HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: It’s Been ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ Then, Now & Forever

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – If you are lucky enough to have the 50th Anniversary edition of “A Hard Day’s Night” playing in your area, drop everything and go see it, especially if you’ve never seen it before. The Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – are ageless and timeless in a new print restoration and sound remastering of their 1964 debut film.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

There is no way to describe the luck and timing of the music phenomenon called “The Beatles.” They were four guys in a rock band, but they virtually influenced everything the 1960s had to offer, due to the perfect moment they entered the arena and fired their creativity into the mass production era of record albums and baby boomers. Their first film was a coming together of the right screenwriter (Alan Owun) and the perfect director (Richard Lester), who captured a zeitgeist as it was happening and interpreted it for the ages. The boys themselves, who had never acted before, create a rock music Marx Brothers-style romp, both anarchistic and damn funny. Nothing was the same after “A Hard Day’s Night” regarding rock ‘n roll movies, and nothing reached its giddy heights for cultural impact since. As was said back in the day, it was “…the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals.”

The film follows a typical day for the lads from Liverpool – The Beatles. After avoiding a hysterical mob of screaming fans, John (John Lennon), Paul (Paul McCartney), George (George Harrison) and Ringo (Ringo Starr) take a train to their next destination, a TV appearance in London. Their antics exasperate their manager and roadie, Norm (Norman Rossington) and Shake (John Junkin).

To make matters worse, Paul’s grandfather Jim (Wilfred Brambell) is along for the ride, and he cooks up various schemes so he can live the high life. During rehearsals for the TV show, he forges their autographs, to sell the photos to the masses. The Beatles themselves just want to get away it from it all, and Ringo succeeds in running away from the show, which freaks out the director (Vincent Spinetti). Paul’s grandfather is arrested for selling the pictures, Ringo is arrested as a vagrant, and the rest the boys have to spring them just in time for the big show.

The 50th Anniversary edition of “A Hard Day’s Night” has a limited release, including Chicago, on July 4th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfred Brambell, Norman Rossington, John Junkin and Victor Spinetti. Screenplay by Alun Owen. Directed by Richard Lester. Not Rated.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Hard Day’s Night”

The Beatles
They’re Coming! The Beatles in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
Photo credit: Janus Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A Hard Day’s Night”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions