The 12 Best Documentaries About John Lennon

Aug 24, 2023 | Best Of, Celebrities, Music

John Lennon is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of all time. His work continues to capture our hearts and minds today, even decades after his death in 1980. To learn more about the incredible artist, we’ve gathered a collection of 12 of the best documentaries about John Lennon. These fascinating films will transport you back through time to explore his life, music, and lasting legacy. So grab the popcorn and get ready to dive into a deeper understanding of one of the greatest musicians in history.

1. John Lennon- Genius Or Bastard ?

John Lennon’s career almost never got off the ground due to legal issues he faced from the United States government. Despite this, his music and message of peace still resonated strongly with fans around the world. As one of the founders of The Beatles, John Lennon was a hugely influential British rock musician, singer, poet, and composer. His songs All You Need Is Love, Strawberry Fields Forever and Give Peace a Chance (as well as many others) became iconic anthems of the era. His lyrics were often interpreted as promoting non-violence, yet John Lennon’s personal life was filled with controversy and contradiction. Fans were torn between adoration for his music and confusion at his sometimes cruel behaviour. His legacy, however, remains one of peace and creative genius. He was a true pioneer in the rock world who will always be remembered for his signature sounds.


2. Crimes of the Century – John Lennon Assassination

John Lennon was one of the most beloved musicians of all time. On December 8, 1980, he tragically lost his life to an obsessed fan – Mark David Chapman. Crimes Of The Century’s 2nd episode explores this tragedy and its aftermath in-depth. Through interviews with people close to John, including wife Yoko Ono and Elton John, this documentary paints a detailed picture of the profound impact this murder had on those closest to him. Mental health experts provide insight into Chapman’s motives, attempting to explain how someone can commit such an act against someone he idolized so deeply. In addition, the episode explores the wider implications of Lennon’s death and what it meant for his fans around the world. It is a powerful reminder of the dangers of fanaticism and how it can lead to devastating outcomes.


3. John Lennon – Documentary

This documentary takes an in-depth look into the life of John Lennon, one of history’s most influential musicians. We’ll explore intimate aspects of his life that have been often overlooked -his relationships with family, friends, and other artists; the creative process behind some of his most famous songs like “Imagine” and “Revolution”; and interviews with those who knew him best, such as Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Ringo Starr. All of these factors come together to present a unique portrait of John Lennon’s legacy and how his personal life shaped him into the icon he is remembered for today. This documentary will open the door to a deeper understanding of this beloved artist whose impact still resonates in the world.


4. John Lennon- Bigger Than Jesus

An unforgettable celebration to commemorate the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s passing. Iconic figures from his era as well as contemporary musicians, artists, and thinkers gathered together to honor the life and legacy of one of music’s most brilliant creative forces. Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Pete Best and many others performed throughout the night in a show that was made even more special with a video montage of famous scenes from Lennon’s career. This celebration was not just an occasion for fans of the Beatles’ music, it also served as a reminder of how much Lennon touched and changed our lives. His artistry and influence continue to inspire us and give us insight on creative thinking and living. This show will stay in our memories for many years to come. With a mix of raw emotions and inspiring performances, it was no surprise that this commemoration of John Lennon’s life was one of the most talked-about events in recent memory. It is truly remarkable that after 30 years, the legacy and impact of Lennon still stands strong and resonates with us all. He will forever be remembered as one of the most influential musicians of our time.


5. Who Was The Man Who Killed John Lennon

“The Day John Lennon Died” is a fascinating exploration of one of the most shocking murders of the 20th century. It delves into Mark Chapman’s life, the events leading up to his fateful meeting with Lennon on December 8th 1980, and his descent into mental illness. Through interviews with former friends and colleagues, experts who have studied his psyche, and access to Chapman’s prison diary, viewers get a unique insight into the mind of an individual unhinged by isolation and instability. This episode is part of the highly acclaimed British documentary series “First Tuesday”. Between 1988 and 1993 it firmly established itself as one of the most important showcases for documentaries on television, garnering consistent praise from critics and awards. With its exploration of the circumstances surrounding Lennon’s death, “The Day John Lennon Died” takes this series to a whole new level. Through its in-depth analysis and unique access, it offers insight into an individual whose life was tragically cut short due to mental illness. This episode is essential viewing for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the events behind one of history’s most infamous crimes.


6. The Assassination of John Lennon

Through Ridley Scott’s signature visual style, it presents exclusive interviews with witnesses and victims connected to these tragedies while also exploring the motivations behind each crime. In addition, it examines how these events have shaped our modern culture. The first episode centers around the 1980 shooting of John Lennon, the beloved former Beatle. Through revisiting archived footage and never-before-seen images, viewers are presented with a unique perspective on the crime as if they were actually at the scene of the incident. The episode also looks into Mark David Chapman’s life leading up to his fateful decision and how he was eventually sent to prison for life.



This curious recording from 2007 has left many people scratching their heads. What was the purpose of adding subtitles to the program? Was it just a mistake or something more? Could it be that the subtitles were there to help those with hearing impairments make sense of the content? Or perhaps, they were added to aid students of English as a second language in their understanding. With no one knowing for certain, it is a mystery that still remains unsolved. No matter the reason behind this program’s subtitles, one thing is certain- it’s an intriguing moment in history worth exploring further! Subtitles are now commonplace, from films and TV to podcasts and video games. They can be incredibly helpful when trying to comprehend material in another language, making it easier for those not familiar with the language to follow along. So while no one knows why this 2007 recording featured subtitles, it’s clear to see that they are incredibly useful in our modern age of media consumption. It’s a mystery worth pondering and exploring


8. CNN Special Report- Killing John Lennon

John Lennon will never be forgotten. His music, personality and legacy will endure forever in the hearts and minds of fans across the world. On December 8th each year, we commemorate John’s passing with ceremonies and art inspired by his life and work. In Liverpool, England where he was born, a bronze statue stands as a permanent memorial to him; while fans gather at Strawberry Field to lay down flowers and pay their respects. Over 35 years since the tragedy, John Lennon’s influence on pop culture can still be felt today. His timeless songs will continue to touch hearts for generations to come. He left a mark that has inspired so many, and his impact is undeniable. People around the globe are continuing to honor him through art and other forms of creative expression. John Lennon’s life was tragically cut short, but his legacy will live on forever. He is a true icon of popular culture; his memory will never fade away. Through art and ceremony, we continue to celebrate him as the legend he was – and always will be.


9. The Man Who Shot John Lennon

This gripping documentary explores both the motivation and aftermath of Mark Chapman’s infamous 1989 shooting of John Lennon. It delves into the mind of a confused young man, deeply entrenched in celebrity culture yet unable to cope with everyday pressures. With insight from psychologists interviewed as part of the series, viewers are given an unprecedented look into Chapman’s mental health leading up to the tragedy. The documentary also examines the resonance Lennon’s death had around the world, particularly in music communities. It looks at how his songs became a source of comfort for many during times of struggle and pain, as well as a symbol of peace and hope for all. In between 1988-1993, “First Tuesday” was highly acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, receiving a flurry of awards. In 1994 the series was re-branded as “Tuesday Documentary” and continues to be an essential source for true crime documentaries today.


10. The Assassination of John Lennon

The Conspiracy Show takes viewers on an incredible journey to uncover the truth behind John Lennon’s death. They interview eyewitnesses, dig through archives for clues, and explore the possibility that he was targeted by either the CIA or MI6. Furthermore, they analyse his impact on music and culture throughout his life and after his passing. His inspiring words, art and activism have left a legacy which still lives on today in the hearts of fans around the world who strive to make positive change in their own communities. The show also delves into an exploration of how music can act as an antidote to violence, using Lennon’s message of peace as an example. With visits to New York, LA and Toronto, The Conspiracy Show aims to go beyond the mainstream perspective and leave no stone unturned in their search for answers.


11. BED PEACE starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono

When we talk about making a difference in the world, John and I were naive to think that our Bed-In could do any of that. Maybe it did, but at the time we weren’t sure. The footage we captured was powerful and for many activists today, serves as an inspiration. We said things then that could still be applicable now – WAR IS OVER if We Want It. Change starts with us, not anyone else. No matter how famous or renowned we are, we can all be superheroes in our own right! It doesn’t take flying around the world to make a big impact; it’s the small acts of kindness that go a long way. When we join forces together, there’s no stopping us! There is no such thing as impossible when you’ve mustered up enough courage and strength to fight for what’s right. Peace has always been worth fighting for, and by standing up against violence, prejudice and injustice, we can continue to make the world a better place for everyone. We have come so far in terms of learning about human rights; let’s not stop now. Let’s use our voices and take peaceful action to keep making history together. By working together, we can continue to create a future that is full of infinite possibilities. It’s up to us; let’s channel our inner superheroes and make the world an even better place! We got this.


12. BEST OF John Lennon and George Harrison on The Dick cavett Show

Dick Cavett has been a staple of the small screen since 1968 when he began his career at ABC. His many accolades include eleven Emmy nominations, three of which he won; the most recent being in 2012 for the HBO special Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again. Since then, Cavett has gone on to appear in movies, television commercials, Broadway plays, and most recently PBS specials. Cavett’s resume doesn’t just include the small screen; he has also found success in print. He has published four books – Cavett (1974), Eye on Cavett (1983) co-authored with Christopher Porterfield, Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets (2010), and Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic moments, and Assorted Hijinks (October 2014). Additionally, he has written for The New Yorker, TV Guide, Vanity Fair, and elsewhere. His most recent endeavors have included an off-Broadway production of Hellman v. McCarthy in 2014 which he reprised at Theatre 40 in Los Angeles the following year. He then went on to produce the PBS special Dick Cavett’s Watergate, followed by Dick Cavett’s Vietnam in September of 2014. Throughout his career, Cavett has been praised for redefining excellence in the interview format. With decades of experience under his belt and a long list of accomplishments, he is sure to continue making waves in the entertainment industry.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B