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

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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. 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”

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