The Beatles Add Five Emmys From ‘Get Back’ Documentary

by Caitlin Berard

The Beatles’ final performance took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London more than half a century ago. Beatlemania, however, remains strong to this day. So strong, in fact, that in November 2021, director Peter Jackson released a documentary entitled The Beatles: Get Back on the streaming service Disney Plus.

The documentary, which takes fans along for the making of the band’s 1970 album Let It Be, includes hours of previously unseen footage and audio material from studio sessions and illustrates the iconic group’s creative process.

Part of what makes Get Back special is that it shows a different side to Let It Be. As Beatles fans are acutely aware, Let It Be is the final addition to the band’s legendary discography. As such, the stories surrounding it are largely negative.

After an earth-shattering decade as a unit, The Beatles were on the verge of a breakup. As Peter Jackson explained, however, he didn’t want to tell the story of the band’s end.

Instead, he wanted to show that things weren’t as tempestuous as they seemed among the Fab Four. “It’s not a film about a band that’s breaking up,” Jackson explained during Deadline’s Contenders TV panel. “It’s about a band that’s trying not to break up.”

Though the documentary’s nearly 8-hour runtime overwhelmed some viewers, it received an overwhelmingly positive response, racking up close to a dozen awards, five of which are Emmys.

Director Peter Jackson Thanks The Beatles for ‘Get Back’ Documentary

At this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, Get Back won the following awards:

  • Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
  • Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program
  • Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program
  • Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera)
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing For a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera)

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the band’s surviving members, were named with Peter Jackson in the Outstanding Documentary award. And though director Peter Jackson was the one to give the acceptance speech, he was sure to mention all those who helped bring the incredible production to life.

“I’d just like to thank everyone who worked on this film,” Jackson said in his acceptance speech. “Especially our family back home and our second family in London at Apple Corps. This could not have been made without the unfailing support of Paul, Ringo, Olivia, Julian [Lennon], Yoko and Sean [Lennon] who were all always there with their support and love.”

“Finally, a big shout out to The Beatles,” he continued. “Thank you so much for the over 60 years of your positive, exuberant, joyous… Your music is so profound and I think it’s actually embedded in our DNA.”

He then shared his personal lifelong Beatles fandom. According to Jackson, he was “an eight-year-old in New Zealand, a Boy Scout wearing short pants,” when Let It Be was made.

“And for reasons I don’t quite understand, 50 years later, The Beatles entrusted me to take the footage and make a film,” he added. “But to be a tiny part of The Beatles’ story was a dream come true for that eight-year-old kid.”