A Hard Day's Night Movie Review

In watching A Hard Day's Night, you might feel an intense desire to tune out the visuals and simply sit back and listen to one of the most awesome movie soundtracks of all time. It is The Beatles, after all.

But don't do it! Miss the narrative (sketchy as it may be) and the visuals (jerky as they are) and you'll be missing one of the funniest and most unique movies ever made. Shot before The Beatles had hit it big in America, the movie ostensibly follows a day in the life of the Fab Four, as they travel to a TV appearance and an evening concert and experience various misadventures along the way.

There is of course little substance to their day trip -- it all amounts to running from fans, attending parties, and losing Ringo (all with Paul's grandfather (actually Wilfrid Brambell) in tow. But along the way the little moments make their trip worthwhile. At a party, one woman asks Ringo, "What do you call that hairstyle you're wearing?" The answer: "Arthur." The deadpan humor and non-sequiturs are delivered with such dry perfection you often find yourself rewinding to see if you really heard what you think you did. (And you did.)

And of course there's the music. With unforgettable classics like "If I Fell," "Tell Me Why," and "And I Love Her," you'll sing along for the full 90 minutes. But it's not just a light comedy and a great musical, it's also a telling look into the music scene of the 1960s and the hysteria generated by the band's popularity. The shots of the screaming girls and fainting groupies are often imitated, but A Hard Day's Night has the originals.

The new DVD features a full disc of present-day interviews with just about everyone involved in the movie -- except the surviving members of the band, sadly. If you've ever wonded what the hairdresser, assistant editor, and deleted cast members thought about working on this movie, well, here's your answer. Highly recommended.


A Hard Day's Night Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: G, 1964


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