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A Hard Day's Night
- John Lennon

Overview - A HARD DAY'S NIGHT presents a fictionalized day in the life of the Beatles as they give a performance on a live television show. Filmed just a month after their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, this film--the Beatles' first--introduces us to the unique personalities of each member of the band.  Read more...

 
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More About A Hard Day's Night - John Lennon
 
 
 
Overview

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT presents a fictionalized day in the life of the Beatles as they give a performance on a live television show. Filmed just a month after their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, this film--the Beatles' first--introduces us to the unique personalities of each member of the band. The film opens with the Fab Four boarding a train mobbed with adoring young fans (mostly women) as they attempt to travel to the television studio in London. The antics of the band during rehearsals and makeup application provide a large part of the comic material in this feature, though there are other moments of pure hilarity. The unscripted vignette featuring a hangover-suffering Ringo is especially funny, particularly when he is arrested and risks having to miss the broadcast. None of this goes unnoticed by the director of the show, played by Victor Spinetti, who went on to become a recurring cast member in Beatles movies. As the clock ticks away dramatically, our heroes manage to free Ringo from jail and sneak onto the stage in the nick of time, delighted in the knowledge that they have nearly driven the director mad in the process. Arguably the first music video ever made, this faux documentary and its shooting style have been a tremendous influence on nearly every rock and roll feature since.

Cast List

Walter Shenson - American Producer
George Harrison - Former Beatle/Film Producer
Richard Vernon - British Character Actor
Kenneth Haigh - British Actor
Norman Rossington - British Supporting Actor
John Lennon - British Songwriter/Musician
The Beatles - British rock group, nicknamed "The Fab Four"
Eddie Malin - English Actor
Gilbert Taylor
Richard Lester - American Director/In UK
John Junkin - British Supporting Actor
Ringo Starr - British Musician/Actor, HELP!(1965), BORN TO BOOGIE (1972)
Richard Starkey - British Musician/Actor, HELP!(1965), BORN TO BOOGIE (1972)
Richard Starkey (aka Ringo) - British Musician/Actor, HELP!(1965), BORN TO BOOGIE (1972)
Anna Quayle - British Actress
George Martin - Music Producer/Arranger
Paul McCartney - Rock Singer/Songwriter/Composer, the Beatles, Wings
James Paul McCartney - Rock Singer/Songwriter/Composer, the Beatles, Wings
Sir Paul McCartney - Rock Singer/Songwriter/Composer, the Beatles, Wings
John Jympson - British Editor, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT
Victor Spinetti - Character Actor
Wilfred Brambell
Alun Owen - Screenwriter

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 87
  • Color Format: B&W
  • UPC: 715515118514
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: June 2014

Related Categories:
Movies > Television
Movies > Musical & Performing Arts
Movies > Musicals
Movies > Pop Music

Related Keywords:
Adventure
Classic
Music Video
Rock And Roll
Recommended
Theatrical Release
Beatles
Essential Cinema
Live Performances
Television Shows

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Notes:
Theatrical release: July 6, 1964. A HARD DAY'S NIGHT was filmed and produced in only 7 weeks, at a budget of 180,000 pounds, or $500,000. The opening scene, where the Beatles are mobbed by fans while getting onto a train, is actual documentary footage. A leak from the production department made the filming locations known to fans, so that when the Beatles showed up to film this first scene, there were hundreds of crazed, rowdy fans already there. Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, gave the rights to the accompanying album to United Artists before the film was released. The album's advance sales more than covered the film's budget. The Beatles were big fans of the comedy of Peter Sellers and Spike Mulligan. Director Richard Lester was chosen in large part because he helmed comedy series starring both men. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote six new songs for the film. Richard Lester makes a cameo appearance during the live performance scene, and a very young Phil Collins briefly appears as an audience member during the television performance scene.

Reviews:
"...Helter-skelter glee..." - Recommended - 12/01/1995 Premiere, pp.123-4


"...[A] rapid-fire screenplay and the...Beatles' charismatic acting....Irresistible..." -- Rating: A+ - 10/20/1995 Entertainment Weekly, p.75


"...As a vehicle for the mop-tops' schoolboy humour and all-smiles-and-screams gig, it's infectious stuff..." - 05/01/2001 Total Film, p.100


"...The film is mad, mad and crazy....Imaginative..." - 12/01/2000 Hollywood Reporter, p.13-52


"...A HARD DAY'S NIGHT creates pure, infectious joy. Larking about is what these Beatles do best, pleasure is what they convey..." - 12/01/2000 Los Angeles Times, p.C4


"...It was smart, it was irreverent, it didn't take itself seriously, and it was shot and edited by Richard Lester in an electrifying back-and-white, semi-documentary style..." - 10/27/1996 Chicago Sun-Times, p.5


"...Groundbreaking..." - 09/27/2002 USA Today, p.16D


"...Fabness itself....They look prettier than Audrey Hepburn, talk funnier than the Marx Brothers and strut sassier than Brando..." - 11/27/2003 Rolling Stone, p.72


"The music endures on its own, and the movie endures because it offers so much more than the music." -- Grade: A- - 06/25/2015 A.V. Club


"[T]he manufacture of spontaneity is what this idiosyncratically cynical masterpiece is all about." - 07/03/2015 Film Comment


5 stars out of 5 -- "Still wonderful, and a bona fide musical masterpiece." - 07/04/2015 Empire

 
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