Most people have heard of Paul McCartney, the bass player, songwriter and singer who formed the band The Beatles in 1960 and went on to become one of the most successful and well-known bands of all time. Lesser known is that he has also been the subject of many films, one of which is currently topping the box office both in and out of theaters.

The Beatles (1967)

The Beatles, commonly referred to as the band simply because there is no other band that plays instruments like them, are probably the most popular group of all time. The first in the series of films based on McCartney’s life, The Beatles, premiered in theaters in April 1967. Directed by Michael Curtiz, the film is widely considered one of the best British films of all time, winning multiple awards including the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1967. The film focuses on the early years of McCartney’s musical career in Hamburg, Germany in the early 1950s and his first meeting with the legendary John Lennon. The film also touches on the band’s rise to fame and, especially, their famous feud with the British press in the early 1960s, which saw them vilified as a “bad” or “cheap” band and even led to some members of the press accusing them of being “nazi pigs” during a concert tour of Germany in autumn 1963. In the 2005 edition of his book The Beatles: All the Facts and Fiction, author Bob Spitz says about the film, “As good as the cinematic experience is, the film rarely matches the magic of the live show. And yet, even in the overly dramatized version, the movie is still essential viewing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the Beatles.”

My Life (1968)

The second film in the series, My Life, sees McCartney in the middle of a legal battle with his first wife, Linda. The film, which also stars his then-wife and later widow, Pattie, documents his life from his early days in Hamburg to his time with The Beatles. In the film, McCartney is represented by attorney Geoffrey Robertson (later famous for his work on the Princess Di case in the early 1970s). The film, which was mostly shot on location in London and the Scottish isles, was released in theaters in May 1968, only three months after the premiere of The Beatles. It was a commercial and critical success, grossing $8m at the box office and garnering positive reviews from critics, many of whom compared it to the band’s own documentary, the famously iconic “Magical Mystery Tour.”

Let It Be (1970)

Let It Be, the final film in the trilogy of films based on McCartney’s life, was released in May 1970. The film follows the same format as the other two installments, using archival footage of the band’s famous on-stage antics as a platform for McCartney to comment on the state of rock music in the mid-1960s. The Beatles were by then already in the midst of a breakup as tensions within the band had reached the boiling point, with McCartney and Lennon barely speaking. The film documents the latter stages of the Beatles’ career, including some of their legendary rooftop sessions that saw them interact with fans and the media for the first time. In the film, Paul McCartney reflects on his life and his music, saying, “It was a golden time. But now I’m paying for it. In a way, it’s all over. And now I have to start again.”

McCartney (1995)

Twenty-five years after Let It Be, McCartney returned to theaters in May 1995 for a one-man show that was part concert, part theatrical adaptation of his life. Directed by Sophie Fiennes, the film is an intimate look into McCartney’s life and the music he made throughout his career. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1996 and was named one of the Top 10 Documentaries of all time by the American Film Institute. The one-hour long film centers on McCartney’s musical accomplishments and his personal life, focusing on his time with The Beatles and his more recent solo work.

Give My Head Peace (2009)

McCartney is again the focus of another documentary in the works, titled Give My Head Peace. The film will trace the story of Paul’s “lost years,” which is how he refers to the five-year period between his split with Linda and his solo album, Ram. The documentary will include rare interviews with musicians, writers, producers and the like, many of whom have never spoken about McCartney’s private life in public. The film is scheduled for release in theaters in the fall of 2019.

The Love Song (2020)

The Love Song, directed by Sophie Fiennes, examines the turbulent relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The film will track their courtship and the years that followed, including the couple’s infamous bed-in for peace in 1969 and their infamous 1971 Bed-in for Cleavage that saw them and other celebrities of the day sleep naked for a day in solidarity for peace. The film will premiere in theaters in the fall of 2020.

One of the most significant musicians in popular music history, the subject of many documentaries and biopics, McCartney continues to make music and enjoys a highly successful solo career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. His music focuses on socially conscious and environmental issues and he has been vocal about his support for various charities over the years and continues to be so today. As a solo artist, he has released 16 solo albums, the latest of which came out this year and sees him teaming up with former Wings bandmates, Lady Gaga and Denny Laine, for the excellent single “Good Morning Britain.”