Earliest-Ever Film of Beatles Found in Liverpool

LIVERPOOL May 16, 1996 (AP) - Color film of the Beatles predating their worldwide fame by three years was broadcast for the first time Wednesday on British television.

The film, with no soundtrack, predates the previous-known earliest footage of the Beatles by 18 months.

"I could not believe I was seeing the Beatles who were in their late teens at that stage," Ian Ould, a specialist in Beatles memorabilia who is acting as agent for the film footage told Independent Television.

Ould said will ask 5,000 pounds (dlrs 7,500) a second for the film, at an auction yet to be scheduled. He did not say how long the footage lasted, or identify the owner.

The film, made in February 1961, turned up in a drawer in a house in suburban Liverpool, Ould said. It had gathered dust in the Beatles' hometown for 35 years.

The grainy, eight millimeter film shot by a fan between the Beatles two Hamburg tours, show the four singing on a small stage at the Casanova club on St. Valentine's Day in 1961.

They are decked out in black leather, standing in front of a silver stage background.

It was shot 18 months before black and white footage from the Cavern club, where the Beatles first established their reputation. That footage was thought until now to be the earliest known film of the group.

John Lennon, assassinated in New York in 1980, was then 20, Paul McCartney 19, and George Harrison only 17.

Three years later the Beatles became a worldwide phenomenon when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.

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