A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night

John Lennon
Director: Richard Lester Cast: John Lennon
John Lennon
, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
, George Harrison
George Harrison
Richard Lester

DVD (Black & White / Wide Screen / Black & White / Wide Screen)

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During the first worldwide flush of Beatlemania in 1964, United Artists wanted to ship out a movie with The Beatles before their vogue was over. Working within a tight $500,000 budget, director Richard Lester turned out A Hard Day's Night in a fast 6 1/2 weeks; the picture was in the theatres three months after shooting commenced. Using a variety of techniques cribbed from Hollywood slapstick comedies, the French "new wave" movement, and his own experiences as a TV-commercial director, Lester, with screenwriter Alun Owen, fashioned an exhilarating study of a "typical" 36 hours in the lives of the Fab Four. Onto a plot about getting to the Big Show on time are hung a series of instant-reaction gags, character vignettes, and musical setpieces. Much of the humor arises from Paul McCartney's efforts to keep his grandfather (Wilfred Brambell), a "clean old man," from getting into mischief. Also good for several laughs is the hookey-playing Ringo Starr, whose mistimed declaration of independence lands him in jail. We are also treated to a war of nerves between the unflappable John Lennon and an uptight TV director (Victor Spinelli), who worries that, should the Beatles not show up at broadcast time, he'll be demoted to "News In Welsh." George Harrison stars in a sequence in which he is mistaken for an auditionee by the producer (Kenneth Haigh) of a superficially trendy, teen-oriented TV weekly. Then there's Norman Rossington and John Junkin as The Beatles' managers, who carry on a battle royale simply because one man is taller than the other. The supporting cast includes comedienne Anna Quayle, cartoonist Bob Godfrey, TV host Robin Ray, dancer Lionel Blair, Harrison's future wife Patti Boyd, and director Lester himself. The songs include "I Should Have Known Better," "And I Love Her," "Tell Me Why," "If I Fell," "Can't Buy Me Love," and the title song.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2014
UPC: 0715515118514
Original Release: 1964
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W, Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:27:00
Sales rank: 276

Special Features

New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with three audio options: a monaural sountrack as well as newly created stereo and 5.1 surround mixes supervised by sound producer Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios ; Audio commentary featuring cast and crew; In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining 1964 interviews with the Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage and photos; "You Can't Do That": The Making of "A Hard Day's Night," a 1994 documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by the Beatles; PLUS: an essay by ciritc Howard Hampton

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Lennon John Lennon
Paul McCartney Paul McCartney
George Harrison George Harrison
Ringo Starr Ringo Starr
Wilfrid Brambell Paul's Grandfather
Norman Rossington Norm
Victor Spinetti Television Director
John Junkin Shake
Anna Quayle Millie
Richard Vernon Man on Train
Deryck Guyler Police Inspector
Bridget Armstrong Actor
Roger Avon Actor
Beatles Actor
John Bluthal Actor
Rosemarie Frankland Actor
Claire Kelly Barmaid
Derek Nimmo Actor
Margaret Nolan Actor
Eddie Malin Hotel waiter
Lionel Blair TV Choreographer
Alison Seebohm Secretary
Kenneth Haigh Simon Marshall
David Langton Actor
Marianne Stone Society reporter
Michael Trubshawe Casino manager
Robin Ray TV Floor Manager
Jane Lumb Actor

Technical Credits
Richard Lester Director
Derek V. Browne Camera Operator
Julie Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
George Harrison Score Composer
John Jympson Editor
John Lennon Score Composer
George Martin Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul McCartney Score Composer
John D. Merriman Asst. Director
Denis O'Dell Producer
John O'Gorman Makeup
Alun Owen Screenwriter
Walter Shenson Producer
Ray Simm Art Director
Dougie Millings and Son Costumes/Costume Designer
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Hard Day's Night
1. "A Hard Day's Night" [2:34]
2. Paul's Grandfather [3:03]
3. The Regular Commuter [2:19]
4. "A King Mixer" [3:47]
5. "I Should Have Known Better" [5:13]
6. A Night Out [9:02]
7. Press Conference [4:58]
8. "If I Fell" [6:04]
9. "Can't Buy Me Love" [2:21]
10. Troublemakers [6:44]
11. "And I Love Her" [4:34]
12. Hair and Makeup [1:54]
13. "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" [3:19]
14. Advice for Ringo [3:21]
15. Ringo Deserts [7:51]
16. The Coppers [4:11]
17. "Can't Buy Me Love" [2:12]
18. Showtime [7:42]
19. "She Loves You" [3:01]
20. Final Escape [3:15]
1. Color Bars [:20]

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