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Comedy - Family

A Hard Days Night (1964)

Pattie Boyd, on the left, was later to marry George Harrison
Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: U (with cuts), USA: Approved, Germany: 6 
Source of storyAn original screenplay, based on two normal Beatles days
DirectorRichard Lester
Writers/ScriptAlun Owen
StarringJohn Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfred Brambell, Norman Rossington, John Junkin, Victor Spinetti, Anna Quayle, Deryk Guyler, Richard Vernon, Lionel Blair, Isla Blair, Pattie Boyd, Phil Collins, Susan Hampshire, Jeremy Lloyd, Derek Nimmo, Charlotte Rampling,  
RatingsIMDb: 7.6 by 41,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: .

Elevator Pitch: The Fab Four, unnamed as a group in the film, except on the drums, go about their normal days. They run away from screaming fans, they travel by train with a number of hilarious scenes, they spend some time in a hotel room, and on several occasions they rescue Paul’s grandfather from difficult situations. Later they rehearse in a TV theatre and now and again go missing much to the distress of the studio manager. When Ringo is arrested in the run-up to their TV appearance, after he has been wandering about by the river, they have to rescue him. Can they get back to the theatre in time?

Content:  There is no sex or nudity and just a bit of drinking. The boys smoke all the time, which was apparently distressing for US audiences. They chat up many young women including schoolgirls on the train, chorus girls and the secretarial help in the theatre. There is dancing on a number of occasions and everybody seemed to be having a great time. About a dozen songs make it into the production, some in the background, some sung on an impromptu basis and some formally on stage.

A View. The surviving Beatles have been knighted, but I have not chosen to use their titles here. The film made a lot of money and is well thought of by many critics, which surprised me a bit. I had never followed their filmic career even though I had purchased their LPs at the time; although Sergeant Pepper was a bit beyond me. It is of its time and I was entertained by the presence of so many embryo stars. It is historically of interest, and worth watching just for the final TV performance of “She Loves You” – absolutely wonderful.

Additional Info: The final scene was filmed in one earth shattering day.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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