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.
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.