Denis O’Dell, producer of The Beatles films such as “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967), died at the age of 98.
O’Dell’s son, Arran O’Dell, confirmed to The Associated Press that his father died overnight at his home in Almería, in southeastern Spain. He said the family planned a local private service and memorial service at a later date in the UK.
Denis O’Dell’s other film credits include Brian Desmond Hurst’s “Playboy of the Western World” in 1962, “The Deadly Affair” (1967), “Juggernaut” (1974) and “Robin and Marian” (1974).
O’Dell was an associate producer on the first Beatles film, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “How I Won the War,” in which John Lennon appeared as a supporting actor. He also produced “The Magic Christian,” which featured Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. O’Dell became director of The Beatles organization, Apple Corps, and director of Apple Films.
In 2003, O’Dell wrote a memoir from his time with the Beatles entitled “At the Core of Apple: The Beatles from the Inside Out.” According to a description of the book on Amazon, it details an intimate relationship between O’Dell and the Fab Four that included hosting a press conference with The Beatles in New York for the launch of Apple and being invited by the group to join them in academia. Maharishi’s meditation practice in India.
The late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of “Hard Day’s Night” in 1996:
When it premiered in September 1964, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was a troublesome entry in a disreputable form, the rock ‘n’ roll musical. The Beatles were already a publicity phenomenon (70 million viewers saw them on “The Ed Sullivan Show”), but they weren’t yet cultural icons. Many critics attended the film and prepared to condescend, but the film could not be dismissed: it was so lighthearted and original that even early reviews recognized it as something special. After more than three decades, it has not aged or dated; it is out of its time, its genre and even rock. It’s one of the great milestones of life-affirming movies. “