Skip to main content

The Beatles were so big they inspired a parody movie called The Rutles, also known as All You Need Is Cash and The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash. Subsequently, George Harrison revealed what he thought of the film. Here’s a look at The Rutles, a Beatles parody band, and how the world reacted to it.

The Rutles dressed like The Beatles with mop top haircuts
The Rutles | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

How George Harrison felt about The Rutles ‘deflating’ The Beatles

In 1978, The Beatles’ story was so well-known it inspired a film that spoofed every aspect of it: The Rutles. It features jokes about everything from Yoko Ono to Yellow Submarine to “Get Back.” Part of what makes the film interesting is that it includes members of the Monty Python comedy troupe, specifically Eric Idle and Michael Palin. In addition, George appears in the film as an interviewer.

During a 1979 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Brown asked George if Idle consulted him during the making of The Rutles. “Yes,” George said. “I slipped him the odd movie here and there that nobody had seen, so he could have more to draw from. I loved The Rutles because, in the end, The Beatles for The Beatles is just tiresome; it needs to be deflated a bit, and I loved the idea of The Rutles taking that burden off us in a way. Everything can be seen as comedy, and the Fab Four are no exception to that.”

The Rutles dressed like The Beatles during their leather jacket period
The Rutles |Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

George Harrison loved The Rutles jokes about The Beatles’ manager

In addition, George praised John Belushi’s role in the film as Ron Decline, a spoof of The Beatles’ manager Allen Klein. “And there were so many good jokes in it,” George said. “Belushi as Ron Decline: ‘You ask me where the money is. I don’t know where the money is, but if you want money I’ll give it to you,’ and ‘You ask me where the money is. You know I was never any good at maths…’ [Laughing] It was just like Klein. Even Allen Klein himself thought it was just like him. I think he liked it.”

George Harrison’s other connection to Monty Python

This was not the end of George’s connection to the Monty Python troupe. His company, HandMade Films, was responsible for their most controversial film, the religious satire Monty Python’s Life of Brian. In addition, HandMade Films their only concert film Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

A trailer for Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Why The Beatles’ George Harrison Produced Monty Python’s Controversial ‘Life of Brain’

How audiences reacted to The Rutles’ spoofs of Beatles songs

The Rutles had resonance beyond one television film. According to the Official Charts Company, The Rutles released a single called “I Must Be in Love.” “I Must Be in Love” is obviously based on The Beatles’ early bubblegum music. The track reached No. 39 in the United Kingdom.

In 1996, another Rutles single became a hit: “Shangri-La.” “Shangri-La” is a style parody of The Beatles’ psychedelic material which reached No. 68 in the United Kingdom. 2004 saw the release of the second Rutles film: The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch. George liked The Rutles — and the public seemed to like them as well.