7.3/10
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Good Ol' Freda (2013)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
A documentary in which Freda Kelly looks back at her career as lifelong secretary for The Beatles.

Director:

Ryan White

Writers:

Jessica Hargrave (as Jessica Lawson), Ryan White
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Freda Kelly ... Herself
John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul McCartney ... Himself (archive footage)
Ringo Starr ... Himself
George Harrison ... Himself (archive footage)
Angie McCartney Angie McCartney ... Herself
Billy Kinsley Billy Kinsley ... Himself
Tony Barrow Tony Barrow ... Himself
Pete Best ... Himself (archive footage)
Billy Hatton Billy Hatton ... Himself
Rachel Norris Rachel Norris ... Herself, Freda Kelly's daughter
Elsie Starkey Elsie Starkey ... Herself, Ringo Starr's mother (archive footage)
Joey Bower Joey Bower ... Himself
Linda McCartney ... Herself (archive footage)
June Underwood June Underwood ... Herself
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Storyline

'Good Ol' Freda' tells the story of Freda Kelly, a shy Liverpudlian teenager asked to work for a young local band hoping to make it big: the Beatles. As the Beatles' fame multiplies, Freda bears witness to music and cultural history but never exploits her insider access. Their loyal secretary from beginning to end, Freda finally tells her tales for the first time in 50 years. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind a great band, there was a great woman.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material and smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Good Ol' Freda: Behind a Great Band, There was a Great Woman See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,798, 8 September 2013

Gross USA:

$138,811

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$138,811
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tripod Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The DVD special features include an interview with director Ryan White in which he says, "Freda had just graduated from school and was working her first job as a secretary, as a typist, at a food cannery; and two of the guys from upstairs, two of the accountants, took her to the Cavern during a lunchtime session. She'd never seen The Beatles or heard of The Beatles, and they used to play the lunchtime sessions every day in Liverpool. So they took her for her lunch break, and she fell in love right away, and started going every single day; I think she saw The Beatles like 180 times during their lunchtime sessions. So The Beatles became familiar with Freda always being in the audience, so when it became time to hire a secretary, they knew that there was this girl that was always there, and she got hired. She was 17 years old." See more »

Quotes

Freda Kelly: I know Mama Cass tried to gate-crash, and she didn't get in.
[in reference to a small, inner-circle party that followed the premiere of "How I Won the War"; from one of the deleted scenes on the DVD]
See more »

Crazy Credits

A personal video message from Ringo Starr plays over the credits. See more »

Soundtracks

Words of Love
Written by Buddy Holly
Performed by Buddy Holly
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Freda jolly good helper
26 February 2014 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

As a lifelong Beatles fan, it was both interesting and enjoyable to learn the story of the Beatles secretary and fan club organiser Freda Kelly, who amazingly, we learn got the job at age only 17.

A Liverpudlian like the group members, she started off as just a fan, regularly attending the group's Cavern gigs, thus falling into the orbit of not only the group, but their manager Brian Epstein who offered her the job a million Beatles fan would have craved. This simple, uncomplicated documentary tells her insider story. Don't expect any major revelations, now, as then Freda is the soul of discretion, even when hinting that she went out with one of the boys, but there are plenty of nice insights into the gathering maelstrom of their massive success and her special relationship not only with John Paul George and Ringo but also their families.

Related in the form of interconnected interviews with her, her daughter and other Liverpool contemporaries, interspersed with archive footage and a contemporary soundtrack mixing Beatles tracks with original versions of some of the band's early cover versions, she comes across as honest, faithful, discreet, hard-working and loyal. She seems to have benefited not a whit financially from the experience, although I bet her attic full of mementos is worth a few bob.

Of course it would have been nice if both of the surviving Beatles, Paul or Ringo, had actively contributed to the story, but Starr does at least pay her a glowing tribute over the end credits.

After the fan club disbanded in 1972, with Paul pointedly not wanting to be referred to as a Beatle anymore, she quietly resigned her position in a meeting attended by Ringo and George. Of the stories she tells, George seems to be the friendliest.

A pleasant low-key documentary then, sure to be of interest to Beatles fans around the world.


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