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A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

The Beatles

Proto-Prog


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Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I think that The Beatles were lucky to have some very talented people working with them: George Martin as producer; Brian Epstein as manager (despite some years later it was discovered that he didn`t do some things in the right way in the band`s interests), film director Richard Lester, etc.

I think that this film was a very original idea to show a band to their fans. It shows the lives of the members of the band while working hard during a day. It shows the members of the band in a natural way, being themselves, showing their charismatic personalities, doing and telling jokes, with each one having special funny scenes wrote for them despite not being really trained actors. It also served to the band to promote new songs along with some not very old songs from previous albums. While Elvis Presley was shown in some of his films trying to act characters, The Beatles in this film were shown as being themselves, and it is really a very original and good film, in my opinion. It also influenced some musicians to form bands (one of them was The Byrds as David Crosby said in one interview).

Filmed in Black and White. Their next film Help! was in Colour, but it is the only one of their films which I still have not seen.

Report this review (#201942)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars The best Beatles movie AHDN has become a cult late night classic, and has played many theatres worldwide. The main drawcard is it depicts the Beatles in their heyday, when everything was going well for the band and it is a slice of the swinging 60s. There are quintessential Beatles galore on this classic, namely A Hard Day's Night, I Should Have Known Better, If I Fell and Can't Buy Me Love. Don't Bother Me is a great moment of the film as is And I Love Her.

The film works as a kind of glorified film clip for the band and the way that the Beatles jump and run everywhere shows the vibrant energy of the youth culture. Richard Lester directs the band just being themselves. The scenes where they sprint from adoring female fans and then disguise themselves became a trademark and was used endlessly in the animated series. There are concert bits, studio pieces and actual film clips of the band at their best; it is one of the best records of the band and footage from AHDN has been used many times in Beatles specials and documentaries.

They all enjoy themselves on this, they mock the press and everyone they come into contact with, acting like everything is a joke, and the storyline is so convoluted I can't even remember what the heck it is all about. It does not matter as the only reason to watch this is to see The Beatles bouncing from one silly encounter to the next. Some of the imagery, such as the band bouncing on trampolines, and running into each other at a park are unforgettable. Special Features are only a bonus as the film itself is well worth getting hold of. It is a product of its time and could have had 30 minutes trimmed as there's so much padding out, and it is for collectors so tread gently through this piece of nostalgia.

Report this review (#399481)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have always enjoyed this movie. The Beatles seemed to be having a great time making this film. I really enjoy good old Wilfred Brambell in this. All the music is good and the performances are good as well. Is there a real story here? Well, sorta. But does anyone really care? It's the Beatles and we're having fun! Is this a prog movie? Definantely not. But it does fall under the proto-prog category. And,being at this is the best of the movies they made, it is hard not to like this. And being in black and white seems to make it even more special. The bonus stuff is ok but it is the original film that I enjoy. I easily give this 3 solid stars. And it even has my favorite Beatles ballad "If I Fell"!
Report this review (#628276)
Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an exciting blend of part-fiction with comedy, and it has The Beatles in it. Yes, it is a very enjoyable film.

John: "He's a nice old man, isn't he?"

Paul: [nodding] "He is very clean."

That's just something to see, not just read.

Also, if you want to see the girls chasing the Fab Four a few more times, here is your chance. I personally don't care so much for the meaning of the story. The film was made for entertainment, as far as I can see.

Here the band performs an almost single-album-size slew of songs, nearly all of which are my favorites. I said "nearly" because I think the instrumental track "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" is OK, although even in that one the band displays their R&B-pop sensibilities with the focus on pop ballad writing. As for the rest, I'm not going to say anything that's been said many times by other Beatle-lovers. However, I do want to add that I'd really like to see the band play those songs live instead of just pasting in studio versions.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

Stamp: "I like it."

Report this review (#703250)
Posted Sunday, April 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
jamesbaldwin
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In the wake of Elvis Presley, who in those years was more famous for films than for records, the Beatles launched themselves in a film career. Born as a promotional vehicle in full Beatlemania, to spread in the world the face, voice and character of the Beatles - four different thinking heads - "A Hard Day's Night" becomes a good, experimental opera thank to the restless talent by director Richard Lester.

The fab four are followed in a series of hilarious adventures between trains, hotel rooms, dance clubs, stages and hordes of screaming and wild girls. During their brief stay in London for a television concert, Paul's grandfather, an old brilliant and joking gentleman, torment the four boys and manages to get Ringo off just a few hours before the concert. John, Paul and George look for him on the streets of London and manage to bring him back to the stage for the show.

The anomalous use of the camera by Lester and above all the choice of black and white make the work hybrid: commercial pop culture combined with something artistically relevant. The songs appear at intervals regular, the British humor is everywhere, full of irreverent gags, basically the humus from which the Monty Python will be born.

The film shows a lucid and nonconformist vision on the hypocrisy of English society that the Beatles will help to crumble, beginning to plow the pickaxe, however politely, into the wall of conformism. This opera codifies a language, far away from the elongated spots to film starring Elvis Presley. When Ringo, who rebels and leaves the group, meditates on what would happen to him outside the Beatles universe, comes out the humanity and simplicity of humble origins that can't be forgotten. Beatles are proletarian guys who reached success, this is the fact. The film shows the effects of success on the shoulders of these simple boys.

The songs performed in the film are: A Hard Day's Night; I Should Have Known Better; I Wanna Be Your Man; Don't Bother Me; All My Loving; If I Fell; Can't Buy Me Love; And I Love Her; I'm Happy Just to Dance with You; This Boy (instrumental); Tell Me Why; She Loves You.

Vote film 9. Rating: Five Stars.

Report this review (#2110340)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2018 | Review Permalink

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