Directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher Produced by Rudi Dolezal and Jim Beach Narration written by Simon Witter
This is the first major documentary profiling the life of Freddie Mercury, telling the story of his early life in Zanzibar and India, his early days in England, his life in Queen, his solo projects and collaboration with Montserrat Caballe, and his illness and death. It features contributions from many people closest to Freddie, including his mother Jer Bulsara, sister Kashmira Cooke, Brian May, Roger Taylor, long term partner Jim Hutton, former girlfriend and longterm friend Mary Austin, personal assistant Peter Freestone, best friend Peter Straker, and numerous other people who knew Freddie socially or through Queen projects.
There are two full versions of the documentary, but it was also edited and adapted for TV Broadcast, aswell as a short trailer, released on the Italian and Dutch 'Guide Me Home' CD single. Essentially the two full documentaries are the same, but there are differences, as they feature different narration (the re-released documentary has narration by actor Sean Pertwee) and have a slightly different selection of interviews.
The original documentary was released in November 2000 as part of the 'Freddie Mercury: Solo' boxed set. It features the documentary in normal sound, and also features a DVD-Rom section, featuring an interactive 'Freddie Mercury Photographic Exhibition', where viewers can 'walk' around a virtual photographic exhibition.
The re-released documentary was released in September 2006 as part of the 'Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs' DVD. The disc adds a 'Making Of The Untold Story' 18 minute featurette, which has behind the scenes footage of the filming of the documentary. It also adds subtitles (in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) and four sound options: normal (stereo), normal (without narration), 5.1 surround sound, and director's commentary (by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher).
The guide below aims to highlight the differences between the documentaries, with the headers identifying the chapter points for each. The footage highlighted in blue only appears in the original documentary, while the footage highlighted in red only appears in the reissued documentary. The chapter names are as they appear in the original documentary.
One item of particular interest is a short extract of Man Made Paradise which appears to be an early version which is unavailable elsewhere.
Original DVD Chapter 1 / Re-release DVD Chapter 1 Spice Island Dawn (early days in Zanzibar and leaving for boarding school)
Recreated footage of the young Freddie on stage at school, mixed with footage of the singalong at Live Aid
Introductory credits - Queen photo gallery, with slow piano version of 'Guide Me Home', and some interview snippets with Freddie
Introduction to documentary, with footage of Zanzibar, excerpt of 'Going Back', and interviews with Jer Bulsara (Freddie's mother) and a former school friend
Interview with Kashmira Cooke (Freddie's sister)
Re-release DVD Chapter 2
Interview with Jer Bulsara, footage of Zanzibar and interviews with a hospital nurse and Jer Bulsara, with early photographs (and a piano version of 'You Take My Breath Away')
Footage of Zanzibar, with excerpts of 'Guide Me Home', 'Chinese Torture', 'My Melancholy Blues', and interview with Jer Bulsara(and Freddie interview snippet)
Interviews with the island's photographer, Freddie's cousin, with an excerpt of 'Exercises In Free Love', and a Parsee theologist about the faith,with footage of a religious ceremony and further narrationand traditional Parsee music
Re-release DVD Chapter 3
Further interviews with Freddie's schoolfriend and sister, with a slow piano version of 'Heaven For Everyone', about music and fashions
Original DVD Chapter 2 Strange Discipline (journey to Boarding School, about the city and school)
Narration about Freddie's journey to his boarding school, with excerpts of 'Love Kills' (extended version) and 'Mustapha'
Interview with the current headmaster of Freddie's school about Freddie's school life.
Recreations of Freddie's early school life, with piano version of 'There Must Be More To Life Than This', and interviews with Jer Bulsara, Kashmira Cookeand Freddie
Re-release DVD Chapter 4
Excerpts of 'Mustapha' and 'Exercises In Free Love', and interview with Freddie's aunt about having piano lessons
Interviews with Freddie's school friends, and footage of a choir meeting
Footage of the school, with an excerpt of the album version of 'There Must Be More To Life Than This', then interviews with Freddie's aunt and his art teacher's daughter, about art
Further interviews with his school friends, with early photographs and a recreation of a 'Hectics' concert (this was Freddie's first band; they perform Paul Anka's 'Diana'), and an interview with his teacher
Further interview with a schoolfriend, with piano versions of 'Guide Me Home' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and footage of rural India
Original DVD Chapter 3 / Re-release DVD Chapter 5 Culture Shock (the family's move to London and Freddie's time at college)
Narrative details about the family fleeing to England, interviews with Jer Bulsara, Peter Freestone and Kashmira Cooke, piano version of 'Love Of My Life', and some of Freddie's early paintings, and narration about Freddie getting his A-Levelwith additional Freddie interview
Original DVD Chapter 4 The Draftsman of Ealing (Freddie's drawing and designs)
Excerpt of 'Love Kills' (Wolf Euro remix), narrative details of Freddie's life at Ealing School of Art, and interviews with Jerry Hibbert (college friend and animator), John Taylor (bass player with Ibex and Wreckage), Derek Bridges (college friend), Peter Straker (one of Freddie's closest friends) and Jer Bulsara, with more paintings and photographs
Excerpt of 'The Millionaire Waltz' with footage of Freddie's drawings and paintings, and interviews with Brian May, John Taylor, Peter Straker and Kashmira Cooke about his artistic ability
Excerpt of 'Good Old Fashioned Loverboy', shots of Freddie's fashion designs, and interviews with Jer Bulsara, Freddie, Roger,Brian May, Derek Bridges and Jerry Hibbert
Original DVD Chapter 5 / Re-release DVD Chapter 6 Musical Awakenings (Smile, Ibex and Wreckage)
Excerpt of 'Keep Passing The Open Windows', early photos of Freddie, interviews with Brian May, Jerry Hibbert, and Tim Staffell (lead singer of Smile), and excerpt of 'You Take My Breath Away'
Excerpt of 'Green' (Wreckage), details of Freddie joining Ibex, with photos of the band, and interview with John Taylor about his campness and using a half microphone stand
Footage of Smile from the Royal Albert Hall, with excerpt of 'Doing Alright', and interviews with Tim Staffell, John Taylor and Brian May about Smile
Excerpt of 'My Fairy King', and interviews with Tim Staffell, Brian May, Mary Austin, and Freddie about early musical style and Freddie changing his name
Original DVD Chapter 6 / Re-release DVD Chapter 7 Love Of My Life (Mary Austin and Freddie's Sexuality)
Excerpt of 'Somebody To Love', with early photos of Freddie, and interviews with Mick Rock (photographer), Mary Austin, Brian May and Freddie Mercury, about Freddie and Mary's early friendship
Narration about Freddie's sexuality, piano version of 'Love Of My Life', and interview with Mary Austin
Original DVD Chapter 7 / Re-release DVD Chapter 8 Bacchus And Aphrodite (Queen & Freddie's wild parties)
Interviews with Tim Rice (lyricist), Peter Straker and Diana Moseley (costume designer), with footage of the 'Living On My Own' and excerpt of 'Let's Turn It On' (1992 Remix), and interviews with James 'Trip' Khalaf (sound engineer), Mick Rock, Barbara Valentin (one of Freddie's closest friends), Mike Moran (keyboardist), and Jim Hutton
Excerpt of 'Get Down, Make Love', footage of Freddie, interviews with Mick Rock and Brian May, footage from 'The Great Pretender' video shoot, and interviews with Peter Freestone, Jim Hutton, Mary Austin, Diana Moseley and Peter Straker
Excerpt of 'Man Made Paradise' (unreleased version then album version), and interviews with Jim Hutton, Freddie, and Mary Austin
Excerpt of 'Your Kind Of Lover', with photographs of Freddie, and interviews with Freddie and Jim Hutton
Original DVD Chapter 8 / Re-release DVD Chapter 9 Butterflies and Peacocks (Freddie's image and stage costumes)
Excerpt of 'It's So You', shots of stage costumes, and interviews with Zandra Rhodes, Mary Austin, Brian May and Diana Moseley
Footage of the 'I Was Born To Love You' video, interview with Diana Moseley, footage of 'One Vision' and 'God Save The Queen' from Wembley 1986, and interviews with Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) and Peter Freestone
Original DVD Chapter 9 / Re-release DVD Chapter 10 A Day At The Opera (Freddie's videos, opera and Barcelona)
Excerpt of 'Barcelona' with footage of 'I Want To Break Free' (the promo video opera section), and interviews with Montserrat Caballe and Peter Freestone, with still photographs of Montserrat and excerpts of her singing
Interview with Mike Moran, excerpt of 'Ensueno' and footage of Barcelona, and interviews with Freddie, Peter Freestone, Montserrat, and excerpts from tracks from the Garden Lodge improvisation tape
Footage of Freddie & Montserrat miming 'Barcelona' at Ibiza 1987, and interviews with Freddie, Montserrat, Tim Rice, Mike Moran and David Richards
Original DVD Chapter 10 / Re-release DVD Chapter 11 My Kind Of Towns (Life in Munich and New York, and about the Mr Bad Guy album)
Excerpt of 'New York', footage of New York, interviews of Reinhold Mack (Queen producer/engineer), Walter Yetnikoff (record boss for the USA), excerpt of 'Let's Turn It On', footage of Munich, and interview with Peter Freestone, about Freddie living in New York
Excerpt of 'Staying Power', interview with Freddie, and footage of Freddie around Munich or New York, footage of Freddie on stage, and interview with Walter Yetnikoff
Excerpt of 'Mr Bad Guy', with studio footage from 'The Making Of One Vision', and interviews with Walter Yetnikoff and Freddie
Excerpt of 'Life Is Real', and interviews with Reinhold Mack and Freddie
Excerpt of 'New York', footage of the city, and interviews with Mick Rock and Peter Freestone
Original DVD Chapter 11 / Re-release DVD Chapter 12 Last Days (Freddie's illness and last days)
Footage of Montreux, and interviews with Mary Austin, Jim Hutton, Kashmira Cooke, Peter Freestone, Roger Taylor, and Montserrat, about Freddie revealing his illness
Piano version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', interviews with Mary Austin, Jim Hutton, Jer Bulsara and Kashmira Cooke, and footage of Montreux
Interviews with Mike Moran, Peter Freestone, Jim Hutton, Roger Taylor,Diana Moseley, Kashmira Cooke, Mary Austin, with piano version of 'Guide Me Home', and footage of Garden Lodge
Interviews with Peter Freestone, Diana Moseley, Mary Austin and Jim Hutton, with footage of the 'Queen Photo Gallery'
Re-release DVD Chapter 13
Continued piano version of 'Guide Me Home', and interviews with Mary Austin, Kashmira Cooke and Jim Hutton
Slow, piano version of 'In My Defence', with photographs of Freddie and interview snippets
Re-release DVD Chapter 14
'In My Defence' promo video, and credits
The documentary includes many piano versions of Queen and Freddie tracks, performed by French pianist Thierry Lang or Mike Moran.
Enhanced Trailer Version
Only available on the 'Guide Me Home' Dutch and Italian Enhanced CD singles, released in 2000. Length 12:52.
Directed by Rudi Dolezal and Hannes Rossacher Produced by Rudi Dolezal and Jim Beach
This is a short 'taster' version of the original documentary, with content as follows:
Introductory credits - Queen photo gallery, with slow piano version of 'Guide Me Home'
Footage of Zanzibar, excerpt of 'Going Back', introduction to the documentary, and interview with Jer Bulsara (Freddie's mother)
Footage of Freddie's old school, with an excerpt of 'There Must Be More To Life Than This'
Interview with one of Freddie's school friends, with footage of India, and a piano version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Excerpt of 'The Millionaire Waltz', footage of Freddie's drawings and paintings, and interview with Brian May
Interviews with Tim Rice (lyricist), Peter Straker and Diana Moseley (costume designer), excerpt of 'Let's Turn It On' (1992 Remix), footage of the 'Living On My Own' video, and interviews with James 'Trip' Khalaf (sound engineer) and Mick Rock
Excerpt of 'It's So You', shots of stage costumes, and interview with Zandra Rhodes
Footage of Montreux, interview with Montserrat, piano version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and interviews with Mary Austin, Peter Freestone, Diana Moseley
Piano version of 'Guide Me Home', interviews with Jim Hutton, footage of the 'Queen Photo Gallery', and interviews with Mary Austin and Kashmira Cooke
Slow, piano version of 'In My Defence', with photographs of Freddie and interview snippets