Credit: Hollywood Reporter / IMDB Writer: Joe Johnson
Denis O’Dell, a British film producer and director who worked with The Beatles on the movie “A Hard Day’s Night” and other Beatles productions, died at his home in Spain on December 30th, 2021, according to his son. Mr. O’Dell was 98.
Arran O’Dell told The Associated Press that his father died overnight at his house in Almería, in southeast Spain (coincidentally it was where John Lennon went to film “How I Won the War” with Dick Lester in 1966). O’Dell was Associate Producer of ‘How I Won the War”.
O’Dell began his association with The Beatles as Producer of “A Hard Day’s Night”, the Fab Four’s first feature film, but went on to produce 1967’s “Magical Mystery Tour” as well as “The Magic Christian”, a 1969 film featuring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers. According to Paul McCartney, Denis lent The Beatles several outtakes of aerial footage of Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” for use in the flying sequence of the film “Magical Mystery Tour”.
Most recently, O’Dell was listed as Supervising Producer (from 1969), of the recent Beatles’ TV Mini Series documentary, “Get Back”, parts 1-3, Days 1-22, produced, directed and edited by Academy Award winning Director, Peter Jackson.
Denis can be seen and heard giving filming advice to The Beatles 17 minutes in to part 1 of The Get Back film (see photo left) and also discussing “The Magic Christian” with Ringo, and Beatle fans who listen closely to their music, might remember hearing most of Denis’ name mentioned by John Lennon in The Beatles b-side to “Let it Be”, “You Know My Name (Look up the number).” The lyric goes:
“Good evening and welcome to Slaggers, featuring Denis O’Bell. Ah Ringo! Ringo! Let’s hear it for Denis.”
In 1968, O’Dell became a director of The Beatles new organization, Apple Corps and was the head of Apple Films. O’Dells recollection of his time with The Fab Four came out in a memoir called “At the Apple’s Core: The Beatles from the Inside”, in 2002.
O’Dell’s son Arran said the family planned a local and private service and a memorial service in the UK at a later date. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
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