Give My Regards to Broad Street was a “very small budget film” and he would be losing “nothing” if it bombed at cinemas.
McCartney went on to say: “I personally like it. I’m proud we’ve done it.”
Although the film received painfully negative reviews, the soundtrack of the same name reached number one in the UK album charts and was certified platinum after selling more than 300,000 units.
The soundtrack included many covers of The Beatles songs, including Eleanor Rigby and Yesterday. Ringo Starr even played on the final recorded version of the songs.