Produced by George Martin

 (281)
8.31 h 25 min2011ALL
A profile of legendary music producer Sir George Martin, with the help of his son Giles and wife Judy. Including contributions from Sir Paul McCartney (The Beatles), Ringo Starr (The Beatles) and Michael Palin (Monty Python).
Directors
Francis Hanly
Starring
George MartinPaul McCartneyMichael Palin
Genres
DocumentaryMusic Videos and Concerts
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Ringo Starr
Producers
Francis Hanly
Studio
FilmRise
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

281 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

JahanaReviewed in the United States on February 10, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the Best Music Documentaries Ever
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Each minute is a visual and audio treat reviewing the brilliant career one, Sir George Henry Martin. It was quite a revelation that he is "Cockney" from North London and that he made a conscious effort to up-class his manner of speaking to "posh" BBC-level. All these years I had assumed that he was a high-born toff while in fact his mother cried when she didn't have enough money to buy him an ice cream from a passing van (truck). The linguistic makeover was a smart move, which might account for the fact that the big-wigs at EMI (some with titles of nobility) promoted him to head Parlophone despite his relatively young age. (Plus he was taller than average, a Royal Navy veteran (aviator), radiated a quiet authority, and clearly loved his work.) The bosses never properly compensated Martin while working for EMI even though he was making the parent company and its stock holders tons of moolah not to mention winning fat bonuses for the sales and marketing staff. Lennon could be somewhat of an insensitive punk; this is well known. This is seen when he cruelly told Martin that the Beatles wanted to record an album without any of his usual production "crap." Then Lennon and Harrison (behind Martin's back, mind you) took the tapes of to Phil "Wall of Schlock" Spectator (sic) to "over-produce" (Martin lets slip a bit of his understated caustic humor when discussing the Spector episode) what became "Let It Be." We discover also that Martin has a strong competitive streak, but do not all creative persons that struggle to get their work out there? But some of his "attitude" might come from his Cockney origins whose social class constraints might have strangled his talent had not he attracted the attention and received help from certain a certain "fairy godfather" that, unobserved, heard Martin playing piano freely and then suggested he look into studying music formally, which of course he did (and at a relatively advanced age, too). Does anyone need reminding about how Martin used his compositional and arranging skills learned during three hears at Guildhall School of Music and Drama? The world is so much better off that he "failed" to realize his dream of being the next Rachmaninoff. I should leave off here for fear of spoiling the pleasure of watching this documentary for yourself. There is one priceless scene, however, where the usually unflappable Martin registers surprise: He is having tea with Margaret Eliot (mother of Peter Asher and the beautiful Jane Asher], who had been his oboe tutor in the early days. He jokingly asks her whether she still played, and Mrs. Eliot stated that yes, indeed, she did. He appears gobsmacked. For the oboe is a physically demanding instrument, requiring a strict embouchure and air stream; not to mention a sense of pitch on par with that of a violinist. I would stop here, except to mention that Paul McCartney has a loving and respectful chat with Mr. Martin. (Would love to see a Vol. 2 of "extras" featuring McCartney and other interviewees.) Finally, this documentary has the benefit of featuring both his son Giles Martin and his wife Judy, who he met at the famed Abbey Road. Giles, as you probably know, was full partner in the brilliant "Love" production with his father. He exhibits exceptional talent as an interviewer; perhaps the BBC (or other entity) will employ him in a similar capacity for future documentary productions. Lady Judy Martin is a wonderful human being and the sort of woman that are far too few in number these days. Shots of the loving couple riding together in a vintage British motor car (top down of course) through the countryside give this exceptionally fine documentary a poignancy that makes one glad to have experienced the creative genius of Sir George H. Martin then (c. 1963), now (2013), and far into the future.
36 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
excellent doc
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I really enjoyed this documentary on the life and career of George Martin. The term "legend" gets tossed around far too easily these days, but this man truly was a legendary talent. Certainly, most folks know about his work with The Beatles, but this documentary showed the entire breadth of the many artists he worked with (including, prominently, The Beatles, of course.) The world of music is a better place for having had George Martin in it.
2 people found this helpful
steve_manassasReviewed in the United States on January 2, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent profile of one of the best - if not the best - producers of all time
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If Sir George Martin is not the greatest producer in the history of modern music, he certainly comes close. He not only passed on a lot of his vast musical knowledge to his artists, he also let them develop their individual talents to the fullest, in contrast to producers like David Foster and Simon Cowell, who developed a "signature sound" that makes all of their recordings sound the same, regardless of the performer. Martin also is a true English gentleman who has more class than Simon Cowell (or Piers Morgan) will ever have. Actually, Cowell and Morgan have a lot of class, if you delete the "C" and the "L."

This wonderful documentary, originally broadcast on the BBC, runs the gamut of Sir George's life, from his Depression-era childhood, to his World War II service in the Fleet Air Arm, to his musical education at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, to his start with EMI's tiny Parlophone label (as an assistant to Oscar Preuss) in 1950; he became the head of Parlophone when Preuss retired in 1955. The EMI "big boys," according to Martin, were His Master's Voice (HMV) and Columbia, mainly because of their longstanding ties to RCA Victor and Columbia/CBS Records in America, respectively. When EMI lost the RCA and CBS contracts in the 1950s, EMI then purchased Hollywood-based Capitol Records, primarily to obtain new American product. Oddly enough, today, Parlophone is the longest continuously surviving EMI label, though other imprints (e.g., Stateside Records, and the on-again, off-again Regal Zonophone label [now two separate imprints, Regal Recordings, a Parlophone specialty label, and Zonophone, used primarily as a reissue label for Capitol and other back-catalog product]) have been revived and folded from time to time. The Columbia Graphophone Company was folded into the larger EMI Records label in the early-to-mid-1970s, and the Columbia trademark itself was transferred to Sony Music (the new owners of CBS Records) in the early 1990s. HMV became a classical-only label by the end of the 1960s (except for a few Morrissey recordings issued with retro HMV labels in 1988, at the artist's insistence) and was later folded into EMI Classics (now Warner Classics). EMI also sold off the HMV music store chain to new ownership in the late 1990s, and transferred the Nipper-and-gramophone trademark (except in America, where it is owned by RCA Trademark Management) to HMV Group PLC in 2003. With EMI's 2013 takeover by Universal Music Group, Parlophone was one of several EMI labels sold to Warner Music Group because of European Union antitrust concerns. The Beatles' catalog will still be owned by UMG, under either a new Capitol Records UK imprint or Universal Music International; whether The Beatles' older albums and CDs (the first eight, from [[ASIN:B0025KVLRO Please Please Me]] to [[ASIN:B0025KVLTM Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band]]) will still be pressed with historic Parlophone labels (with a licensing fee paid to Warner Music Group, the new owners of Parlophone) or reissued with Capitol UK labels is unknown at the present time. Another possibility is that The Beatles' entire catalog may be shifted to the Apple label, as was the case with U.S., German, and Japanese reissues (and possibly other countries as well) in the 1970s.

Sir George's most famous signing was, of course, The Beatles, in 1962, but his range of artists that he produced over his 50-plus year career included jazz (Humphrey Lyttleton, John Dankworth, and his wife-to-be Cleo Laine), pop chanteuses such as Shirley Bassey, comedy (Peter Sellers, The Goon Shows, Rolf Harris of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" fame, [[ASIN:B000006SW2 The Complete Beyond The Fringe (1961 Original London Cast)]], and the music for [[ASIN:B000008LIL That Was the Week That Was: Classic TV Satire of the 1960's]], which was also produced in the U.S. on NBC), other British Invasion acts (Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas, Gerry And The Pacemakers, Cilla Black), and the solo Beatles (Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr's [[ASIN:B000007MVU Sentimental Journey]], and one posthumously orchestrated track, "Grow Old With Me," on [[ASIN:B00000DG1Q The John Lennon Anthology]]). Martin was also successful with the group America, and his final work was with son Giles (a fine producer in his own right) for The Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show, [[ASIN:B000JJS8TM Love (CD + Audio DVD)]] and its companion documentary, [[ASIN:B0032E9I6S All Together Now: A Documentary Film]].

There are interviews with Sir George's wife Lady Judy, son Giles, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Rolf Harris, Cilla Black, singer Millicent Martin (no relation), and others. The DVD also contains an additional 52 minutes of bonus interviews not aired on the BBC special.

In addition to this DVD, I would also recommend the EMI 6-CD box set [[ASIN:B00005BCHH Produced By George Martin]], released in 2001, which covers the entire spectrum of Martin's career up to that time.

Rest In Peace, Sir George Henry Martin, CBE (born January 3, 1926, died March 8, 2016 - two months and five days after his 90th birthday). You've earned a key to Heaven, sir! Thanks for all of the great music through the years - not just The Beatles, but everything you did!
18 people found this helpful
Mary Katherine Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
George Martin, his work forever archived in our hearts and memories...
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What I loved was the historic retrospective of one who had such a hand in shaping the music for generations through forwarding not just musical excellence, but humor, with also that ability to take us to the ephemeral, heavenly world only accessible through music. He simply was exquisite...and yet so real. His love for wife, Judy,, family and friends,...beyond that, the world... was wonderful. It showed in his production. The fact that he embraced and loved Richard Addinsell’s 1941 Warsaw Concerto as his own party piece, with all its furor, tragedy, passion, and pathos...and yes, beauty...bespeaks volumes. He was an extraordinary influence... a herald and timekeeper of the music of our time and beyond. Think Mahavishnu Orchestra.. And then there was that little group, forever changing our musical perspective...The Beatles. He certainly had a marvelous influence and major hand in all that!! Bravo!!!
James F. GilmoreReviewed in the United States on February 9, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
The mind and ears behind the Beatles
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Such a well done documentary. We are blessed to have Sir George Martin still with us and to be able to hear from him in his own words. If you were captivated by the sound of the Beatles, you'll only end up a bigger fan after watching this film. Much like the Film "The Language Of Music", the documentary about Producer Tom Dow (sort of the US version of George Martin) that also had the luxury of featuring and hearing from the person who is the subject of the film, Produced By George Martin gives you insight into someone working in the infancy of an industry, pushing the limits of the hardware and equipment they had to work with while working with artists that would make indelible marks with their music and talent. If you are a music fan, hearing about the "Producer", the person behind the curtain supervising the recording sessions, provides a tremendous, additional insight into the creative process that resulted in great recorded music. Nothing like getting the first person oral history about monumental recording sessions of music that captivated people all over the world, from the men who helped craft it by capturing it, and thereby preserving it so well for following generations.
3 people found this helpful
D. HartleyReviewed in the United States on February 13, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Sir mix-a-lot
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While no one can deny the inherent musical genius of the Beatles, it's worth speculating whether it would have reached the same dizzying heights of creativity and artistic growth (and over the same 7-year period) had the lads never crossed paths with Sir George Martin. It's a testament to the unique symbiosis between the Fabs and their gifted producer that one can't think of one without also thinking of the other. Yet there is still much more to Martin than his celebrated association with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Martin is profiled in this engaging and beautifully crafted 2011 BBC documentary. The film traces his career from the early 50s to present day. His early days at EMI are particularly fascinating; a generous portion of the film focuses on his work there producing classical and comedy recordings (including priceless footage of Peter Sellers from his Goon Show days). Disparate as Martin's early work appears to be from the rock'n'roll milieu, I think it prepped him for his future collaboration with the Fabs, on a personal and professional level. His experience with comedians likely helped the relatively reserved producer acclimate to the Beatles' irreverent sense of humor, and Martin's classical training and gift for arrangement certainly helped to guide their creativity to a higher level of sophistication.

The film is a bit of a family affair as well. You get a good sense of the close and loving relationship Martin has with his wife Judy (who he met while working for EMI) and son Giles (who is following in his dad's footsteps; they collaborated on the remixes of Beatle songs for the LOVE soundtrack album). At 81, Martin is still spry, full of great anecdotes and a class act all the way. He provides some very candid moments; there is visible emotion from the usually unflappable Martin when he admits how deeply hurt and betrayed he felt when John Lennon rather curtly informed him at the 11th hour that his "services would not be needed" for the Let it Be sessions (the band went with the mercurial Phil Spector, who famously overproduced the album). Insightful interviews with artists who have worked with Martin (and admiring peers) round things off nicely.
17 people found this helpful
rkusaReviewed in the United States on January 24, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Left wanting more
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Longtime Beatlephile, I learned a few new things in the documentary. Martin had a long and productive life, and there was so much more than The Beatles. Still, I would've liked more in-depth behind the scenes work about the process during all aspects of his career, including a little more about his instrumental contributions to The Beatles work as a musician, not just a producer (even though this is called "Produced by George Martin." It only scratched the surface. Excellent, though.
Richard A. StoneroadReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Charming!
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This is a very quiet, charming retrospective of a man's life's work. George Martin is the central theme, as is his (still) lovely wife and there is a host of surprise guests, all meeting and having a nice "visit with George". Not a probing expose, but a look at an England now lost to history and of a man's work bringing a small record label from obscurity to the cutting edge of not only rock and roll (as it was in the beginning) but to the cutting edge of popular music as a whole. My only wish is that George's son, who is the interviewer, could have asked more technical aspects of George's music with the Beatles-- naming the equipment used, the backwards tapes, etc. It does go into some detail, but not as much as a person like me (I am a part-time recording engineer) would prefer. All in all, a very enjoyable retrospective.
One person found this helpful
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