The 1964 film, “A Hard Day’s Night” is the very first Beatles movie. Indeed, it is a musical comedy in black and white format. However, the lack of colour doesn’t take away the enjoyment. On the contrary, it takes you back to when the Fab Four were starting out and adds atmosphere. After all, this is The Beatles and those was the days of Beatlemania!
The film is a must see of course and it has some great music. Moreover, we see the four Moptops really enjoying their new roles while acting naturally. In the UK, the British Film Institute says “A Hard Day’s Night” is the 88th greatest British film of the 20th century. Also, Time magazine says it is one of the “all-time great 100 films”, now that’s an achievement!
Director: Richard Lester
Producer: Walter Shenson
Screenplay: Alun Owen
Starring: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, also Wilfrid Brambell (Paul’s Grandfather), Norman Rossington as Norm, the Beatles’ manager, John Junkin as Shake, the Beatles’ road manager
Music by Musical Director: George Martin
Cinematography: Gilbert Taylor
Editor: John Jympson
Production Company: Walter Shenson Films, Proscenium Films, Subafilms Ltd.
Distributor: United Artists
Release Date: 6th July, 1964 (UK) also the 11th August, 1964 (US)
Running time: 87 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
A Hard Day’s Night Film
Obviously when you get a movie that has The Beatles starring in it, you stand up and take notice. However, the Fab Four only appeared in five movies and “A Hard Day’s Night Film” is their first.
Filmed entirely in the UK, The Beatles really excelled themselves themselves here while having fun. Indeed, this was the early stages of Beatlemania and the film captures that beautifully. This was actually a low budget film costing just £200,000 at the time. Be that as it may, filming took place over 7 weeks and has a good plot.
Recently, we see the film restored, remixed and remastered and now we can enjoy it in all its glory. Here is the trailer for the film.
The Beatles are leaving Liverpool on a train bound for London to do a show, but first they have to escape from their fans. While on the train there are many distractions which test their patience. In the first place, they have to contend with Paul McCartney’s grandfather. He is constantly getting into trouble throughout the film.
But the Fab Four eventually get to London after they entertain some schoolgirls with a song in the guard’s van. Patti Boyd plays the part of one of those schoolgirls. Obviously she met George Harrison this way and eventually they married.
Once in London, they feel a little trapped. While they are in their hotel, they must reply to fan mail which they also escape from. In this case, they go to a party instead. However, they quickly return when manager, Norm, finds them. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney’s grandfather goes missing and they all go to find him at the casino.
Then, while waiting for the rehearsals, Ringo Starr gets the job of looking after Paul’s grandfather. But, Starr goes off on a journey of his own after the granddad says he should experience life rather than read books. Eventually, the planned concert goes ahead but The Beatles must escape again from the hordes of fans. They do this by using a helicopter after the show finishes.
Songs From “A Hard Day’s Night” Film
Of course, The Beatles were promoting their music at the same time as making the movie. Indeed, the film was secondary to the release of a soundtrack album also with the name of “A Hard Day’s Night“. With this in mind, here is a list of the songs in the film.
02) I Should Have Known Better
03) I Wanna Be Your Man (sample)
04) Don’t Bother Me (sample)
05) All My Loving (sample)
06) If I Fell