A Hard Day’s Night (1964) – Richard Lester

Before Richard Lester ruined the Superman franchise he brought one of the best and most enduring music groups to the screen not once, but twice. His first entry the mockumentary A Hard Day’s Night is the next recommendation from the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book following my screening of Jailhouse Rock.

Re-watching this film for the umpteenth time I was able to wander down my own memory lane of how I came to know Paul, John, George and Ringo as I enjoyed the music and quoted along with the movie.

Back when I was in high school, grade 11 to be precise, a cool kid in a class below me, Francois, passed on an album he thought I would like, the 1970 album, Let It Be. From there I stumbled across Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the home of a family I babysat for.

From there, I seemed to work my way from the back of their catalogue and the front at the same time (though even as I dug into their tunes, even at that young age I was already tired of hearing She Loves You, and I Want to Hold Your Hand). I was completely taken over by their music, for the longest time, I wouldn’t listen to anything else. I hunted down albums with any money I earned and filled out my collection.

I came across the movie Help! first, and immediately had to add it to my collection. How could I not, it was zany, funny, had some amazing dialogue, and seemed to catch the exuberance of the Fab Four in the most enjoyable way.

beatles_playing

Then I discovered A Hard Day’s Night. If I wore out my VHS copy of Help!, lords know how many copies of Night I could have gone through.

There isn’t a thing I didn’t enjoy about this film, the songs, the press conference, Ringo running away, Paul’s grandfather (Wilfred Brambell), the film is just so brilliant, and a perfect time capsule of Beatle-mania at its height.

Lester balances the film nicely, there’s lots of humour, and a story, as simple as it is, that involves the audience.

And those songs!

I honestly wouldn’t know what my life would have been like without The Beatles music , to fill it. Consequently, it was a lot of fun to catch up with them again in this fun film. It’s a highly enjoyable movie and a perfect slice of a moment in time.

I’m going to have to watch this one a lot more often I think.

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