While Ringo had spent the first half of 1972 in recording studios, sitting in on Harry Nilsson's Son Of Schmilsson LP, Lon and Derrek Van Eaton's Brother LP (for which he taped a radio spot), and recording his own single, "Back Off Boogaloo", the latter half of the year was spent in front of movie cameras.
From August through October, Ringo and Harry filmed the lamentable musical horror comedy Son Of Dracula for Apple Films. Ringo played Merlin, advisor to Harry's Count Downe (son of Count Dracula), and the music was taken from Nilsson's two most recent albums:
Ringo moved directly from that project into a far meatier role in That'll Be The Day, a nostalgic look at the early years of rock in Britain. Filming on location from late October through early December, Ringo was able to relive his days playing at Butlins holiday camps with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (Rory had just died on September 27th). Ringo was right at home playing a street-tough Teddy Boy, and received the best reviews of his film career since A Hard Day's Night:
The Who's drummer Keith Moon had small roles in both films (playing a drummer, naturally), and he and Ringo were becoming close friends as well as drinking buddies during this period. In September, Ringo had performed the part of Uncle Ernie on an orchestrated LP version of the Who's rock opera Tommy. When this iteration of Tommy was performed at the Rainbow in London on December 9th, Keith took over the role of Ernie. Moon would deliver the ultimate Uncle Ernie in Ken Russell's 1975 film.
Meanwhile, Ringo could be seen on the small screen when the film Yellow Submarine made its US network television debut October 29th on CBS.