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Gold at Night
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Gold at Night

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Bob Vandergrift

Why I Love A Hard Day's Night

The Beatles in their feature film debut, one of the greatest rock-and-roll comedy adventures ever. The film has a fully restored negative and digitally restored soundtrack. The film takes on the just-left-of-reality style of mock-documentary, following "a day in the life" of John, Paul, George, and Ringo as Beatlemania takes them by storm.

As invigorating and funny now as it was on its original release almost 60 years ago, A Hard Day's Night offers both a perfect showcase for the Beatles and an intriguing snapshot of fast-changing, early-1960s British society.

It was clear from the outset that "A Hard Day's Night" was in a different category from the rock musicals that had starred Elvis and his imitators. It was smart, it was irreverent, it didn't take itself seriously, and it was shot and edited by Richard Lester in an electrifying black-and-white, semi-documentary style that seemed to follow the boys during a day in their lives. And it was charged with the personalities of the Beatles, whose one-liners dismissed the very process of stardom they were undergoing. “Are you a mod or a rocker?” Ringo is asked at a press conference. “I'm a mocker,” he says.

 

 

The Beatles were obviously not housebroken. The American rock stars who preceded them had been trained by their managers; Elvis dutifully answered interview questions like a good boy. The Beatles had a clone look--matching hair and clothes--but they belied it with the individuality of their dialogue, and there was no doubt which one was John, Paul, George and Ringo. The original version of Alun Owen's Oscar-nominated screenplay supplied them with short one-liners (in case they couldn't act), but they were naturals, and new material was written to exploit that. They were the real thing.

 

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