Good Ol' Freda: A wonderful, innocent look at the Beatles

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comMarch 26, 2014 

Good Ol’ Freda

COURTESY FREDA KELLY

The song lyric goes: "It was 20-years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play."

In this case, it's more like 50 years. In late 1963 and early 1964, I was a Tri-City teenager completely blown away -- as all of us were -- by The Beatles. You couldn't listen for 30 minutes without hearing one or more songs from their first two albums or the single She Loves You .

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

In the 1960s, Ringo Starr, Charley Watts of the Rolling Stones and other drummers of the day taught me to play drums. In the 50 years since, I've done a couple of dozen bands and am still rocking out almost weekly with my band Brooklyn Street.

Like many baby boomers, the societal changes brought about by The Beatles and the British Invasion shaped my life as it did many of yours and the generations that followed. What's most interesting about the band is its staying power. Young people today find them as fresh and as interesting as their parents and -- gulp -- grandparents.

All of this is said to set up Good Ol' Freda . It's a movie I have the honor of introducing at this week's Battelle Film Club offering.

Fifty years after they splashed on U.S. and world society, this beautiful little film -- via director Ryan White -- gives us an innocent look at the band's beginnings and end through the eyes of their fan club secretary Freda Kelly. This is a wonderful, sometimes funny trip down memory lane. The Beatles loved the unassuming and charming Kelly. I promise you will too.

This one is absolutely not to be missed.

Director: Ryan White

Stars: Freda Kelly, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It's playing Friday, March 28 only at 8:00 p.m. at the Battelle Auditorium.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- Don't miss Mr. Movie's online reviews at www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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