The Hipster Son found The Rutles
at the library and we sat down to watch that. I haven't seen it in twenty years, but since I overwatched the hell out of the thing in high school, it didn't have very many surprises.
Witty and amusing instead of really funny, there are nevertheless one or two very good jokes, especially involving Eric Idle's trip to New Orleans, and the late, great Gilda Radner has an amazing moment where she vomits out an absurd pile of dialogue at Idle. Whatever laugh I had was swallowed by just how impressive it was that anybody could recite that gigantic paragraph of a ridiculous speech in character.
The biggest surprise was that despite one or two scenes and shots being inserted extras from the copy that made the rounds of PBS back in the eighties, there was one big change. It's the scene with Dan Aykroyd playing the record exec who turned down the Rutles. In the broadcast version, Idle asks him "What's it like to be such a complete jerk?" and the two argue back and forth for half a minute, Aykroyd adopting an "English" accent about as believable as Dick Van Dyke's when he says "'Ere, 'ere, you cont coll me vat." But in the DVD, they used an alternate take - the picture quality is notably poorer - which abruptly ends when Idle asks, "What's it like to be such an asshole?" instead. How odd.
Apparently, John Lennon advised Idle not to release "Get Up and Go" on the soundtrack LP, lest he risk a lawsuit from Paul McCartney, because that song is darn near identical to "Get Back." Apparently, Apple's lawyers went ahead and sued them anyway, and when the album did eventually appear on CD, the 13 songs from the vinyl LP were co-credited to Neil Innes and to Lennon-McCartney.
I used to have a cassette of the songs that I made by holding a condenser mic next to the TV speaker. As far as I'm aware, recording from the actual movie remains the only way to get a copy of the song "A Thousand Feet of Film." Not, of course, that anybody has ever wanted to listen to that song, ever.