During the production of the Let it Be album, the Beatles allowed a film crew to shoot them rehearsing and creating the album. Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who previously directed promotional videos for the band as well as fellow British band The Rolling Stones, was hired as the director. What was intended to show the Fab Four’s music making from a fly-in-the-wall perspective ended being much more, showing the estrangement and bitterness that had grown between them since The White Album sessions (at the earliest). The film crew managed to capture many of these incidents on film.
When a rough cut of the film was first viewed on 20 July 1969, the band expressed discomfort with how revealing the film managed to be. Thus, Lindsay-Hogg ended up cutting the film to 80 minutes and now states that the rough cut was about an hour longer than the final version. Some have said, however, that the rough cut was about 210 minutes long, which has been denied by the director.
Not much information exists of this cut on the Internet. Seeing as how the actual film has been barred from seeing a home video release since the '90s (out of fear that it would tarnish the band’s image), it’s even less likely that these scenes will ever be shown, given that they still exist. Rumors exist of a bootleg containing some of the missing footage, but none have been confirmed.
The following is a list of known scenes that were cut from the final film:
- The most infamous scene that was cut concerns a VERY heated argument between George Harrison and John Lennon which legend has it came to blows. After that, Harrison announced that he was quitting the band (only to come back after a few days). The final film shows no evidence of this ever happening, with only a scene where Lennon and Paul McCartney are discussing what to do. Director Lindsay-Hogg has said in interviews that the cameras were not rolling when George quit. Audio of the incident was captured by the sound man and has since leaked onto the bootleg market.
- There are many sequences showing the estrangement between the band members that were cut. How much of it and the exact content are unknown however.
- A lot of scenes showing drummer Ringo Starr horsing around and just plain having fun were also omitted from the final cut.
- A scene with actor Peter Sellers and the band joking and discussing drug use. This can be found on YouTube.
- Many scenes involving Lennon and his girlfriend/eventual wife Yoko Ono, which according to Lindsay-Hogg, “the other three (McCartney, Harrison, and Starr) didn’t really think that was appropriate because they wanted to make it a ‘nicer’ movie.”
- A scene where Harrison brings and introduces his friend Billy Preston to the studio, where he wound up playing on numerous songs including "Get Back". In the final film, he just appears with no explanation of where he came from.