Cover image for A Hard day's night
Title:
A Hard day's night
Author:
Lennon, John, 1940-1980.
Edition:
[DVD version].
Publication Information:
Burbank, CA : Miramax Home Entertainment : distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, [2002]

©1964
Physical Description:
2 videodiscs (approximately 92 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
A lively, good-natured spoof of "Beatlemania" portraying a frantic 36 hours in the lives of the rock group.
General Note:
Disc two, "Supplemental material": "Their production will be second to none" (interviews with the filmmakers); "With the Beatles" (cast); "Working like a dog" (the production crew); "Busy working overtime" (post production crew); "Listen to the music playing in your head" (George Martin); "Such a clean old man!" (memories of Wilfrid Brambell); "I've lost my little girl" (Isla Blair interview); "Taking testimonial pictures" (Robert Freeman interview); "Dressed to the hilt" (Gordon Millings interview); "Dealing with 'The men from the press'" (Tony Barrow interview); "They and I have memories" (Klaus Voorman interview); "Hitting the big time in the USA" (Sid Bernstein interview).

DVD-ROM features include: screeplay viewer; "Remember all the little things"; roundtable discussions; access to the DVD Destination Site; award-winning "A hard day's night" website archive.

Originally released as a motion picture in 1964.

For specific features see interactive menu.
Language:
English
Corporate Subject:
Added Corporate Author:
ISBN:
9780788818318
UPC:
717951004864
Format :
DVD

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DVD 3973 Adult DVD Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Criterion marks the golden anniversary of the Beatles' first, and arguably best, feature film with a Blu-ray and DVD dual-format reissue of A Hard Day's Night that boasts visual and audio enhancements and is packed with bonus features. Directed by Lester, who also helmed the band's follow-up film, Help!, and written by Oscar nominee Alun Owen, A Hard Day's Night blends slapstick, social satire, and surrealism in its fictionalized account of the Beatles, who proved to be capable actors with charm and comedic chops to spare, dodging obstacles on their way to a television performance. Intended as a quick cash-in to capitalize on what many assumed would be the band's short-lived success, this groundbreaking musical comedy became an instant, influential classic. The outstanding digital transfer provides bright and crisp black-and-white visuals and fantastic audio quality, with viewers able to choose from three noticeably different but equally impressive audio presentations. Extras include supplementary short films that have been available on previous DVDs, plus new content such as commentary tracks and an enlightening documentary on Lester. [See Trailers, LJ 5/1/14.] The unauthorized documentary The Beatles: Parting Ways charts the fortunes of all four Beatles following their 1970 split, focusing on the Fab Four's personal lives and skimming over or even omitting key details of their post-Beatles musical careers and neglecting their cultural impact. The Paul McCartney portion, for instance, dwells on his recent divorce scandal but sidesteps the prolific and mostly successful musical path he took as the leader of Wings and as a solo artist. John Lennon's brief separation from wife Yoko Ono is covered in greater detail than his social and political activism and string of early 1970s hits. The uncredited filmmakers continue to emphasize marital woes, romantic travails, and other tabloid fodder in segments on George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Generic psychedelic pop and cheesy Beatles sound-alike background instrumentals add to the film's low-budget, low-effort feel. VERDICT Casual fans may find something interesting and new in Parting Ways, but enthusiasts and informed Beatles devotees won't encounter anything they don't already know. This definitive version of A Hard Day's Night is recommended to both old fans and viewers experiencing cinematic Beatlemania for the first time. Not to be missed!-Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.