Shea Stadium in Movies: “The Rutles”

When people talk about great rock-n-roll mockumentaries, they always bring up “This is Spinal Tap.” No one ever talks about “The Rutles.” Well, they should, and not just because Shea Stadium has a cameo.

The 1978 TV movie “The Rutles: All You Need is Cash” tells the story of four young British boys who form a band and take the world by storm, a not-very veiled satire of The Beatles. Of course their famous performance at Shea Stadium is parodied.

Narrator Eric Idle made the trip to Queens (wearing a Brockabella!) to tape a stand-up outside Shea. Only the stadium is called Che Stadium, “named after the Cuban guerrilla fighter, Che Stadium.”

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Then there is the famous shot of the band walking across the outfield on their way to the stage. It certainly looks like it could be Shea Stadium’s outfield.

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Only it is not! A wider shot shows they are in a smaller stadium, likely an English soccer field. Too bad they didn’t film inside the real Shea.

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See previous entries in this series here.

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